The Colorado Rapids U-23s scored eight goals over the course of three games last week to secure six valuable points.
On Tuesday, July 3 the Rapids squared off with Colorado Pride Switchbacks U-23 at Weidner Stadium. John Haist opened the scoring in the 22nd minute after heading home a corner kick from Noah Bushey. The Switchbacks quickly evened the score three minutes later, as Jorge Deleon ripped a right-footed shot to the far post.
The home side took the lead in the 36th minute when Kosisochukwu Nwafornso slotted home a left-footed shot.
Bushey bagged his first goal of the season in the 36th minute from a free kick on the right side of the 18-yard-box. The University of New Mexico midfielder sent a left-footed swinger that leveled the score 2-2.
Haist found the back of the net in the 65th minute to give the Rapids the edge. The Colorado School of Mines striker volleyed a superb right-footed shot inside the box making the score 3-2. Haist tucked away his third of the night in stoppage time, heading home a corner kick from Cole Bassett, making the fulltime score 4-3 to the Rapids.
On Saturday night, the Rapids U-23s returned to DICK’S Sporting Good Park and faced off against Ogden City SC. The game finally got underway after a two-plus hour delay due to inclement weather.
Griffin Dorsey opened the scoring in the 15th-minute as he converted from the penalty spot. He would deliver the helper to Aaron Martinez just 16 minutes later. Martinez rounded out his brace in stoppage time to give the U-23's a 3-0 win over Odgen City and Connor Gavigan kept Odgen off the scoresheet as he notched 10 saves between the pipes.
On Sunday, the Rapids U-23s dropped a 3-2 contest to Colorado Pride Switchbacks U-23s at Colorado College.
Andre Bava Shinyashiki opened the scoring in the 4th minute as Ryan Wilson delivered him a long ball that Shinyashiki slotted past Switchbacks goalkeeper Kieran Harrison. Nwafornso tucked one away in the 18th minute as he sent a left-footed rocket outside the box. His teammate, Courtney-Junior Mitchell-Smith added to the scoresheet right before halftime with a bicycle kick inside the 18-yard-box making it 2-1 to the Switchbacks.
Griffin Dorsey leveled the score in the 59th minute, after following up a deflected shot by Shinyashiki. As time was winding down, it started to get physical with both teams desperate to find a winner. Then, in stoppage time, the Switchbacks took the lead as Nwafornso found the back of the net off a cross from Mitchell-Smith giving the home side three points.
Despite picking up the loss on Sunday, the Rapids U-23's are still top of the Mountain Division with 27 points and third overall in the Western Conference. Wednesday’s game against FC Tucson at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park (5:30 PM kickoff) will be crucial for the Rapids as Tucson is sits nine points back with three matches to play.