FRISCO, Texas – In their first road match of the 2014 season, the Rapids' Special Olympics Unified team fell to the FC Dallas Special Olympics Texas team 2-0 on Saturday at Toyota Stadium over 40 minutes of play. Action kicked off immediately after the Rapids first team's 3-1 loss to FC Dallas.
Before kickoff, goalkeeper Luke Davidson was presented with the captain's arm band. He later told Special Olympics Colorado: “I was honored to be named team captain - that was special. I was really excited when they named me the team captain, it’s a great responsibility.”
Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni also visited the team during warmups to offer some encouragement.
Last season, the two sides played to a dramatic 2-2 draw at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on September 14, 2013. Saturday’s match marked the first time both teams would play 11-a-side on a full-sized professional pitch; a first for the growing program.
Both teams saw quite a few scoring opportunities through the first half, but neither side was able to convert. Late in the second half, FC Dallas forward Jacob Hill tallied a goal off of a rebound from the far post in the 31st minute. This was then followed by a 38th minute goal from Dallas forward Steven McIlhaney. The Rapids Special Olympics Colorado team was unable to recover and suffered their first loss of 2014.
The team, though, did not let the loss take away from what is most important. Unified partner Azur Ewari said afterwards: “The best part has been able to hang out with everyone and get to know them better on and off the field. It’s been great getting to interact with the athletes and get to experience fun and unique experiences with them outside of Colorado.”
The trip to Dallas also included a visit to the Frisco Roughriders Minor League Baseball game with their Dallas teammates and other team bonding activities.
The Rapids Special Olympics team’s only home match of the season is Wednesday, August 20th. The #RapidsSOCO Burgundy and Blue match will be played immediately following the first-team match. For more information on tickets visit www.ColoradoRapids.com.
DAL - Jacob Hill 31'
DAL - Steven McIlhaney 38'
FC Dallas Special Olympics Texas team: Mary Adams, Ashley Bishop, Damian Black, Anthony Campise, Alex Cowan, Reece Halfmann, Matthew Henley, Hannah Higgins, Jacob Hill, McKenna Johnson,Steven McIlhaney, Bruce Mendiola, Jordan Mulnix, Patrick Rooney.
Coaches: Tom Black, Rachel Jordan, Scott Halfmann.
Colorado Rapids Special Olympics Colorado team: Morgan Butler, Luke Davidson, Gabe DeSilva, Azur Ewari, Cody Field, Dominic Gonzalez-Padron, Claire Green, Mitch Halek, Ben Hollis, Erik Johnson, Ashley Kane, Ibsen Ojeda, Sam Villela.
Coaches: Ryan Creager, Katie Shea, Ilima Kane.