Rapids 2 (1-4-1, 5 pts) will take on Tacoma Defiance (3-2-3, 14 pts) in the first-ever Rapids doubleheader match on Sunday, May 22 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Rapids 2 kickoff is set for 9 p.m. MT and will be broadcast on www.mlsnextpro.com while the Rapids first team will kickoff at 6 p.m. MT.
“Well, the first-ever doubleheader is exciting enough itself,” said Rapids 2 head coach Erik Bushey. “The stadium does bring additional energy. You know, playing a late kickoff under the lights, the lights always bring energy. University of Denver is certainly our home and we are happy to be playing there, but there is something different about playing in our venue. We know that there are still going to be people around to watch. We know that the first team is here and will be represented in our match. Eyes will be on us. It’s all just positive, so there are a lot of good things that come from playing here at the stadium.”
Colorado is coming off of a tough loss to Earthquakes II after falling 7-1 on the road last weekend. Rapids 2 forward Yaya Toure netted the lone Colorado goal of the night after collecting a loose ball in the attacking third and working his way around the San Jose keeper in the 46th minute. Toure’s goal marked his second of the season, tying him with Yosuke Hanya for the most goals scored this season with two goals apiece. The match was also highlighted by Rapids 2 defender Blake Malone’s first start of the season after training with the team for only a week and a half. The team will now look ahead to collecting its second home win of the season after a focused week of training in Denver.
“It was probably the day of the game, everybody had a little bit of self pity going around. We just got beat pretty bad. It hurts, but I mean something like that you just can’t dwindle on. You have to give it that night, reflect on your performance, look back at the game and then the next day you gotta move on and look forward. We have a week of training ahead of us. We have a big game this weekend so we can’t dwell on it. We gotta move forward,” said Rapids 2 defender Jackson Travis.
Fresh off the plane from Cameroon, Daouda Amadou joined the Rapids squad this week to tackle his first bit of training with the team. Amadou, who is on loan with Rapids 2 from Czech side MFK Vyskov, will be available for this weekend’s match versus Tacoma Defiance and is expected to log a few minutes on the pitch.
“You know Daouda has come in and straight away and brings in, in his own style, experience with him,” said Bushey. “He does bring some bite that goes along with that and up with that goes the level of competition in training and this has been a big emphasis this week and really each day moving forward. So, it’s about how we can create even greater levels of competition within our training environment. So, I am happy to report that the new guys coming in are allowing us to raise our standards in training and to increase our levels of competition. So, it has been very positive.”
Tacoma Defiance is coming off of their second shutout win to Real Salt Lake after securing a 2-0 victory last week at the Starfire Sports Complex. Currently sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference, the Seattle-based team will pose an offensive threat to the Rapids as Tacoma has recorded 18 goals this season, making them the leader in goals within the conference and second overall within the league. Tacoma is also the home to the top goal-scorer in the league Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, who has bagged six goals during the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro season.
To purchase tickets to this weekend’s doubleheader at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, click here. A first team Rapids ticket will allow fans to also attend the Rapids 2 match kicking off at 9 p.m. MT.