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Desert Diamond Cup 2017 Game 1: Colorado Rapids 1, Sporting Kansas City 1

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Dillon Powers scored the Rapids’ only goal on a penalty kick in the 90th minute.

Zac MacMath surveys his options before kicking the ball.
Abbie Mood

In their first preseason match in Tucson, the Colorado Rapids tied Sporting Kansas City 1-1. The Rapids looked a little frantic for the the first 10-ish minutes, but seemed to settle down and work together. Of course, there were moments here and there that reminded us it was preseason, but for the most part, I thought the first squad did a solid job.

In the first half, Homegrown signing Kortne Ford stood out, holding his own against SKC’s veteran striker Dom Dwyer. Zac MacMath had a solid save, stretching and hitting the ball wide with his hand. Kevin Doyle got a couple shots off, but beyond that, there wasn’t a ton of pressure on Tim Melia. Bismark “Nana” Adjei-Boateng seemed to be pretty fit. I’ll be curious to see if he has the same learning curve that many other players experience when they move from Europe to MLS, but he seems to be fitting in well. He did get a yellow card for persistent infringement in the 40th minute, though, so perhaps he will have to adjust his more aggressive style of play.

Like the other preseason matches in Los Angeles, the Colorado Rapids put out a completely different line-up in the second half.

Charlotte Independence Goalkeeper Cody Mizell is listed as a trialist for the team, going in for MacMath, but the second half squad was mostly familiar names. Unfortunately, they had some trouble getting it together. About 10 minutes in, the Rapids did not fully clear a corner, and Tyler Pasher (a new signing for the team) dribbled down the left side. He sent in a cross to Amer Didic, who got his head on the ball and floated it over Mizell.

The Rapids continued the attack, especially with Caleb Calvert. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about Calvert these days. He is a hustler, he goes for it 100%, and the kid is going to score some goals, but I feel like he can be too aggressive. Today, for example, he unnecessarily rolled Kevin Ellis, but it was because he was going all out for the ball. He’s gotten yellow cards in the past after only being in the game for a few minutes. What are your thoughts on Calvert? Do you like his intensity or could he benefit from a little more discipline?

Just as the game was winding down, the Rapids had their first Video Assisted Referee experience. It went in the Rapids favor, and the team was awarded a penalty kick for an earlier handball (the ref had to wait until there was a stoppage point to review the possible penalty). Dillon Powers easily nailed the PK, leveling the match for a final score of 1-1.

If you missed the match, you can watch it here, and check out my photos below.

The Colorado Rapids are currently 0-0-1 (WLT) in the Desert Diamond Cup tournament.

INJURY NOTES:

Jaime Siaj came out of the game, and it sounds like he may have a high ankle sprain.

Dillon Serna, Tim Howard, and Shkëlzen Gashi did not dress for the match. Daniel Boniface with the Denver Post reported that Gashi has been dealing with some inflammation in his Achilles, which was an issue last year as well.

Pablo + Nana going over a few things before the match.
Abbie Mood
Kort Ford held his own against Dom Dwyer today.
Abbie Mood
SKC Coach Peter Vermes had many a discussion with the AR about fouls on Dom Dwyer. Vermes subbed out the forward in the first half.
Abbie Mood
Liam Callahan stepping to SKC’s Graham Zusi.
Abbie Mood
SKC had several set pieces in the first half (sorry the photo is a little dark on this one).
Abbie Mood
Pablo was pretty quiet for the first half, but got a little more vocal in the second.
Abbie Mood
Jared Watts and Axel Sjoberg holding down the back line in the second half.
Abbie Mood
Tim Howard didn’t dress for the match, but joined the Burgundy Boys on the bench.
Abbie Mood