Rapids trialists, subs shine in DU scrimmage

Lorei, Audley stand out in what could be final play for Colorado

Andy Lorei netted a beautiful equalizer in Tuesday’s
scrimmage between the Colorado Rapids and the University of Denver. Having
beaten a couple of players and cutting inside, the 21-year-old Rapids trialist
buried a left-footed shot from the edge of the area to tie the game.

It could be Lorei’s last action in a Rapids shirt. Such is
the uncertainty of the life of an MLS trialist. The former Rochester Rhinos
player has been training with the Rapids since February and even traveled to
London for the club’s preseason trip to sister club Arsenal.

But roster spots
are not easy to come by and Lorei said after the game that he’ll likely be on
his way to a USL team such as Tampa or Austin within the next week.

“It’s been awesome,” the tall midfielder told MLSsoccer.com.
“The facilities are so nice and this has been a real step up. It’s a much
better level and I think I’ve improved a lot. It’s perfect preparation for the
next move.”

In Rapids head coach Gary Smith’s opinion, Lorei has a very
good creative edge and that playing in the USL would be perfect for his
development.

“We’ll keep him monitored and keep him under our umbrella as
he is one we would potentially like to have involved,” Smith said.

The scrimmage against a strong DU side also gave an
opportunity to, among others, local product Collin Audley. The captain of the Denver team last
year has been training with the Rapids in recent weeks as he seeks to combine
finishing his studies and furthering his soccer career.

Audley, a versatile midfielder from Fort Collins, Colo.,
doesn’t know what his experience with the Rapids will eventually lead to, but
is grateful for the chance to have the opportunity to train with professional
players he would like to emulate.

“It’s a good situation for me and I’m not asking too many
questions,” Audley said after training last week. “Playing with these guys, it
can’t get much better than that. The technical ability is what stands out -- everybody
out here is very technical -- and the speed of play. Everything’s faster, it’s
much harder, stronger, quicker.”

The 22-year-old saw action against his former DU teammates
before being substituted during the second half. Roster players involved in the
game were Steward Ceus, Scott Palguta, Mike Holody, Ross LaBaeux, Oscar Murillo
and Andre Akpan. Akpan netted the winner in the final minutes as the Rapids fought
back from 2-0 down to win 3-2, all the goals coming in the second half.

Smith said it was a useful game to both give a chance to
youngsters like Lorei and Audley as well as give more senior players a chance
to come back from injury in a competitive game. Palguta, for example, has been
battling injury and has played little during the preseason, as well as only
turning out as a late-game sub in the opener at Chivas USA.

The defeat was more disappointing for DU head coach Bobby
Muuss than the victory was sweet for Smith.

“You have to be proud of them but, whenever you find
yourself up 2-0, you have to find a way to get a win,” Muuss said.

The University will be dedicating its brand new soccer
stadium April 17 when the team will play Fort Lewis College. Tickets ranging
from $4 to $8 are available at 303-871-3923 or by e-mailing assistant coach Adam Buseck
at adam.buseck@du.edu.