Colorado Rapids 2 defeated Real Monarchs in a 3-1 win on Sunday night at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium.
"It was a well-played game I think for our guys,” said Rapids 2 head coach Erik Bushey. “Happy to get the result. Happy to put some balls in the back of the net and really, I think it was a very controlled game for the most part from beginning until the end. That is what we are expecting coming in. For us, it was a good night of football."
The Rapids lined up on Sunday night with 11 first team starters as they prepared to take on their Rocky Mountain rivals for the first time this season. The first half of the match was marked by an impeccable defensive performance that saw the Colorado backline shut out the Monarchs from any chances on goal.
With 12 shots and six corner kick opportunities, the Rapids spent most of the first half in the attacking third, but were unable to convert the early chances into scoring opportunities. In the 45th minute of the match, Monarchs’ keeper Gavin Beavers took down Jack Price in the box, earning the home side a penalty kick. Rapids first team forward Gyasi Zardes stood over the penalty and converted the first goal of the night from the spot with ease.
The second half sprang into action with four substitutions with Jonathan Lewis, Sebastian Anderson, Diego Rubio and Collen Warner all entering the pitch. In the 54th minute, Michael Barrios received a leading ball and poked a pass through to Lewis who easily put the second goal of the night past the Monarchs’ keeper. Minutes later, Salt Lake City’s Axel Kei beat the Rapids backline to find the away side’s first goal in the 68th minute. However, the persistent work of the Rapids’ attack allowed the team to collect one more on the night when Max Alves found the feet of Rubio on a cross into the box for the third and final goal.
The night was highlighted by a dominant performance from the Rapids attack who put up 26 shots as compared to the Monarchs one shot. The home side was led by Jonathan Lewis who put up four shots of his own with one on target for the night. Another standout among the Colorado squad, Michael Barrios earned the night’s Man of the Match award for his assist and performance in the defensive half.
“It is good to see him producing in the final third,” said Bushey. “I will tell you what, his highlights if we watch are going to be not only what he gives in terms of us getting goals, but his work back in defense and his tenacity. A quality performance from Mikey (Michael Barrios)."
Rapids 2 will hit the road this week after their three game homestand to take on Tacoma Defiance for the second time this season. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. MT at the Starfire Sports Complex.