The Big Picture
Colorado Rapids 2 (12-1-5, 45 pts) came back from a three-goal deficit tonight against Austin FC II (10-4-5, 37 pts) to face their fifth MLS NEXT Pro shootout of the year. Midfielder Marlon Vargas opened the second half comeback with a penalty kick, which was shortly followed by a goal from Oliver Larraz. The third and final goal of the night came off an own goal from Austin FC II on a Rapids 2 corner kick attempt, sending both sides into a shootout. After six rounds in the shootout, goalkeeper Adam Beaudry made a massive save to give Rapids 2 the extra point on the night in a 6-5 shootout victory.
- Rapids 2 faced its fifth MLS NEXT Pro shootout of the year after coming back from a three-goal deficit against Austin FC II. The Rapids took home the extra point on a 6-5 shootout victory.
- Midfielder Marlon Vargas added his fourth goal of the season in tonight's match against Austin FC II.
- Midfielder Oliver Larraz scored his seventh goal of the season in tonight's game versus Austin FC II.
- Midfielder Yosuke Hanya added his fifth assist of the season on Larraz's second half goal in the match against Austin FC II.
- Goalkeeper Adam Beaudry made a massive save in the MLS NEXT Pro shootout to give the Rapids the extra point on the night.
Postgame Media Availability:
- Head Coach Erik Bushey
- Rapids 2 Midfielder Oliver Larraz
Select postgame quotes transcribed below.
COLORADO RAPIDS 2 HEAD COACH ERIK BUSHEY
On the match:
“A lot of energy spent today, players and staff alike. The players, the team, the staff, should play a role in that also. I don't think we were at the level that our team is capable of in the first half and that put us behind the eight ball a bit. I think in the second half, the players perhaps gave more than they thought they were capable of. In the end, it balanced out. It was an incredible performance for 45 minutes and the penalties. It is something that a lot of players won't soon forget, nor should they because every comeback is different. Obviously, we have had a few. That was not only an incredible comeback, but we should have won. The great thing is I think the guys know that, but the guys also know that what they did was special. They deserve a lot of credit for not only their work, that was what was at the foundation of our second half performance, but their soccer. It was excellent."
On the mistakes made in the first half:
“We defended poorly. On an individual level, we didn't take enough responsibility. That includes setting players up, that includes being patient, that includes being more physical, more tracking. If they squeeze their man and they play and move, that includes not keeping priorities in terms of how we protect the depth, even in a small space. We didn't follow our own principles, which we have in basically every game this year. When you do that, bad things happen. One player, two players, we have a team that can make up for a mistake here and there. It is not about playing mistake free football. Those things are within our control and thankfully, the players recognize that and changed it going into half two."
On the comeback from a three-goal deficit:
"I think it is one of those things that if it bears fruit moving forward in the next match and the matches to come at the end of the year. Our desire is to see us build experiences and today was an incredible experience. For me, the two points gained might be more valuable than any three points that we have gained in the entire season. Hopefully, it is not just an emotional high that isn't remembered as we go into Kansas City next week or the next time that we are down in a match later this season. Yeah, Austin is a tough team to score goals on. Once again, the players deserve credit for being able to do that."
COLORADO RAPIDS 2 MIDFIELDER OLIVER LARRAZ
On the match:
“It was a bit of a crazy game. We just weren't ourselves in the first half. I think we had some good character on the team to bounce back and really push the envelope. We were happy to get back and win the shootout."
On the first half performance:
“I think it started with just a bit of confusion and that led to us chasing. When you chase, you're blown and everybody's tired and you get lazy mentally and physically. You can't do that against a team as good as Austin. I think that is mostly where our problems came from."
On coming back from a three-goal deficit:
"I think early on it was just a mentally of, 'We want to be good'. From then, we have learned how to deal with that situation. I think it is a good experience and something that maybe not quite as many good teams have dealt with in this league. We have been there before and I think that gives us a bit of comfortability in those situations, which leads to good play."
On the team's shootout win:
"I think everybody did well. They picked their spot and they hit it. Connor (Miller) had a great penalty kick towards the end, and we knew Adam (Beaudry) was going to eventually get one. He always does. I am glad for him and glad for the team that we got the extra point."