COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - Colorado Rapids 2 will take the field for the first time this season at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park on Sunday, March 26, to face off against Sporting KC II. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. MT and the game will be broadcast through the MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.
The 2023 home opener comes exactly a year after the team’s inaugural MLS NEXT Pro match versus Sporting KC II on March 27, 2022. The two sides battled it out for 90 minutes, ending the match in a 1-1 draw in regular time. Per league rules, the teams encountered their first-ever MLS NEXT Pro shootout at the end of regulation, a rule established in the inaugural season that gave teams the opportunity to win an extra point on a shootout victory at the end of a draw. Ultimately, Rapids 2 took home two points on the night after beating Kansas City in a 4-2 shootout victory that saw first team goalkeeper Abrahram Rodriguez make two saves.
Rapids 2 ended its inaugural season with a 7-11-6 record, falling just short of a spot in the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro playoffs. They enter Sunday’s match following a busy offseason season that saw several new additions to their roster, including defenders Logan Batiste (Inter Miami II) and Daniel Chacón (C.S. Cartaginés); midfielders Rémi Cabral (LA Galaxy II) and Marlon Vargas (Tacoma Defiance); and forwards Caique de Brito (Canaã) and Pariss Mitchell (Vaughan SC).
Colorado rounds into its first match looking to build on its inaugural season success. Rapids 2 Player of the Year Yosuke Hanya will return to the pitch in 2023 after putting up four goals and three assists in the team’s first season. The fans will also see playmaker Daouda Amadou take the stage in the midfield after a season that saw him record three assists, tying with Hanya for most on the team. Former amateur midfielder Robinson Aguirre will step into a larger role this season, having signed a full professional contract with Rapids 2 in the offseason. In addition, the club will see the return of Dillon Serna after a season-ending injury to his left tibia.
In the 2022 season, the Rapids faced Sporting KC II three times, recording one draw and two losses. In the absence of Kansas City’s top goalscorer Rauf Salifu, forward Bakary Bagayoko will have to step into the spotlight for the visitors in their upcoming match in Commerce City. Meanwhile, the Rapids will look to turn the tide heading into 2023 and open the season with three points against their home opener rival.
To purchase tickets to the Rapids 2 home opener at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park, visit www.coloradorapids.com/rapids2/schedule.