The Rapids U17 dropped a 2-1 decision to defending champion DC United tonight at Centennial Soccer Complex in Houston.
DC looked like the champions in the opening exchanges, exerting pressure that resulted the game’s first goal after five minutes. Yaw Amankwa’s shot slipped through the hands of Rapids goalkeeper Andrew Epstein to give DC the early lead.
Colorado's young team, which includes 14 year old starting goalkeeper, Epstein, responded and took back portions of the first half. Their grit was rewarded in the 18th minute when Austin Seifert fought through a hard DC challenge to help the ball on to Eric Kronenberg. Kronenberg was able to get a touch over the onrushing goalkeeper to tie the game at one.
The final minutes of the first half saw both teams with moments of sustained possession but no one could break through.
The second half was an open affair with both teams pressing for the win. Epstein came up big on a corner kick in the 40’ minute and again a minutes later with a reaction save to his left.
The Rapids looked to go ahead five minutes later when Juan Carlos Regalado found himself behind the United defense but fired high. Dillon Serna misconnected on a volley from close range with five minutes remaining.
DC found the winner as regulation time expired when Romain Gall pounced on a Rapids turnover and sent a quick cross that beat Epstein to the far post, giving Patrick Foss an easy nod into the back of the net.
The Rapids (1-1) face the Chicago Fire (1-0-1) on Monday at 6:30pm with a berth into the semifinal on the line.
DC -- Yaw Amankwa 1 (unassisted) 4
COL -- Eric Kronenberg 1 (Austin Seifert 1) 18
DC -- Patrick Foss 1 (Romain Gall 1) 60
COL- James Rogers, Caution, 60’
Andrew Epstein, Jason Prichard (Karsten Hanlin), Chris Gurule, Matt Taphorn, Jordan Spring, Avery Ball, Santiago Velez, David Pardo (Ricardo Perez) , Eric Kronenberg (James Rogers), Austin Seifert (Juan Carlos Regalado), Isaac Martinez (Dillon Serna)