COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – The Colorado Rapids Reserves let slip a 2-0 lead to tie 2-2 with the Real Salt Lake Reserves, in a Sunday morning match on Field 20 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Rapids forward Charles Eloundou got both of the Colorado goals in the first half, but Benji Lopez struck twice for RSL in the second period to earn the tie.
Real Salt Lake’s equalizing goal in the 63rd minute came amid confusion on the field, as most players assumed that play had been stopped. Rapids midfielder John Neeskens was down on the field with an injury after a hard tackle, and after a foul was called seconds later, both teams slowed to a halt as the players expected the Athletic Training staff to be allowed on the field to attend to Neeskens. However, the referee allowed play to continue, and Sebastien Saucedo played the quick restart to Lopez, who drilled a shot from 25 yards past Colorado goalkeeper John Berner.
That goal was far more difficult a finish than Lopez’s first, which was a simple tap-in after some quick passing in the box in minute 57. The visitors turned the ball over 30 yards from goal, and RSL midfielder Sebastian Velasquez dribbled toward goal, finding Luke Mulholland, who drew Berner out before passing to Lopez.
The Rapids had gone into halftime carrying a 2-0 lead, with both goals coming on swiftly executed counter-attacks. The first one came in minute 16, when Davy Armstrong passed to Eloundou, whose shot from the top of the box took a strong deflection and left RSL keeper Jeff Attinella with no chance.
Twenty minutes later, defender Thomas Piermayr won the ball at midfield and played a perfect pass to put Eloundou in on a breakaway, allowing the Cameroonian forward to chip the onrushing Attinella to double the lead.
RSL had more possession in the match, but the chances were split closer down the middle, with both teams getting opportunities from distance. The visitors had the best chance to grab a late winner when Mulholland found himself behind the defense and volleyed off the crossbar in the 88th minute.
Both teams used several players from their Academy programs, with Quentin Pearson playing the full 90 minutes for the Rapids, and both Eric Holt and Sebastian Saucedo going the distance for Salt Lake.
With the draw, the Rapids Reserves move to 2-2-2 overall, and 0-2-2 in league play, with the squad’s next match coming on Saturday, August 23 at the Dayton Dutch Lions of the USL-Pro Division.
Rapids Reserves 2:2 RSL Reserves
August 3, 2014 – Field 20, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colo.
COL – Charles Eloundou (Davy Armstrong) 16’
COL – Charles Eloundou (Thomas Piermayr) 37’
RSL – Benji Lopez (Luke Mulholland, Sebastian Velasquez) 57’
RSL – Benji Lopez (Sebastian Saucedo) 63’
Colorado Rapids: John Berner; Thomas Piermayr, Grant Van De Casteele, Gale Agbossoumonde, Quentin Pearson, Davy Armstrong, John Neeskens, Kamani Hill (Enda O’Neill* 64’, Carlos Alvarez (Miles Chow* 68’), Charles Eloundou (Jacob Smits-Kagoshima* 78’), Danny Mwanga.
Substitutes not used: Chris Reichman*
Real Salt Lake: Jeff Attinella (Lalo Fernandez 64’, Justen Glad, Eric Holt*, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Abdoulie Mansally; Cole Grossman (Jose Hernandez* 64’), John Stertzer (Fito Ovalle* 75’), Luke Mulholland, Sebastian Velasquez; Sebastian Saucedo*, Benji Lopez (Olmes Garcia 71’).
Substitutes not used: Diego Silva*
COL – Grant Van De Casteele (caution) 55’
COL – Carlos Alvarez (caution) 68’