This Colorado Rapids Special Olympics Unified Team match report is brought to you by Dick's Sporting Goods.
The Colorado Rapids Special Olympics Unified team traveled to Houston to face Special Olympics Texas in their final match of the 2017 season. More than soccer was on the minds of the players as they took the pitch for the first time since Hurricane Harvey swept through the city.
The action opened with a short warmup from both teams, followed by the Star-Spangled Banner and the reading of the Special Olympics Athlete Oath by Luke Davidson. The match kicked off just after 9:30 a.m., with the teams playing 7v7 for 40 minutes on the pitch at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Special Olympics Texas took an early lead with goals from Ivan Soto Jr. in the third minute and Matthew Weiser in the ninth minute. Rapids goalkeepers Michael Nakano and Luke Davidson split time in net, making strong saves to keep the Rapids within striking distance.
After a short halftime break, the Rapids came out energetic in the second half of the match changing their approach to a more attacking style of play. Unfortunately, after several chances to convert, they Rapids fell short. The Houston Dynamo would go on to score two more goals before the final whistle making the end result 4-0 to the home side.
After the match, Rapids first team players Michael Azira and Nana Boateng congratulated each athlete with a handshake and a medal. Following the awards ceremony, the Rapids Unified Team presented several donations to the Red Cross to aid in their reliefs efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
The Rapids Special Olympics Unified finished the season with a record of 1-2-0. Tryouts for the 2018 season will be announced in March.
Colorado Rapids Special Olympics team: Mackenzie Beauvais,nikl #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
Houston Dynamo Special Olympics team: Oscar Chapa, O’nelle Copeland, Zach Copeland , Hayden Dyson, Patrick Hernandez, Aaron Graham, Kail Graham Jaime Otero, Tyler Sims, Ivan Soto Jr., David Thibodeaux, Misha Van Devender, Matthew Weiser
Coaches: Jesse Baxter, Joe Dyson, Erica Mares, Jaime Otero