After five goals and four points this weekend, the Colorado Rapids U-23 team stay atop the Premier Development League Mountain Division with a 6-0-2 record. On Friday, the U-23s secured three points with a 4-1 win over Odgen City SC, followed by a draw at FC Tucson on Sunday.
Lucas De Paula Vasconcelos Fagotti opened his 2018 account and the scoring on Friday evening against Odgen City in the 22nd minute. Andre Bava Shinyashiki beat two Odgen defenders down the right sideline and slotted a pass to Fagotti, who buried the ball in the back of the net.
Inclement weather in the 28th minute forced a half-hour delay, but the visitors picked up momentum as they searched for an equalizer after both sides returned to the pitch.
In the 32nd minute, Odgen’s Jarom Farnsworth drilled a cross through the center of the box and Landen Carlson was able to get a touch on the ball and tabbed it home leveling the score despite the fact that he had multiple defenders surrounding him in the box.
However, it didn’t take long for the Rapids to regain the lead as Moshe Perez converted from a penalty in the 35th minute.
The Rapids extended their lead in the 54th minute when Colton Cavey added his first goal of the season from a free kick from just outside the box. John Haist also got in on the action as he tucked one away in the 80th minute.
Sunday, the Rapids traveled to enemy territory as they faced FC Tucson, who are ranked second in the Mountain Division standings. For the first time this season both teams entered the locker room scoreless at the half and it wasn’t until Griffin Dorsey found the back of the net for the Rapids in the 68th minute where the game finally opened up. Teammate Aaron Martinez got the ball on the left side of the box and threaded a pass to Dorsey on the top right of the 18. Dorsey then beat a Tucson defender and drilled a right-footed shot to give the Rapids the lead.
Just when it looked like the Rapids were bound to take three away points from Tucson, Damian Germain scored in the 78th minute to help the home side salvage a result with a 1-1 draw.
Tucson’s Daisuke Takanake slotted a low pass through the Rapids backline to Germain, who found an opening near the top of the six-yard box. Germain fired a shot to the left corner of the goal past Rapids goalkeeper Will Pulisic.
“The team gave another outstanding effort against FC Tucson," head coach Erik Bushey said. "This game presented new challenges and the boys responded with great thought and fortitude. The away point against our closest challengers is an important one. More importantly though, the individual and collective mentality to fight and remain true to our soccer continues to be impressive.”
The Colorado Rapids U-23s return to play Thursday, June 28 as they travel to St. Pius High School to take on Albuquerque Sol with kickoff set for 7:30 PM.