Rapids II

Colorado Rapids 2 open 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season with a road match against St. Louis CITY2

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COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - For the first-time ever, Colorado Rapids 2 will kick off their MLS NEXT Pro season on the road as they face St. Louis CITY2 at CITYPARK on Sunday, March 17 (5:00 p.m. MT; Apple TV – MLS Season Pass). 

Rapids 2 enters Sunday’s match following a busy offseason that saw the team onboard seven new signings to their 2024 squad and appoint a permanent assistant coach to their staff. Erik Bushey’s team saw the addition of three MLS NEXT Pro veterans with the signings of goalkeeper Ethan Bandré, defender Hal Uderitz and forward Alec Díaz. The team also signed two international players with midfielders Ricardo Peña and Antony García joining the team from Costa Rican side F.C. Moravia. In addition, long-standing Rapids 2 player Steve Flores was given the opportunity to sign his first professional contract after spending two years as an amateur player for Colorado. After spending the year as the interim assistant coach in 2023, former Colorado Rapids First Team player Collen Warner was named the permanent assistant coach for Rapids 2 for the upcoming season. 

Former Rapids 2 forward Rémi Cabral and goalkeeper Adam Beaudry took the next step in their careers with Cabral signing a First Team contract with the club and Beaudry earning a Homegrown Player contract. After signing with the First Team, the French forward was loaned out to USL Championship side Phoenix Rising for the 2024 season. Meanwhile, Beaudry has solidified his spot as the number two keeper for the Rapids, having appeared on the bench in all three of the team’s matches so far this season. Starting midfielder Yosuke Hanya also saw a temporary departure from the club, having been loaned out to local USL Championship side Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. 

Rapids 2 ended 2023 as the number one overall seed in the league and the Western Conference with a 19-4-5 record. The team also led the league in goals and assists with 70 goals and 51 assists across their 28 matches. On top of the overall team accomplishments, many of the players collected individual accolades with Rémi Cabral, Yosuke Hanya and Oliver Larraz being named to the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro Best XI. Cabral also captured a share of the league’s Golden Boot award, having scored 19 goals during the season to tie two other MLS NEXT Pro players as the leader in goals during 2024. Returning midfielder Marlon Vargas also made his mark on the league, leading MLS NEXT Pro in assists with 10 in total last season. The team’s run all the way to the Western Conference Final earned head coach Bushey the league’s Coach of the Year award to round out a season that will go down in history for the Rapids. 

In 2023, Rapids 2 faced off against St. Louis CITY2 in two contests with the first match ending in a 0-0 draw and the second match earning Colorado three points on a 1-0 win. Forward Cabral was the lone goal scorer of the two matches. 

CITY2 heads into Sunday’s match in hopes of extending their 10-game unbeaten streak, a continuation from their regular season matches in 2023. Colorado currently holds the all-time unbeaten streak in MLS NEXT Pro, having gone 12 games unbeaten in 2023 in their first 12 contests of the season. While battling for game number 11 in the streak, St. Louis will also look to maintain their perfect 2-0-0 record in season openers. Meanwhile, Colorado will hope to change their current 1-0-1 season opener record into a winning record with a three point victory over the home side.