Rapids 2 continued their preseason build on Sunday morning with a scrimmage against local college side University of Denver Men’s Soccer. Forward Kevin Cabral gave the team its lone goal of the match off an assist from Homegrown product Sebastian Anderson.
The Rapids took field 22 at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park early on Sunday morning to face their second preseason rival in Colorado.
The team opted to field nine first team players in the first half, which included goalkeeper Abraham Rodriguez, defenders Sebastian Anderson, Anthony Markanich and Alex Gersbach, midfielders Oliver Larraz, Bryan Acosta and Braian Galván, and forwards Kevin Cabral and Calvin Harris. Alongside the first team players were Rapids 2 defender Daniel Chacón and midfielder Robinson Aguirre.
Rapids 2 started their offensive drive in the second minute with Galván feeding a through ball to Cabral who sent one into the back of the net but was called offside.
Galván was back at it again in the 20th minute after receiving the ball from Acosta off a corner. The Argentine international drove up the endline but his angle was too tight to make a clean finish, allowing the former Rapids 2 goalkeeper Isaac Nehme to make his first save of the match for the Pioneers.
In the 25th minute, the university squad went for broke trying to catch Rodriguez off his line on a long shot from 30 yards out. The Homegrown keeper was there to make the save on the last on target shot he would encounter in the first half.
The scoreline was finally broken in the 34th minute when Anderson made a fiery run up the right wing and crossed a ground ball into the box to Cabral who finished it on a one touch shot to the far post.
The Pioneers best opportunity came in the 41st minute when they earned a free kick outside of the box. Cole Bassett’s little brother Sam Bassett stood over the ball and sent it a shot barrelling into the crossbar, leaving Denver just short of the equalizer.
The half ended with Colorado up by one as they prepared for an extended match, which saw the teams play for 105 minutes.
As the teams rounded into the second extended half, Galván and Cabral were subbed off for forwards Marlon Vargas and Caique de Brito Cerqueira.
In the 50th minute, the Rapids saw their first serious look at goal when Harris connected with a through ball that was ultimately cleared by the Pioneers’ backline. Ten minutes later, Cerqueira took his first shot at goal, forcing the University of Denver keeper to make his first save of the half.
The substitutions continued with Daouda Amadou and Daniel Garcia stepping in for Acosta and Gersbach.
The Rapids dominated possession and pace throughout the half with the best opportunity coming in the 68th minute. Markanich found himself on the left wing with space and sent a high cross into the box to Harris who managed to get a head on the ball but it was collected by the keeper.
The final substitutions of the match, which came in the 75th minute, saw the team return to its usual form as they fielded the typical lineup for the Rapids 2 squad.
As the final 15 minutes approached, Rapids 2 voluntarily went down to 10 players with Larraz leaving the match. Immediately after Larraz exited the game, the Pioneers earned a corner kick that they converted into an equalizer with a numbers advantage in the box.
The 105 minute match ended in a 1-1 draw, earning Colorado its third draw of preseason.
The Rapids will take on USL League One side Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC in a preseason scrimmage on Saturday, March 11, at 6 p.m. MT.
To view the full 2023 preseason schedule, click here.