The Colorado Rapids Under-16 Team earned its second straight draw at the Development Academy Finals Week, playing to a 0-0 draw with Solar Chelsea SC of Dallas on Tuesday night in Houston. Difficult conditions – with constant rain and an hour-long lightning delay – affected the match, in which Colorado dominated but could not find a goal. The Rapids will play their final group stage game on Thursday night, still with a chance of finishing atop the group and earning a chance to play for the national title.
The Rapids had faced conference rival Solar twice during the regular season and came away with wins both times, though the Dallas club had actually finished above Colorado in the final regular season standings. Tuesday’s match was the most important meeting between the teams this year, and after a win in their first game, Solar was content to defend and earn another important point.
The Rapids began the game with the same starting XI as the first match of the week against De Anza Force on Sunday evening, and from the start, Colorado took control of the match with a few early chances. However, just 20 minutes into the game, lightning struck in the area, and the match went into a delay that lasted almost an hour.
Play finally resumed and the Rapids continued to have good possession but struggled to find great chances. The downpour continued in the second half, making play on both sides sloppy as the already poor conditions worsened as the match went on. Though Colorado had some chances, none were able to break the deadlock. Goalkeeper Hayden Davis earned the shutout in goal for the Rapids, with him and the defense playing well to keep Solar off the board.
Colorado enters its final group stage game on Thursday night against the Crew Soccer Academy Wolves with everything to play for. De Anza Force and Solar are at the top of the group with four points each, while Wolves have two losses. With two points, the Rapids could finish anywhere from first to fourth in the four-team group, depending on Thursday’s results.
A two-goal Rapids win, combined with a draw in the other match between De Anza and Solar, would see Colorado finish atop the group. Whatever spot the Rapids earn in the group, they will face the same-placed team from the other U-16’s group in a placement match to determine their final standing among the eight that have advanced to this stage.
Rapids U-16’s Lineup vs. Solar Chelsea SC:
Hayden Davis, Enda O'Neill, Quentin Pearson, Kortne Thompson-Ford, Bryce Montes, Jacob Smits-Kagoshima, Dakota Peterson, Jovanni Chavez, Victor Rolph, Edward Venta-Yepes, Hayden Heinrich (Daniel Jimenez 63’)
|DE ANZA FORCE||1||0||1||4||5||4||+1|
|SOLAR CHELSEA SC||1||0||1||4||2||1||+1|
|CREW SOCCER ACADEMY WOLVES||0||2||0||0||3||5||-2|