After dropping their first match of the 2013 preseason to the Portland Timbers two days earlier, the Colorado Rapids wanted a positive outcome from Thursday’s matchup against the Houston Dynamo. However, less than two minutes into the match it looked like that would not be the case, and the Rapids suffered a second defeat at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz.
From the kickoff, the Rapids controlled the ball in the Houston half, but a turnover in the midfield led to a Houston attack down the left flank where their first chance at goal would turn into the only score of the night. Jason Johnson carried the ball towards the top of the arc and found a seam between four Rapids defenders to the feet of Scottish international Calum Elliot who, after taking a touch, fired a shot to the upper left corner and out of the reach of Steward Ceus in the second minute.
For the remaining 89 minutes, Colorado were not short of chances to equalize and pull ahead. The Rapids responded almost immediately with an effort from Atiba Harris who battled with defender trialist Franck Songo’o inside the 18-yard box, but was unable to get the shot off. At the opposite end of the half, Johnson had a chance to double Houston’s lead with a close range shot despite pressure from Marvell Wynne and Drew Moor, and the six-foot-six goalkeeper Ceus was able to get low to deflect the strike.
WATCH: FULL MATCH ARCHIVE
Entering the second half down a goal, Rapids coaching staff once again made a complete lineup change, allowing a trialist goalkeeper Clint Irwin from Elon University a chance to prove himself in net. Up front, Cesar Romero made his presence known to the Dynamo defense, with several attempts at goal including one from above the penalty mark that substitute Dynamo keeper Erich Marscheider nudged outside the post.
In the 79th minute, Rapids Homegrown Player Dillon Serna from Brighton, Colo., made one of the more dangerous advances of the night, ripping a left footed half-volley from the top of the box that forced Marscheider to come up big for the save. With a handful of parries from Colorado in the last 10 minutes, the Houston defense held on tight to the shutout and one-goal lead until the final whistle, leaving the Rapids with a second loss of the week.
The Rapids have one remaining match in Tucson, taking on the San Jose Earthquakes this Saturday at 11 a.m. MT, streamed live on ColoradoRapids.com.
HOU – Calum Elliot (Jason Johnson) 2’
Colorado Rapids lineup: Steward Ceus (Clint Irwin 46’); Marvell Wynne (Brian Mullan 46’), Drew Moor (Brenton Griffiths 46’), Diego Calderón (Shane O’Neill 46’), Kory Kindle (Anthony Wallace 46’, Chris Klute 61’); Hendry Thomas (Dillon Powers 46’), Pablo Mastroeni (Nathan Sturgis 46’), Kamani Hill (Nick LaBrocca 46’); Atiba Harris (Walter Martinez 46’, Andre Akpan 83’), Deshorn Brown (Cesar Romero 46’), Tony Cascio (Dillon Serna 46’).
Houston Dynamo lineup: Tally Hall (Erich Marscheider 61’); Warren Creavalle (Kofi Sarkodie 46’), Eric Brunner (Bobby Boswell 46’), Jermaine Taylor (Anthony Arena* 46’), Mike Chabala (Jimmy Nealis 46’); Luiz Camargo, Adam Moffat (Je-Vaughn Watson 46’), Alex Dixon (Giles Barnes 46’); Franck Songo'o* (Brian Ownby 61’), Calum Elliot* (Brian Ching 61’), Jason Johnson (Cam Weaver 46’)
HOU – Luiz Camargo (caution) 32’
COL – Kamani Hill (caution) 37’
COL – Chris Klute (caution) 81’
Notes: Anthony Wallace started the second half at left back, but was replaced in the 61st minute by Chris Klute after taking a slight knock. Rapids athletic staff will monitor and we'll update ColoradoRapids.com when we know more... Andre Akpan was a late game subsitute, though not due to any injury.