Rapids Win and Tie in Bradenton

BRADENTON FL. (Wednesday February 20 2008) – The Colorado Rapids and the U.S. U-17 National Team played two simultaneous games this morning with one ending in a 0-0 draw and the other a 2-0 win for the Rapids.

The games were played in three 30-minute periods on the IMG Academy soccer fields. The Rapids switched players between the two fields and all the fit players saw at least 30 minutes of action. The U.S. U-17s switched their entire teams after the second intermission.

In the game that ended in a draw the Rapids looked to have scored in the 11th minute but a Stephen Keel header off of a free kick was ruled off due to an apparent hand ball.

Before leaving the field Omar Cummings forced the US goalie into two saves one of them diving to his right. Another free kick late in the game and another Keel header nearly won the game for Colorado but the ‘keeper was up to the task again.

The Rapids jumped on top of the U-17s early in the other game. Niko Hernandez took a pass from Brian Grazier on a quick free kick but his shot was saved by a diving goalie in the eighth minute.
Eight minutes later Hernandez would not be denied. Chase Hilgenbrinck put in a cross from the left flank and the Argentine flew through the air and finished off a diving header.

Nico Colaluca and Cummings both found woodwork in the 25th and 42nd minutes respectively.

In the 58th minute Colorado broke out of a defensive corner and pounced on the counterattack. Cummings dribbled at and beat multiple defenders before cutting the ball back across goal to Jordan Harvey who tapped the ball into the wide open net from just six yards away.

The Rapids will wrap up the Florida portion of their preseason with two practices tomorrow on the KICS International training field and then an exhibition match against Rocky Mountain Cup rivals Real Salt Lake Friday night in Cricket Stadium at Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill FL.

Scoring Summary:
Field 1:

Field 2:
COL – Hernandez (Hilgenbrinck) 16
COL – Harvey (Cummings) 58

Colorado Rapids:
Field 1 – Justin Hughes Kosuke Kimura Facundo Erpen Stephen Keel Jose Burciaga Jr. Terry Cooke Nick LaBrocca John DiRaimondo Colin Clark Omar Cummings Jacob Peterson
Field 2 – Bouna Coundoul Brandon Prideaux Jordan Harvey Cesar Zambrano Chase Hilgenbrinck Nico Colaluca Brian Grazier Ciaran O’Brien Scott Campbell Niko Hernandez Jovan Kirovski
Substitutes: Mike Grayczk Chris Sharpe Daniel Antunez Cliff Wilmes