Colorado Rapids 2 admirably lined up against superior opposition by battling to a 1-1 draw in a friendly against MLS’s CF Montréal at the famous IMG Academy on Saturday.
Starting Lineup: Trialist 1, Jackson Travis, Gustavo Vallecilla, Daniel Chacón, Trialist 2, Robinson Aguirre, Connor Miller, Oliver Larraz, Marlon Vargas, Pariss Mitchell, Yosuke Hanya.
Three players on first team contracts participated in the match, including Oliver Larraz, Jackson Travis, and Gustavo Vallecillla. Vallecilla wasn’t initially included on Rapids 2’s preseason roster, but joined the group after their 0-0 midweek draw against New England Revolution II. Five total unnamed trialists also took part in the scrimmage, including a different goalkeeper than the one that started for R2 in the friendly against the Revs’ reserves. Like the senior team’s preseason scrimmages, this game wasn’t broadcasted or streamed.
The 24-year-old winger Hanya—a grizzled veteran relative to the rest of his R2 peers—initially gave Colorado a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute thanks to a well-timed through ball from Oliver Larraz. Hanya was one of the reserves’ top chance creators during 2022, and finished the year with four goals and three assists in MLS Next Pro action.
R2 had to switch things up in the 37th minute, and replaced Costa Rica International Daniel Chacón with Daniel Garcia—one of the amateur players from the club’s academy. The club’s social media channels did not identify the reason for the substitution.
Despite Chacón’s departure, Rapids 2 maintained their lead through half-time, and manager Erik Bushey replaced “Trialist 1” and “Trialist 2” with “Trialist 3” and youngster Steve Flores. Less than 15 minutes later, Montréal was able to even the score thanks to a strike from a player that neither club has identified.
Bushey made mass changes immediately after the goal, and R2 finished the game with Blake Malone, Josh Hardin, “Trialist 4,” “Trialist 5,” Keith Chavarria, Jack Sullivan, and Cain Castellon all earning late minutes. The Rapids’ official recap indicates that Castellon set-up one of the team’s trialists for a late opportunity, but they weren’t able to convert the chance.
“We had an opportunity to face a great opponent today,” Hanya said of the matchup against the top-flight side. “Everybody gave 100 percent.”
Hanya's post-scrimmage take on R2's 1-1 draw against CF Montréal pic.twitter.com/Jb3TqLeLHI— Joseph Samelson (@jspsam) February 18, 2023
After the reserves wrap things up in Florida, Rapids 2 will return to Colorado for a stretch of four preseason fixtures against local college teams and professional clubs during February and March. Their next official outing will take place on February 25 against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at Weidner Field. The game will serve as part of the Switchbacks’ season kickoff party, and access to the match will be exclusive to the USL Championship club’s season ticket holders.
19’ – R2 – Yosuke Hanya
59’ – CFM – Unidentified
R2 manager Erik Bushey chats about today’s 1-1 preseason draw against CF Montréal pic.twitter.com/FBiDdwwFh6— Joseph Samelson (@jspsam) February 18, 2023