Colorado Rapids 2 lost to Tacoma Defiance for the second time this season in a 4-1 defeat at the Starfire Sports Complex. Philip Mayaka scored the lone Colorado goal of the night, earning him his first-ever professional goal.
"I would say the game was not the way we wanted,” said Rapids 2 midfielder Philip Mayaka. “We kind of started slow and that is when they got us. We didn't start the way we wanted. It was kind of a slow period the first 20 minutes. As the game went on, I think the boys got that energy and I am proud of them. They never gave up, they kept going. We didn't get the result we wanted but it is a positive playing a team like that because it is not easy on the field. We are just focusing on the next match now."
The chippy Saturday night match got off to a quick start as an attack first Tacoma Defiance found the back of the net three times in the first 30 minutes of the match. Tacoma captain Marlon Vargas earned himself a brace with goals in the 3rd and 28th minute, and Danny Levya added the team’s third in the 30th minute.
With the away side fighting to stay in the match, Rapids 2’s Yaya Toure found his first look on goal in the 35th minute on a delivery from Maclovio Swett but the Tacoma keeper was there to make the save. Colorado remained composed and continued to apply pressure to the home side’s defense, ending the half with three shots on goal and three corners earned.
The Rapids found their first opportunity to break open the game in the 54th minute when Philip Mayaka netted his first Rapids 2 goal of the season from 25 yards out. Daouda Amadou assisted on the goal, also logging his first offensive stat for Rapids 2 this season.
"It feels good, especially when the team is down 3-0,” said Mayaka. “We only wanted one goal to get us back in the game and I am happy that I am the one who scored the goal. It is good to score my first professional goal and I am looking forward to scoring many goals, especially in the position I play. I should be helping the team with scoring and creating those chances, like assists. I am very happy with the goal."
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Isaac Nehme was being tested on the defensive end of the pitch in his first-ever match on the pitch with Rapids 2. Nehme put up four saves in his debut, including crucial saves in the 66th and 86th minutes of the match against the Tacoma attack who put an additional five shots on goal in the second half. Seattle bagged its fourth and final goal of the night in the 77th minute ending the Rapids chances of a late second half comeback.
“As I talk about our opportunities to convert on a set piece, that is exactly what Tacoma does to put the game to bed,” said Rapids 2 head coach Erik Bushey. “Again, full credit to the boys. They worked hard for 90 plus, but that is exactly what is expected. We have to improve. We have to avoid causing ourselves so much grief and we have to keep working."
Colorado logged an additional four shots on goal in the last 45 minutes and earned another two set piece opportunities from the corner. Sebastian Anderson had notably good deliveries on the night, but it was not enough for the Rapids to secure their first three points on the road.
Rapids 2 will continue their road journey as they take on Timbers2 for the second time this season on Sunday, June 26. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. MT at Hillsboro Stadium.