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Rapids 2 (4-7-1, 15 pts) will return home this week to take on Sporting KC II (5-6-2, 20 pts) on Sunday, July 10 at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. MT and the game will be broadcast on mlsnextpro.com

“We are looking forward to playing back at home. We had a few weeks on the road,” said Erik Bushey, Rapids 2 head coach. “Last time we saw Kansas City, it was here in our opening match. We felt good about winning that game in penalties, but also felt like perhaps we left something on the table.”

The Rapids are picking up steam as they head into the weekend coming off of two victories on the road. The first road win saw Colorado pick up three points in a 4-2 win over Timbers2. With the team down by two heading into stoppage time of the first half, Dantouma “Yaya” Toure was fouled in the box giving Max Alves the opportunity to convert on a penalty kick. The late first half goal gave the team momentum as they searched for the back of the net again in the 60th minute with Sebastian Anderson standing over a free kick. The final two goals of the night, which secured the Rapids their first road win of the year, were scored by Darren Yapi and Toure. 

The following week, the Rapids took on STL CITY2 who have proven to be top of the table contenders all season long. The match kicked off with a penalty kick in the 3rd minute of the match, giving the Rapids the early lead as Gustavo Vallecilla stood over the ball and converted from the spot. However, it was a 66th minute goal from Yosuke Hanya that sealed the deal, giving Colorado its second consecutive road win. 

First team loans Alves, Anderson and Vallecilla all picked up their first goals of the season during the team’s stint of away games. Meanwhile, Yapi picked up his fourth goal of the season, maintaining his position as leading goal scorer for Rapids 2, while Hanya and Toure both logged their third goals of the season. 

“It is no surprise and no shock to anybody that we were an underdog going into the St. Louis game,” said Bushey. “It is not that we are trying to create an underdog mentality because we have every right to win each game as we step on the field. The last couple games allow us to believe in that. Win, lose or draw this weekend, I think we are building our account in terms of our ability to play, our ability to understand that this is what we can do, that these are our strengths. No matter the opponent, we can earn the result. That will be the charge this weekend going into Kansas City.” 

Sunday’s match will see Colorado and Kansas City face off for the second time this season after drawing in their first meeting back in March. The home opener saw Yosuke Hanya score the first-ever Rapids 2 goal, giving the team the early lead in the 61st minute before conceding a goal in the 79th minute to the away side. With the teams tied at the end of regulation, both sides were forced to face their first MLS NEXT Pro shootout. The shootout ended in a 4-2 victory for the Rapids, securing them their first two points of the season. 

“I would say we are prepared because we are growing each and every day, each and every game,” said midfielder Philip Mayaka. “I feel like everybody is prepared. The defense is doing a good job. The midfielders are doing a good job and we are scoring goals now. I think we are more prepared now than the first time we met them.”

On the opposing end of the pitch, Sporting KC II is traveling to Denver on the heels of a 4-2 win over North Texas SC who is currently tied for a first place standing in the Western Conference. Kansas City currently sits just five points above the Rapids in the standings, making this weekend’s match a crucial win for both sides as they seek to climb the Western Conference table. 

To purchase tickets to this weekend’s match against Sporting KC II, click here.