Rapids 2 (1-5-1, 5 pts) will travel to Minnesota for the second time this season to face off against MNUFC2 (3-2-3, 15 pts) on Sunday, May 29 at the National Sports Center Stadium. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. MT and the game will be broadcast on www.mlsnextpro.com.
“Well, we are excited to play as always,” said Rapids 2 head coach Erik Bushey. “We are excited to return to the scene of the crime. You know it was a very difficult game the last time we played Minnesota. We look forward to having another go at them. We look forward to the opportunity to compete. The boys are working very hard. We are, in a special way, enjoying our opportunity to play, our opportunity to train and prepare and the many benefits we have here and the chance to compete and just how fortunate we are to do that.”
Last week, Colorado competed in its first-ever doubleheader at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park. The late Sunday night match saw the Rapids 2 squad take on Tacoma Defiance and ultimately fall short in a 0-2 loss to the away side. The match was highlighted by a solid performance from the home team’s backline, only conceding a total of four shots. Rapids 2 defenders Sebastian Anderson, Blake Malone, Michael Edwards and Jackson Travis all did well to protect goalkeeper Abraham Rodriguez’s goal line while pushing the ball up the pitch to create multiple set piece opportunities.
“When we go back and watch the video of our defending, we feel good about the fact that we conceded very few efforts on goal or efforts even towards our goal. We can also say but 20 yards further up, 50 yards further up, we were not good enough. Yeah, we can recognize the progress in terms of chances given up but we also see a lot of room for improvement. More progress is what we are seeking this weekend. We need to be stubborn in the right ways. We need to be harder to break down. We cannot allow opponents to go through us that easily and right now they are having too easy of a time with that. So, we are trying to improve and I expect to see improvement this weekend against Minnesota.”
First team loan Anderson had a notably good game as evidenced by his clean services off of earned set pieces and control on both sides of the ball. The team’s offensive side recorded four corner kick opportunities and a handful of free kicks throughout Sunday night’s match, resulting in a total of eight shots, five of which were taken by forward Darren Yapi.
“I feel like we have the defending part right but I think the staff has been working with us to focus more on attacking,” said Rapids 2 defender Steve Flores. “I would say what we have been doing is stuff that will be able to help us score goals. I think we are a really good team on set pieces. I feel like we are just really dangerous on set pieces and I feel like that can win us games but we just need to get on the end of those good services by Seby (Sebastian Anderson). I feel like that could play a big role on switching the way the games have been going for us.”
Additional highlights from the doubleheader match included a Rapids 2 debut from Cameroonian international Daouda Amadou. Amadou recorded six minutes in his first-ever MLS NEXT Pro match and is expected to make many more appearances for the Rapids 2 squad over the course of the season. Rapids 2 forward Yaya Toure also snagged a “first” on the night, taking home his first Man of the Match award of the season for his performance on both sides of the pitch.
Hosting Colorado for the second time this season, MNUFC2 is coming off of its third consecutive draw. The team’s match versus Whitecaps FC 2 ended in a 2-2 draw with Minnesota ultimately taking home two points on a 3-1 shootout win. The team, who currently sits in the middle of the Western Conference standings, will play its first match in the National Sports Center Stadium this Sunday versus Rapids 2.
To view the full Rapids 2 schedule for the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro season, click here.