The Colorado Rapids Academy U-18s opened the 2012 US Soccer Development Academy Finals week with a 2-2 draw against De Anza Force of California at the Houston Amateur Sports Park in Texas. In a back and forth game, Colorado twice took the lead off goals from Josue Chavez and Alex Braman, but De Anza twice equalized, the last on a Rapids own goal with 10 minutes to play.
The Rapids were first on the board in the 19th minute, when Karsten Hanlin found Chavez near the goal. Chavez cut inside to clear space and his shot from 15 yards out found the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
Colorado nearly doubled their lead 20 minutes later, but Idrissa Camara was denied on a one-v-one opportunity by the De Anza 'keeper.
De Anza found the first equalizer just minutes into the second half, when a Rapids defensive misclearance was met by the Forces' Travis Pillon who finished from close range.
Colorado twice avoided De Anza goals and then re-took the lead in the 56th, when Avery Ball sent a second phase ball off a corner to Alex Braman, who headed it home for the 2-1 advantage.
De Anza tied the match in the 80th minute when Rapids defender Isaac Martinez inadvertantly cleared a ball into Colorado's net for an own goal.
After the first match of Group 1, Colorado and De Anza sit behind the Vancouver Whitecaps, which defeated the North Carolina Fusion 4-1 in the other match. Colorado will face North Carolina Fusion on Wednesday, July 18 (8 pm MT), and finish group play against Vancouver on Friday, July 20 (7 pm MT).
COL – Josue Chavez 19'
DAF – Travis Pillon 48'
COL – Alex Braman (Avery Ball) 56
DAF – own goal (Isaac Martinez) 80
Rapids U-18s lineup: Brad Holub; Ben Braman, Alex Braman, Chris Gurule, Isaac Martinez; Avery Ball, Shane O’Neill, Ricardo Perez; Karsten Hanlin, Idi Camara, Josue Chavez (Jorde Lopez, 82)
Subs Not Used: Jason Prichard, Daniel Nevarez, David Pardo, Cameron Taycon, Andrew Epstein