Rapids Drop 2-1 Decision Against Emelec in Last Preseason Match in Ecuador

BABAHOYO Ecuador (Colorado Rapids Media Relations) - The Colorado Rapids dropped today a 2-1 decision against Ecuadorian club Emelec in the team’s final match of their South American leg of the 2005 preseason.

In a game that was tactically treated as two 45 minute mini-games by Head Coach Fernando Clavijo the first half finished with the Rapids leading 1-0 with a goal by 2005 draftee Guy Melaled. The Haifa Israel native joined the Black and Blue team’s attack in the 18th minute on a corner kick to place a header into the upper right corner of Emelec’s goal for the 1-0 lead.

The Rapids who made six subs at halftime surrender their first goal in the 51st minute when a miscommunication between goalkeeper Byron Foss and defender Nat Borchers resulted in an own-goal.

Clavijo added three more sets of fresh legs 70th minute. Overall a total of 10 subs mostly rookies and invitees held their composure and tactical discipline on the field against the locals.

It took a well-placed shot to the far post of Foss’ goal in the 86th minute to give the home team the 2-1 lead and their first win since the beginning of the local tournament.

Invitees Alain Mosley Nkong from Cameroon and Marc Gracien from Haiti also made their debut with the Rapids in this international friendly.

The Rapids who will travel to Fort Lauderdale tomorrow will spend five days in Florida before returning to Denver on February 28th. Colorado is scheduled to face Haiti on Sunday February 27th at 7:00 p.m. at Lockhart Stadium.

"I’m pleased with what we achieved during this part of our preseason said Fernando Clavijo. "The fitness aspect of the team is on the right track to reach the level that we want for the beginning of the 2005 season. The past three weeks we have focused on that aspect of our team the next five weeks will be focusing on the soccer aspect of the club."

Rapids Lineups: Vallow (Foss 45’) Kotschau (Guillaume 45’) Borchers (Lowery 70’) Melamed (Erush 70’) Freeman (Gargan 70’) Cooke (Trembly 45) Mastroeni (Nkong 45’) Beckerman Morales (Gracien 45’) Cunningham (Gonzalez 45’) Peguero (Carrieri 45’).

COL- Melamed (Cooke 18’)
EME- 51st 86th