Colorado Rapids 2 fell short to Sporting KC II in a 0-2 loss on Sunday evening at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium. The Rapids recorded a season high of seven shots on target, but the team was unable to find the back of the net, ending its two game win streak.
"It is weird because sometimes you feel like you have done much better than you have, and like you did score the goals. Even though you think you did play a good game, when you don't score goals and you lose two to zero, you feel like you failed. My big ‘but’ is the fact that I thought we played really well,” said Brian Haynes, Rapids 2 assistant coach.
Sunday night was the second meeting between the two sides since the team’s home opener back in March. The game got off to a rumbling start with both teams having a look at goal in the first five minutes of the match. Rapids forward Darren Yapi found his first scoring opportunity in the fourth minute when he ripped a shot toward Kansas City’s goal, but the chance was stifled by the opposing keeper. Yapi led the team in both halves with scoring opportunities, ending the night with five shots, three of which were on target.
The duo of Dantouma “Yaya” Toure and Yapi continued the half with multiple dangerous opportunities, including a close call in the 31st minute that rolled off the hands of the Sporting keeper.
“I will never blame the field because both teams are playing on it, but some of the balls got away from these players,” said Haynes. “On the field where these guys know exactly what is going on, it could have been very dangerous. It could have ended up in goals, but it happens.”
In addition to a solid performance in the final third, the first half saw the Rapids backline shut down Kansas City’s attack, preventing the away side from putting up any shots on goal. Defender Blake Malone led a young Rapids backline who managed to keep its opponent at two shots on target the whole night.
"I think the first half was really strong for us,” said Blake Malone. “Even the second half, I thought we performed pretty well. A lot of what we have been doing in training is getting our different pieces to move in the right spots, so we were communicating pretty well in that first half and pushing players on to their correct spots. In the second half, the game really opened up and that is when we started to falter a little bit and the organization kind of started to take a little bit of a tumble.”
The first goal of the night came during the early minutes of the second half with Kansas City finding the back of the net off of a corner kick in the 52nd minute. Colorado managed to find a few more open spaces with Philip Mayaka, Connor Miller and Jack Sullivan all having dangerous looks at goal. The Rapids attack tasked the Sporting keeper to make five saves on the night, but ultimately the team was unsuccessful in finding the back of the net.
Kansas City put away its final goal in the 70th minute, ending the Rapids two game win streak with a shutout.
"Tonight was a tough one to swallow because we were on a bit of a win streak,” said Malone. “I think at the end of the day, we performed pretty well. We played pretty solid soccer and now our eyes are on Friday. Losses come with the game. It is part of the sport, so the only thing we can do is look past it and move forward."
The Rapids will continue their four game homestand on Friday, July 15, against Earthquakes II at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. MT. Purchase tickets for the next Rapids 2 match here.