Colorado Rapids 2 Battle Back from a Two-Zero Deficit to Bring the Match Level in the 86th Minute

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 Colorado Rapids 2

Colorado Rapids 2 Battle Back from a Two-Zero Deficit to Bring the Match Level in the 86th Minute

June 29, 2024 - MLS NEXT Pro (MLS NEXT Pro)
Colorado Rapids 2 News Release


Colorado Rapids 2 (3-9-3, 13 pts) fought to a 3-2 result against LAFC2 on Friday night at Titan Stadium. A stoppage time penalty kick ultimately capped the night and ended Rapids 2's three-game unbeaten streak.

The home side came out strong in the first half, putting up a goal in 38th minute off a header from Javier Hernandez. The early minutes of the second half again fell in the host team's favor with the second goal coming off a header from Adrian Wibowo.

As the game was coming to a close, Rapids 2 found a much-needed surge of attacking prowess. Forward Facundo Núñez found captain Marlon Vargas on a run up the left flank, which Vargas crossed into the box to Noah Strellnauer. Strellnauer unselfishly gave up the opportunity to score, making a short pass to Núñez who finished the ball to pull one back for Rapids 2.

Just a minute later, midfielder Rogelio Garcia contributed his first professional assist to Vargas who gave the team its equalizer off a beauty finish in the box. The goal marked Vargas' seventh of the season, keeping him in the race for the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro Golden Boot award.

The game only remained level for a few more minutes as LAFC earned a penalty kick to seal the deal and keep all three points on the night.

Rapids 2 will play their third consecutive match on the road next week against Town FC at Saint Mary's Stadium on Friday, July 5. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m. MT.

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Notable:

M Marlon Vargas scored his seventh goal of the season in tonight's game against LAFC2. Vargas has contributed two goals and three assists in the team's last four matches. The midfielder is currently tied for the third-most goals scored in the league this season.

F Facundo Núñez scored his second goal of the season during tonight's match against LAFC2.

M Rogelio Garcia recorded his first professional assist during tonight's match against LAFC2.

F Noah Strellnauer recorded his fourth assist of the season, surpassing Núñez and Vargas for the most assists so far this season.

M Daouda Amadou recorded his 47th appearance for Rapids 2 during tonight's match against LAFC2, tying Yosuke Hanya for the second-most appearances in team history.

D Steve Flores recorded his 42nd appearance for Rapids 2 during tonight's match against LAFC2, tying Blake Malone for the third-most appearances in team history.

Postgame Media Availability:

Head Coach Erik Bushey

Rapids 2 Midfielder Rogelio Garcia

Select postgame quotes transcribed below.

COLORADO RAPIDS 2 HEAD COACH ERIK BUSHEY

On the match:

"Well, credit goes to LA for getting the three points. As proud as we are for coming back from a two-goal deficit, they had to endure that and earn a third. It was a tough game and I feel for the guys. I am proud of our players. We expect them to work 90-plus minutes, so it's nothing exceptional that they did and yet, it is exceptional what they did. Two-nil down and then scoring two lovely goals, really beautiful. For that moment you feel we are going to get a reward for our hard work, but the idea was to keep pressing, it was hard work, positive energy that got us back in the game and good football. So, it's not as though we stopped when it two-two, we thought the winner was there to be had. It's tough, it's tough to lose a game that way. People who didn't watch the game will just see a three-two result, people that check the standings will see another loss chalked up to our side, but the players are charged with the challenge of not seeing it the same way as everyone else will. They have to see the good in what they have done tonight and the 13 games we have remaining demands that."

On the impact of tonight's young substitutes:

"Yeah, that is the expectation and they have earned the right to have those things as expectations from them. They can come in and change a game. They have a lot of quality in addition to their hard work, but their hard work, speaking of consistency, it is there all the time. That is what they were charged with, they came in and delivered. Other guys picked up their game as a result of that. That type of attitude and mentality is contagious and that's what we were seeking. Proud of those guys and proud of all of the subs that came in tonight. It was another topic that we had stressed because in recent games, the players that are coming off the bench have really made a difference. That was no different tonight."

COLORADO RAPIDS 2 MIDFIELDER ROGELIO GARCIA

On the match:

"I think coming into the game, it was really positive. First half, we controlled a little bit but still went down two-zero. We had some good chances. Coming in as a sub, I was ready to go in and give it my all. Unfortunate result, three-two. I think we had a little bit more created chances in us. We can keep moving forward and come out and perform against these big teams. We came back in 10 minutes after going down two-zero. My energy when I came in was high and I just want to thank Erik [Bushey] for giving me the chance to come out and show again what I can do and what I am capable of. I would like to thank my teammates for trusting me with the ball and just giving it my all."

On the team's grit throughout the match:

"I think the grit that we have, in training Erik [Bushey] talks about it, to go out there and work for your team. He always says team first. I think we came out here and put team first but unfortunately, we got the result that we didn't want. The last 10 minutes, our team showed that we are a fighting team after going down two-zero and coming back to tie the game. At the end, we lost but we gave it our all and that grit shows that we are a fighting team and we are capable of performing with a high-level team."


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