The Colorado Rapids Under-16 Development Academy team remains undefeated and have yet to concede a goal through four matches in the 2013-2014 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season.
The U16s defeated visiting Sporting KC, 1-0, on Saturday and then again, 2-0, on Sunday morning at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, bringing their record to 3-0-1 early in the season. Last week the U16s shutout San Antonio and Lonestar in the first weekend of action.
The Rapids were on the front foot early in the first game, keeping possession and moving the ball well. The combinations resulted in the opening goal in the 21' when Miles Chow made a nice run to the back post to put away a cross after another nice build up.
However the match became scrappy after the goal, and it was Sporting KC who had the better of play in the second half. The visitors played a high defensive line, causing Colorado problems in trying to get in behind. On the other end, SKC's direct play kept Colorado on their heels, though the defense did well to prevent any dangerous plays while preserving the shutout.
COL - Miles Chow (2) 21'
Colorado Rapids lineup (first match vs Sporting KC): Tucker Schneider, Elias Helbig (Kyle Ericson 50), William Herzl, Ernesto Rangel (Greer Solarte 54), Christopher Reichman, Elijah Mwenebitu, Nicolas Porter (Blake Moncur 60), JT Grover (Anthony Rosales 54), Samuel Raben, Nathan Braaten, Miles Chow
The second match saw a much more consistent game from Colorado, who maintain control of the match throughout the 90 minutes.
However it took until the 37' to break open the scoring, and it happened when Nathan Braaten received a ball on the left side of the area and showed nice composure to cut the ball back on the defender before slotting in the first goal.
Sporting KC never really threatened and Colorado extended the lead in the second half. JT Grover completed a nice combination build up from the right side when he ripped a shot from an odd angel into the far upper 90 to make it 2-0.
"Obviously if you don't give up goal, you're going to get a point out of games," said Mitch Murray, the U16s head coach. "The defense has done very well, and it's really been a team effort defensively. Obviously I don't expect to go the whole year without giving up goals, but I think they've shown enough that they're going to keep us in every game as we continue to mature our attack."
COL - Nathan Braaten (2) 37'
COL - JT Grover (2) 60'
Colorado Rapids lineup (second match vs Sporting KC): Connor Gavigan, William Herzl, Blake Moncur (Ernesto Rangel 65), Solarte Greer, Samuel Raben, Christopher Reichman, Anthony Rosales (JT Grover 60), Antonio Rosales (Elijah Mwenebitu 53), Kyle Ericson (Elias Helbig 68), Nathaan Braaten, Miles Chow,