The first match of the 2015 Desert Diamond Cup kicked off as Colorado Rapids took on Sporting Kansas City in Tucson and the Rapids looked significantly better in the first half en route to a 2-2 draw. The Rapids by far the better team in the first half but some poor defense, poor decisions, and better play from Sporting in the second half led to the draw.
As with many of the preseason matches, the Rapids would field different teams in each half. The first half starting XI (4-2-3-1):
GK: Zac MacMath
DEF: Wes Knight, Axel Solberg, Bobby Burling, Michael Harrington
MID: Lucas Pittinari, Marcelo Sarvas, Vicente Sanchez, Gabriel Torres, Carlos Alvarez
F: Dominique Badji
The Rapids opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a gorgeous goal from Torres with some great service from Pittinari. There seemed to be a major sigh of relief from Torres who had a difficult 2014 season. The Burgundy Boys were not done as Pittiinari took a mistake from the SKC defense and found Sánchez open who moved around the goalkeeper and found Badji open in the middle in the 17th minute. Overall this was the best 45 minutes that the Rapids had played in the preseason and it certainly gave some hope.
At the start of the second half, the following lineup:
GK: Zac MacMath
DEF: Francisco Flores, Shane O'Neill, Jared Watts, Marc Burch
MID: Sam Cronin, Ben Newnam, Dillon Powers, Dillon Serna, Oscar Montoya
F: Deshorn Brown
Sporting came out with a bit more fire and passion than the Rapids did looking to claw back into the match and dominated the first ten minutes of the second half. After that point the game settled down a bit and both teams worked the ball back and forth with no real pressure on either goal. Sporting began to truly assert themselves again midway through the second half and they were rewarded in the 77th minute as Sporting grabbed a penalty kick goal and then scored another two minutes later to level the match. In addition the Rapids played the final 14 minutes down a man as Flores picked up two yellow cards to get sent off.
The match finished in a 2-2 draw and this was the right result for as dominate as the Rapids were in the first half, Sporting were equally as dominate in the second.
The Rapids take the field again this Saturday against New England Revolution at 5:30 PM MT.