With last Friday's scrappy game in Colorado grinding towards what looked like an inevitable scoreless tie midway through the second half, Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson had a decision to make.
He could batten down the hatches and play for a road draw or, knowing the Rapids desperately needed the three points at home, he could use his substitutions to attack.
The Welshman went with his gut, choosing to throw on three forward-thinking players in a gamble that paid off when Brek Shea snatched a late winner for Vancouver's second consecutive away victory.
"Maybe I'm just crazy," Robinson joked this week after practice in Vancouver when quizzed about the decision. "I needed to change the swing of the game.
"You can put defensive substitutions on and try and shut up shop and get a point or you can try and be proactive."
With road results so hard to come by in Major League Soccer, and their lungs barking at them in a game played more than 1,600 metres above sea level, the Whitecaps would have been forgiven had they decided to go the other way with 25 minutes to go.
"It was a risk," Robinson conceded. "We went for three points and we managed to get three points.
"If it wouldn't have happened I'm sure you would have asked my why I didn't bring on three defensive subs."
Staying on the front foot by introducing the likes of Shea, Alphonso Davies and Nicolas Mezquida off the bench as they did in Colorado is something the Whitecaps talked about when they started a stretch of four games away from home last month.
Robinson's men dropped the opener of the trip 2-1 to the Portland Timbers in match where they probably deserved a better fate before grabbing a 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact and that 1-0 triumph in Colorado.
"It's always hard going away," said Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted. "I think this team has got that courage this year. Hopefully most of the time it will tip our way."
The Whitecaps (4-4-1) had registered just a solitary MLS away victory over the last 10 months prior to the breakthrough in Montreal, but now look like road warriors ahead of Friday's visit to Houston for a match against the Dynamo (5-3-1).
"We just want to keep building, keep moving forward, keep continuing to get better," said Vancouver defender Sheanon Williams. "We did that last week with the shutout.
"Hopefully we can build on that and have another good performance."
But like the trip to Colorado where they had lost six in a row, Houston hasn't historically been kind to the Whitecaps.
Vancouver, which has won three straight MLS road games on one other occasion, has earned just a single point all-time at the Dynamo, who are 5-0-1 at home in 2017.
Acquired from Houston in the off-season, Williams said the conditions in Texas are difficult for visiting teams.
Temperatures at kickoff are expected to be in the neighbourhood of 26 C, a far cry from the rainy and cool Vancouver the Whitecaps departed on Thursday.
"It's hot, it's humid," said Williams, whose team has won three of its last four. "To go from this to Houston is definitely different. The transition is not necessarily for everybody."
Like the Whitecaps, the Dynamo had a disappointing 2016 campaign, but have rebounded early this season, with a 4-0 home victory over Orlando City SC last weekend the most impressive result to date.
"They've got athleticism in wide areas," said Robinson. "They're pretty direct and counterattack very quickly."
Part of the reason for Vancouver's recent success has been the decision to go with the same starting 11 the last three weeks in a 4-1-4-1 formation — a setup that forces the Whitecaps to stay positive and push forward.
Robinson made the switch in Portland with what at the time was his 10th different starting lineup of the season in Vancouver's 10 combined CONCACAF Champions League and MLS matches.
It looks like that group might get a fourth consecutive opportunity on Friday.
"Results breeds confidence," said Robinson, whose team hosts Sporting Kansas City next weekend, the Whitecaps' first home match since April 14. "There's going to be ups and downs along the way, but I've got a really good group here now.
"We're competitive, we're tough, we work them hard. If you do that then eventually the rewards will come."
Especially when the coach is willing to roll the dice.
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