Rapids 2 (6-10-6, 28 pts) will take the field one last time at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium on Sunday, September 11, to face off against Houston Dynamo 2 (13-3-5, 46 pts) for the third time this season. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. MT and the game will be broadcast on mlsnextpro.com.
“I feel like the second game ended with some tension, so this game will be a fun game to watch and a fun game to play,” said defender Steve Flores. “We just have to be ready. Last game wasn’t the best game, so all we have to do is be better, watch video from that match and just be better on the ball so we can have a good result this weekend.”
After going six games unbeaten, Rapids 2 took a tough 5-0 loss last week to Sporting KC II in the team’s home venue at Mercy Victory Field. Goalkeeper Abraham Rodriguez was tasked with defending Kansas City’s 10 shots on goal and ended the match with a game-high of six saves. Despite suffering an injury in the 39th minute of the match, defender Omar Gomez led the team’s offensive efforts with two shots while Academy product Jack Sullivan and defender Robinson Aguirre both added one shot on target for the night.
“We have to defend better than we did during the last game,” said Erik Bushey, Rapids 2 head coach. “In a very short week, we have to right some wrongs. There are challenges about. We know we have to be at or near our best to compete well with them (Dynamo 2). As has been the case many times, the first hurdle comes back to us, how we approach the game, what our mentality is, if we are organized, if we are playing together and how we prepare to out work our opponent.”
Sunday evening’s match will mark the third meeting between Colorado and Houston. During the teams’ first matchup, Rapids 2 put up a strong defensive performance only allowing Dynamo’s offense to record two goals on the night for a 2-0 win. The second match was marked by a strong offensive performance from the Colorado side who ended the match in a 1-1 draw thanks to a goal from midfielder Robinson Aguirre. Ultimately, the team stole the extra point in a 5-4 shootout victory and left the Houston side with more to be desired.
With only two matches left in their season, Rapids 2 will look to collect six points to round out their inaugural season in MLS NEXT Pro. The team has made massive strides in the second half of their season with staple players like Yosuke Hanya, Blake Malone, Daouda Amadou and Rodriguez leading the charge from both ends of the pitch. However, with multiple team injuries the door has opened wide for young players like Maclovio Swett, Steve Flores and Daniel Garcia to record some valuable minutes and make their mark at the professional level.
“We had such a trying opening to the season and in the first third of the season. All of the work we have done in the last few months, it could be lost on some people if we don’t finish out strong. Goal number one is that. Set a new streak, set a new positive trend and end the season on the most positive note possible and it starts with our game against Houston,” said Bushey.
To purchase tickets to this weekend’s Rapids 2 versus Dynamo 2 match at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium, click here.