Rapids top Arsenal reserve team

Casey scores game-winner in windy preseason tilt in London

The Rapids defeated Arsenal FC’s reserves 1-0 this morning to earn
their first preseason win of the year.

The game was played in cold and windy conditions at Arsenal's
training ground and kicked off at 4:30am MT. Forward Conor Casey tapped
in a cross from Omar Cummings in the 52nd minute for game-winner, which
was also the team's first goal from the run of play this spring. 

The match was the first of the year for Casey, Pablo Mastroeni, Colin
Clark, and the newly-acquired Jeff Larentowicz  and Danny Earls.

Each team took advantage of the setting to observe many players in
game conditions, with the Rapids using 21 players and Arsenal testing

Although Colorado started slow and Arsenal were sharp early on, it
was the Rapids who nearly scored in the game’s 19th minute. Casey
stripped center back Luke Ayling and went one-on-one with the keeper,
who saved the shot. The rebound fell to Omar Cummings, who played it
back to Casey, but his second attempt went wide left.

Fifteen minutes later, it was Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens who
stopped a one-on-one, smothering a shot from Arsenal’s Conor Henderson
after a breakaway from 30 yards out.

The Rapids wasted little time attacking to start the second half. In
the 48th, Cummings carried the ball down the left side and found Casey
at the penalty spot. Casey fed Jamie Smith back on the left side, but
his clever chip over the ‘keeper hit the top of the crossbar. 

The duo of Cummings and Casey made the next opportunity count. In
the 52nd minute, Cummings again attacked down the left side, finding
Casey in the middle of the box. The big forward calmly tucked the ball
in the right side of the net to break the scoreless tie.
Arsenal substituted all 11 players at the hour mark.

Shortly after entering the match in the 70th minute, Rapids backup
‘keeper Steward Ceus helped preserve the shutout with a diving save.

The Rapids will train at Arsenal’s training centre for the next two
days before playing the San Jose Earthquakes in a preseason match on
Friday at Tottenham’s training ground.


Colorado Rapids: Matt Pickens (Steward Ceus
73), Kosuke Kimura (Rob Valentino 61), Drew Moor (Oscar Murillo 61),
Julien Bauet (Mike Holody 61), Danny Earls, Wells Thompson (Colin Clark
75), Nick LaBrocca (Jeff Larentowicz 75), Pablo Mastroeni (Ross LaBauex
46), Jamie Smith (Andy Lorei 75), Conor Casey (Pat Noonan 61), Omar
Cummings (Andre Apkan 61)

Arsenal FC: (First half): James Shea,
Francis Coquelin, Tom Cruise, Emmanuel Frimpong, Luke Ayling, Ignasi
Miquel, Nacer Barazite, Craig Eastmond, Luke Freeman, Sanchez Watt,
Conor Henderson.

(60th Minute): Emmileas Martinez, Sam Byles, Cedric Evina, Nicholas
Yennaris, Rhema Obed, Daniel Boateng, Jamie Edge, Oguzhan Ozyakup, Benik
Afobe, Rhys Murphy, Chuks Aneke.