Rapids 2 wrapped up their preseason run with a scrimmage against Air Force Academy on Sunday afternoon. The 2-2 draw was marked by goals from first team players Calvin Harris and Jackson Travis in the team’s final preseason competition before their home opener on Sunday, March 26.
The Rapids got in the game early with their first shot on goal coming in just the third minute of the match thanks to the quick thinking of forward Caique de Brito. The offensive swiftness continued throughout the first ten minutes with Colorado dominating the attacking third.
In the 12th minute of the match, Marlon Vargas carried the ball up the left flank and found an easy through ball to Harris. The first team forward then made some moves to beat the Air Force defense to slot a low shot to the far post for the game opener.
The home team was eager to respond, making an attempt at goal in the 17th minute off a corner kick that was cleared by a header from Oliver Larraz. Centerback Blake Malone got into the mix moments later, clearing Air Force’s second attempt when the ball found its way back into the box.
The second goal for Colorado came in the 29th minute when Steve Flores sent a ball across the top of the box to fellow defender Travis. The Homegrown Player took one touch and sent the shot high to the near post past a diving Air Force goalkeeper for the team’s final goal of the match.
The half came to a close with a clutch defensive play from Michael Edwards in the 39th minute to maintain Colorado’s 2-0 lead.
As the teams rounded into the second half, Air Force Academy managed to find their footing and pick up the pace of the game.
In the 53rd minute, an Air Force midfielder weaved his way through the back line to find the far post, getting one back for the home side.
The Rapids struggled to maintain their first half pace throughout the second 45 minutes, putting the back four to the test of defending a high pressing Air Force attack.
First team goalkeeper Abraham Rodriguez felt the pressure of a surmounting equalizer and was asked to make a save off a free kick in the 80th minute and a save off his legs in the 88th minute.
In the final minutes of the match, Colorado’s defense was broken down and Air Force found the equalizer off of a chaotic chance in the box with the whistle blowing shortly after.
Colorado ended its preseason run with five draws and one win, giving them the momentum they needed heading into their first match of the MLS NEXT Pro regular season.
Rapids 2 will take on Sporting KC II on Sunday, March 26, at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park at 7 p.m. MT for their first official match of the season. Fans can purchase their home opener tickets here.