The Big Picture
Colorado Rapids 2 (16-4-5, 57 pts) defeated North Texas SC (7-11-9, 30 pts) in a 3-2 win at Choctaw Stadium on Sunday night. The win over North Texas allowed Rapids 2 to clinch a Frontier Division Title and a guaranteed home match in the upcoming 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs. Tonight's match was won in stoppage time of the second half when Rémi Cabral found the third and final goal off an assist from Marlon Vargas in the 92nd minute. The additional goals on the night were scored by midfielder Yosuke Hanya and first team forward Darren Yapi. Cabral and Hanya now lead the team with 13 goals apiece and sit in third place in the league for goals scored so far this season.
- Rapids 2 defeated North Texas SC in a 3-2 result at Choctaw Stadium on Sunday night. With tonight's win, Rapids 2 has officially clinched the Frontier Division Title and a guaranteed home match during the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs.
- Midfielder Yosuke Hanya scored his 13th goal of the season in tonight's match against North Texas SC.
- First team forward Darren Yapi scored his third goal of the season for Rapids 2 in tonight's match against North Texas SC.
- Forward Rémi Cabral gave Rapids 2 its game winning goal in stoppage time of tonight's match against North Texas SC. His season total now stands at 13 goals.
- Hanya and Cabral are now tied for the lead in team goals and sit in third place in the league for goals scored this season.
- Midfielder Marlon Vargas added his eighth assist of the season in tonight's match against North Texas SC. He is now tied with Oliver Larraz for the lead in team assists and the lead in overall league assists.
- Goalkeeper Lars Helleren made his first-ever start for Rapids 2 in tonight's match against North Texas SC.
Postgame Media Availability:
Head Coach Erik Bushey
Rapids 2 Midfielder Yosuke Hanya
Select postgame quotes transcribed below.
COLORADO RAPIDS 2 HEAD COACH ERIK BUSHEY
On the match:
“A wonderful win and a very hard game. We made it a little bit harder on ourselves from the beginning. We are certainly happy to score three goals, but we are not happy to put ourselves in situations where we have to chase the game. I think the goal to go 1-1 was an important one even though we went 2-1 down. The goal to go 1-1 was important. A 2-0 defeat, an early goal conceded, a bad goal at that. That was a wonderful play by Yosuke (Hanya), dribbling, finishing, lovely. The guys were pissed at halftime going 2-1 down. The guys were emotional. Their ability to control their emotions throughout the second half to me is the reason we won. Guys were able to put the focus back on soccer and when they do that, they have the ability to beat anybody in our league. At least tonight they proved if they can control their emotions, they can win. A wonderful victory."
On the mentality of the team to find two equalizers and a stoppage time goal:
“Well, games are hard. We learn that every week. We learned that in a rough way last week against Portland. This game meant a lot to North Texas. They were hurting after the game. That is what makes the victory special. Both teams giving it all that they have in the name of winning. Early in the season or late in the season, it is what is expected. It's still special to see and we are still proud of the guys when they show that work, that fight and that character. It's wonderful, but it is what is expected. There is the answer. It is wonderful and yet, it is expected. If we put ourselves in that situation again, I would expect us to respond again."
On clinching a Frontier Division Title and a home match for the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs:
"That's important. It is a long season. We have been busy. This is a long trip. We have been here since Thursday, and we don't go home until tomorrow. The chance to be at home is important. That is probably the best news after this win. The division title is nice. As I would say throughout the season, if it brings positive attention to our team and to our club, then I am excited by it. Competitively, we are nowhere near achieving the goals that we have set for ourselves. We have to keep working no matter what. I am pleased if it gives positive attention to the guys because they have earned it."
COLORADO RAPIDS 2 MIDFIELDER YOSUKE HANYA
On the match:
“It was a great team win, a great team effort. The first half, it wasn't what we wanted to see in terms of the quality of the soccer from our players. Second half we came back even stronger. That was a great comeback."
On coming back from a 2-1 scoreline at halftime:
“Like I said, the first half was pretty tough. Everybody was not really focusing on our play. In the second half, we knew we could come back. Once we got our second goal, (Darren) Yapi scored, the energy level went up. I knew that once we scored that second one that the third was coming. That was in stoppage time, and it was great to see."
On staying consistent through the final part of the season:
"The last three games of the regular season are going to be really important for us to secure first place and also to keep improving ourselves in terms of how we want to play in the playoffs. We don't want to waste any of those games. We always take it one game at a time. Our focus is on the next game."