Rapids II

Recap | Rapids 2 earn three points in home opener, Blake Malone scores stoppage time game winner

The Big Picture 

Colorado Rapids 2 (1-0-0, 3 pts) earned its first win of the season against Sporting KC II (0-1-0, 0 pts) after defeating the away side in a 2-1 victory. Yosuke Hanya recorded his first goal of the season in the 59th minute on a deflection off the post, which gave the team a much needed second half equalizer. In the dying minutes, defender Blake Malone found the back of the net to give Rapids 2 its game winning goal of the night. 


  • With tonight’s result, Rapids 2 remains unbeaten in home openers with a 1-0-1 record
  • M Yosuke Hanya and D Blake Malone both recorded their first goals of the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season in tonight's match versus Sporting KC II
  • D Blake Malone scored his first-ever goal for Rapids 2  in tonight's match versus Sporting KC II after spending the majority of the 2022 season with the club
  • GK Abraham Rodriguez made five saves on the night 
  • Rapids 2 outshot Kansas City 7-6 in tonight's home opener
  • Defender Aboubacar Keita; midfielders Oliver Larraz and Marlon Vargas; and forwards Calvin Harris and Caique de Brito all made their first appearance for Rapids 2 in tonight's game

Postgame Media Availability:

Select postgame quotes transcribed below.


On the match:

“I was very pleased. It took a long time last year to get to this point where we could enjoy our first win. We felt good coming into the game. We felt good about our preseason preparation. Not that all of the preparation was for this game, but it was certainly towards this game. It is always wonderful to play here in the stadium under the lights. It was a chilly, but beautiful evening and there was plenty of energy to go around for the players. We probably didn't give enough energy in the first half. There were a few good soccer moments, but it was not representative of who we are or who we want to be. We take set pieces with great pride here, so to concede a goal on that, we know we have room to improve. We will certainly take that message from tonight. The energy that was shown in the second half was more representative of who we want to be and with that came soccer. It wasn't just about us running and being passionate and trying to get forward, there was thought behind our soccer. I thought we showed elements of composure, but we kept going. When Kansas City tried to throw it back at us a little bit and thought we might go back on our heels, we went right back forward and kept the pressure on. We were able to do that for the whole of the second half, which was very pleasing to see. The mentality was excellent. We asked the players prior to the game to represent the club. The expectations were that we had to perform in a way that everybody that is involved in our club could be proud. Where the first half we fell short, in the second half I think we exceeded expectations. We watched the first team last night where we deserved three points in that game, I thought. It was a great character shown by the first team in coming back. I think that actually helped give us some momentum tonight. You don't always get rewarded due to your soccer or due to your hard work, and tonight we did. We don't want to lose sight of that. We are grateful for that. 

On Yosuke Hanya and Blake Malone's goals:

“Yosuke's goal got us back in the game and then Blake Malone, what are you going to say. He played a wonderful match coming in off the bench and being strong in the back and doing his job. Perhaps he is not the one we are going to draw it up to get to in the end, but he buried it and I am so happy for him. I am really pleased for the guys and hopefully, this is something to build from. We want to enjoy the evening. It is a long season, but it is a good way to start." 

On the team's commitment tonight:

"This is why we play. Those moments and they are too few and far between. Guys recognize when they put forth an exceptional amount of work. As I was saying, you don't always get rewarded for it. Tonight, we did. I missed the celebration because I was thinking about if we could make another move and we were limited in time and how can we effect the game. The question itself makes me reflect back and be happy for the players. They have put in eight weeks of hard work and they followed that by putting in 90 minutes of very hard work. We respect our opponent. Kansas City gave us the early challenge and we had to respond. The guys feel that. Again, this is why we play. You put the work in and you get the reward and they should enjoy it. Every time you see a couple players embrace or the group gets together, this is what we need. This team in particular is about moving players forward and continuing to progress and help players achieve their goals. When a guy comes in from the first team, we want to help him get back up to the first team and to not be seen again here. If he does, then we have to keep up the work and then for the next player to get up who is seeking to take their spot. It is always somebody moving forward. It is not created to make this perfect team, which is why I talk about representing the club. When you see these moments where guys come together, not only representing the club, but being a team, that is going to be very positive." 


On the match:

“It was a pretty exciting one. The team fought hard coming back from the 1-0 start. It is always tough giving up a goal so early. The boys really banded together, and we ended up playing some really good soccer and we fought back and got to that 2-1 result. It was great." 

On what scoring his first goal for the Rapids means to him:

“As of late, it is probably my favorite goal so far. Home opener, it is great to be back in the stadium after such a long offseason and such a long preseason. Just the way the boys fought and grinded through those 90 plus minutes was fantastic. It was great to finally put my name on the scoring sheet and get that goal in there and it was wonderful celebrating with the boys." 

On how the goal unfolded: 

"Oli (Oliver Larraz) was on the ball, a cross from deep. Initially, I thought my header across the box was going to get Mikey (Michael Edwards) a goal. Lucky enough, it popped out and I said 'leave it' as loud as I could and just put my foot through it. Thankfully, it went in. It worked out." 

On representing the badge: 

"From the chain on down, from our first team all the way down to our team and everyone who goes in behind the scenes, I feel like we are all really connected and a family. I think that is what makes those moments like tonight so special. After working hard and grinding for the 90 plus, when you finally see that ball go into the back of the net, everyone just has almost like a sigh of relief but also a breath of energy. We all just banded together because we really are like a family out there. On the field and off the field, everything we do is very cohesive and together. We are really one true club and it's great to be a part of."