This Colorado Rapids Special Olympics Unified Team match report is brought to you by Dick's Sporting Goods.
The Rapids' Special Olympics Unified team dropped a close match to the D.C. United Special Olympics Unified team, 3-2, on Saturday, August 19 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Saturday’s action opened with a short pregame warmup from both teams, followed by a full precession and the reading of the Special Olympics athlete oath by Vince Egan. The teams then took the field for what would be a hard-fought battle on the pitch.
Off to a roaring start, Special Olympics D.C. took an early lead with goals from Rickie Green, Charles Barley and Melvin Saravia in the first half. Rapids goalkeepers Michael Nakano and Luke Davidson split time in the net, making strong saves to keep the Rapids within striking distance.
At halftime, the crowd was treated to a special edition of Rapids Live with interviews from Rapids’ athlete Egan and D.C. United athlete Barley.
The Rapids came out strong in the second half, as Egan put the Rapids on the board after converting from the penalty spot after a hand-ball by D.C. United. The remainder of the second half was a tenacious battle, with the Rapids inching closer when partner Jonathan Stephens scored a goal with two minutes remaining on the clock. D.C. United maintained control for the last few minutes, taking a 3-2 victory over the Rapids.
Following the match, Rapids Interim Chief Business Officer Wayne Brant and Sporting Director & Interim General Manager Pádraig Smith greeted each athlete with a handshake and a medal. Several Rapids and D.C. United first team players were present as well cheering on both teams. The Unified teams then traded MLS pins to commemorate the game.
The Rapids Special Olympics Unified team’s next match is set for Saturday, September 9 when they travel to Houston to take on the Dynamo counterparts.
Colorado Rapids Special Olympics team: Mackenzie Beauvais #0, Dominic Sisneros #1, Colton Rice #2, Miles Wisner #3, Jake Slater #4, Paul Rojas #5, Marie Egan #6, Alie Goldblatt #7, Vincent Egan #11, Jason Horton #12, Troy Fielder #14, Azur Ewari #15, Enzo Ewari #16, Jonathan Stephens #17, Michelle Figueroa #18, Erik Franco #21, Lydia Treanor #28, Scotty Stephens #32, Michael Nakano #8, Luke Davidson #88
Coaches: Molly Underly, Aspen DeField, and Erik Johnson
D.C. United Special Olympics team: Herbert Aguilar #14, Francisco Ayala #11, Charles Barley #1, Rodrigo Canas-Pena #23, Steven Mckissick #20, Kristhian Espinal #7, Rickie Green #2, Kevin Guzman #3, Dylan Lee #8, Ivan Hernandez #5, Melvin Saravia #17, Marcus Smith #9, Jonathan Ulloa #10, Roberto Cruz Martinex #16, Joseph Woodland #15, Dennis Mendizabal #12, Jonathan Purowitz #13, Justin Lee #0
Coaches: Anthony Sokenu, Rodney Williams, and Sam Cates