The Colorado Rapids 2 took home their first two points of the MLS NEXT Pro season on Sunday evening as they bested visiting side Sporting KC II in a 1-1 match that ended in a victorious round of penalty kicks for the home side. The first win of the season was highlighted by a goal from Japanese midfielder Yosuke Hanya and two penalty kick saves by goalkeeper Abraham Rodriguez. 

“Today was a good day. Coming off a fairly long preseason, it was impossible to know what to expect and even I had said that to the boys yesterday. I said, ‘I have a lot of questions and I am excited to see how we will perform tomorrow and I am intrigued to see how we answer the questions’,” said head coach Erik Bushey. “I wanted to see them perform in the spotlight and show who they are so moving forward there is more certainty. I think the guys worked very hard, put their hearts on the table and I think they played good soccer as well. I think we were well-deserved of a victory.” 

The Rapids 2 squad kick started play in the first half of the match having an advantage in possession of 63% while recording five shots on target. However, it was a 61st minute goal from outside of the box from Rapids 2 forward Hanya that put Colorado on the board in the second half, marking Hanya’s first-ever professional goal and the first-ever MLS NEXT Pro goal for Rapids 2. 

The Rapids 2 team spent the remainder of the second half continuing to control possession in the attacking third until a visiting Sporting KC II returned fire in the 79th minute of the match. With the score level at the final whistle, the two sides headed into the second-ever penalty shootout in MLS NEXT Pro history. Rapids first team loan Abraham Rodriguez asserted his dominance between the sticks, stopping two of SKC’s penalty kicks to give the Rapids a 4-2 win. Defenders Sebastian Anderson and Anthony Markanich, midfielder Dillon Serna and forward Darren Yapi were among the Rapids 2 players to slot home the winning penalty kicks for the home side. 

“Coming out with two points today as a team was a good start for us. We have two weeks to get ready for the next game, so I want to take that as a positive and keep the momentum going. We learned a lot from this game and we have a lot of positivity moving forward from this game,” said Hanya. 

With Sunday’s win, Rapids 2 picked up their first two points of the season as they prepare to take on a robust schedule that will see the team play an additional 11 home games and 12 away games.