The Colorado Rapids Under-18 squad jumped two spots in the Frontier Division (based on points per game) of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy after earning a tie and a win this weekend in Texas. On Saturday, Nov. 23, the Rapids drew 1-1 with Texans SC Houston, followed by a 5-0 rout of Texas Rush on Sunday, both at Bear Branch Soccer Complex near Houston, Texas.
In the first match, the Rapids held a large part of the possession leading up to a Bryce Montes goal in the 28th minute, giving Colorado a 1-0 lead on Texans. The home team equalized in the 72nd minute on a counter-attack, and nearly took a 2-1 lead on the Rapids with a penalty kick in the final minutes of regulation, but goalkeeper Hayden Davis parried the attempt to keep the score equal.
The following day, it took 52 minutes for the Rapids to score but then the floodgates opened for a total of five second half goals against Rush on Sunday. Although the score was one-sided, both teams fought hard and Rush had several chances in the final minutes to pull one back but were unsuccessful. Quentin Pearson, Nathan Braaten, Isaac Martinez, Jacob Hanlin and Montes each found the net to give the Rapids a solid victory.
After a tough start to the season, the U-18s have been improving their form, aided by the help of some young talent. Four U-16 players, Pearson, Braaten, Jacob Smits-Kagoshima and Miles Chow, have been playing with their older counterparts, helping them to a 2-0-2 record in the last four matches. The U-18s now sit 8th in the Frontier Division of the Central Conference as they head into the Development Academy Winter Showcase next month. The Rapids will face Montreal Impact FC, Rapids adidas Alliance club Carolina Rapids, and Chivas USA from December 11-14 during the major college scouting event. All three matches count towards their Development Academy standings, and the team will break immediately after until March 1 for the second half of the 2013/14 season.
Colorado Rapids U-18 1:1 Texans SC Houston U-18
COL – Bryce Montes 28’
TEXANS – Flavio Bonavides 72’
Colorado Rapids lineup: Hayden Davis, Victor Rolph (Enda O’Neill 76’), Bryce Montes, Kortne Ford, Nathan Braaten, Jovanni Chavez, Isaac Martinez, Quentin Pearson, Jacob Smits-Kagoshima, Miles Chow, Hayden Heinrich (Jacob Hanlin 69’)
Colorado Rapids U-18 5:0 Texas Rush U-18
COL – Quentin Pearson 52’
COL – Nathan Braaten 63’
COL – Isaac Martinez 65’
COL – Jacob Hanlin 70’
COL – Bryce Montes 92’
Colorado Rapids lineup: Hayden Davis, Enda O’Neill, Nathan Braaten (Bryce Montes 63’), Felix Elias (Victor Rolph 61’, Jacob Smits-Kagoshima 84’), Kortne Ford, Kurt Young, Jovanni Chavez, Isaac Martines (Miles Chow 73’), Remington Ellis, Jacob Hanlin, Quentin Pearson (Hayden Heinrich 70’)