After conceding early in the first half, the Colorado Rapids scored three unanswered goals to dispatch the USL Championship’s Miami FC in their penultimate preseason friendly of 2023 on Wednesday afternoon in Orlando.
Kévin Cabral brought Colorado level before the half-time whistle, and the Burgundy Boys added goals from Anthony Markanich and Diego Rubio before full-time. Rubio’s goal marked the fourth time that the Chilean striker found the back of the net during the club’s five preseason scrimmages.
Starting Lineup: Abraham Rodriguez, Andreas Maxsø, Moise Bombito, Sebastian Anderson, Alex Gersbach, Max, Bryan Acosta, Ralph Priso, Kévin Cabral, Braian Galván, Darren Yapi.
Like the Rapids’ preceding preseason friendlies, this scrimmage was held behind closed doors without any livestream or video feed. According to at least one MLS club, the league’s new television deal with Apple prohibited clubs from broadcasting the games.
New signings Andreas Maxsø and Alex Gersbach each made their friendly debuts for Colorado during the game. Gersbach arrived in Orlando earlier this week shortly after receiving his P-1 visa.
Ben Mines, who played with the Colorado Springs Switchbacks on loan last season, opened the scoring eight minutes into the match. The Rapids were quick to respond when Cabral combined with Max and Priso to equalize in the 20th minute, and the score remained even throughout the rest of the first half.
Robin Fraser brought on Calvin Harris, William Yarborugh, and Markanich at the half-time break, but the Rapids didn’t add to their tally until the manager brought in another batch of reinforcements.
The club finally got cooking following another line change in the 60th minute, which saw Keegan Rosenberry, Danny Wilson, Lalas Abubakar, Michael Barrios, Connor Ronan, Cole Bassett, Sam Nicholson, and Rubio join the fray.
Rubio gave the Rapids the lead in the 78th minute thanks to an assist from Nicholson, and Markanich was able to follow up the strike three minutes later with a goal of his own.
Diego Rubio has scored in four of the Colorado Rapids' five preseason friendlies this year. He tied Conor Casey's single-season club goalscoring record last year by finding the net 16 times, and seems hungry for more this season.— Joseph Samelson (@jspsam) February 15, 2023
The Rapids will close out their preseason fixtures on February 18 against the Philadelphia Union before traveling to Washington state to open the season against the Seattle Sounders on February 26.
8’ – MIA – Ben Mines
20’ – COL – Kevin Cabral (Max, Ralph Priso)
78’ – COL – Diego Rubio (Sam Nicholson)
81’ – COL – Anthony Markanich
Another preseason dub ✅— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) February 15, 2023
Two second-half goals from @DiegoRubio_ and @amarkanich33 secured the 3-1 win over Miami FC!#Rapids96 pic.twitter.com/QrL0IM03JU
Rapids 2 Opens Preseason with Scoreless Draw
While the senior team lined up against Miami FC in Orlando, Colorado Rapids 2 opened their slate of six preseason scrimmages with a scoreless draw against New England Revolution II at the famous IMG Academy in Bradenton.
Starting Lineup: Trialist 1, Jackson Travis, Steve Flores, Daniel Chacón, Trialist 2, Oliver Larraz, Robinson Aguirre, Trialist 3, Marlon Vargas, Keith Chavarria, Yosuke Hanya.
In addition to Rapids 2 mainstays like Robinson Aguirre and Yosuke Hanya, R2’s starting lineup featured two first team players on loan in Jackson Travis and Oliver Larraz. Costa Rican International Daniel Chacón and new signing Marlon Vargas also made their R2 friendly debuts alongside three unnamed trialists, one of whom started in goal.
R2 manager Erik Bushey made many changes at half-time, and gave minutes to Joshua Hardin, Blake Malone, Daniel Garcia, Connor Miller, Cain Castellon, Jack Sullivan, and newly-added amateur player Pariss Mitchell. 2022 MLS Next All-Star Keith Chavarria and a fourth anonymous trialist also saw the field for the final 20 minutes of the scrimmage.
“I thought we were pretty good today,” Malone said. “We can definitely work on our pressure up top with our front three—that broke down a few times.”
Like the Rapids’ first team warm-up friendlies, R2’s game was held behind closed doors and wasn’t available for viewing.
Rapids 2’s preseason scrimmages at IMG will resume on February 18 against CF Montréal. Upon returning to Colorado, the group will play four games in the Front Range against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, the University of Denver, Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC, and the Air Force Academy.
Rapids 2's opening preseason match against Revolution II ended in a scoreless draw. A group of four unnamed trialists participated in the match (three pictured below). pic.twitter.com/Fmjw00Lnf0— Joseph Samelson (@jspsam) February 15, 2023