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Posted Feb 23, 2014, 8:07 am
A late second-half goal gave the Colorado Rapids soccer team a 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake. In the 69th minute Dillion Serna sent the ball over the Real Salt Lake defensive line, connecting with Deshorn Brown who put the ball away from just inside the 18.
Despite the goal, both teams continued to pressure offensively, creating more scoring opportunities toward the end of the match. In the 81st minute, Real Salt Lake’s Luke Mulholland brought the ball down with his chest in the 18 to volley a powerful shot shy of the far post.
In the final minute, Real Salt Lake had the opportunity to tie the match with an indirect free kick at the top of the box. The final whistle blew as their attempted through ball was picked off by the Colorado defense, allowing them to hold onto their lead.
The Colorado Rapids don’t start their season until March 15, which gives them an extra week or so of preseason. It’s lucky, since the team has some adjustments to make. Óscar Pareja resigned as coach in early January, leaving coaching duties to assistant coach Pablo Mastroeni, who had been a player up until last year.
“It’s been a relatively smooth transition considering all the changes,” said Colorado defender Drew Moor. “Pablo’s been leading the first team but he’s not officially a coach yet. With some of the new faces coming in it’s a transition period, but it’s been good so far. I think the performance showed tonight that it’s going well.”
Colorado goes up against Chivas USA next Wednesday in a match that could determine who plays in Saturday’s championship match against CD Guadalajara’s youth squad. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
MLS subcampeon Real Salt Lake is still searching for their first win in the tournament and will play FC Tucson in Wednesday’s nightcap. That match starts at 6 p.m.
Miranda Smith notched an assist on this report