Rush Hosts Pride as NPL Season Kicks Off
Colorado Rush went 2-1-2 against Pride Predators in their first NPL matches of the 2012-13 season. Rush and five other Colorado Clubs (Real CO, Arsenal, Boulder FC, Storm, and Pride) joined US Club Soccer’s NPL (National Premier League) this season. Click here for more information on the NPL.
The U13 Rush NPL team kicked the season off with a dominating 4-0 win over Pride. Coach Jair Vasquez admitted to being a bit unsure what to expect, seeing as this team is comprised of players from several different Rush teams. They’ve only been able to train twice together as a team. Benner Cochran and Tomas Nergaard stood out for coach Vasquez and helped Rush dominate the midfield, controlling the tempo of the game and doing a great job on defense.
Wyatt Solarte and Brandon Shauhnessy were instrumental in helping Rush take advantage of the width and creating quality chances for Bailey Rouse, who had a trick on the day. Rush’s Ian Jonnson and Tanner Starnes played as if they’d been together for years. They did an excellent job covering each other and keeping the defense well organized.
The U14 NPL match between Pride Predators and the Colorado Rush was sure to be a good one. The U14 Pride boys are a very dangerous attacking team featuring a number of players with deadly skill. Both teams began the game wanting to pass. Pride might have had the better of the ball in the first 10 minutes, but midway through the first half central midfielder, Cody Brazelton, was able to find the net off a rebound after some scrappy work from the team in the 18 yard box. Progressively through the game, Pride became more direct leaving holes behind their attacks, and this allowed the Rush boys to have more space to pass and combine. Pride did catch our boys stretched on one occasion, and they were able to equalize the game. It was not for long though, after some hard work and a strike by Phil Gustafson, Armando Ocampo was able to finish off the rebound. Jack O’Brien found the net with less than 5 minutes left for the brace. 3-1 to the Rush. Rush Captain, Ryan Wilson, was unable to be reached for comments. It’s rumored he had a ballet recital to jet off to.
The Rush U15 NPL team and Pride Predators played to a 1-1 draw. The Rush team is comprised of primarily of CO Rush players along with three playes from Pikes Peak Rush and another from North Area Rush.. It was interesting to note that regardless of the young age of the players, they were able to speak the same language…..the language of soccer!
Although the size of the opponent was remarkable, the Rush NPL team took the field with the intent to dominate the game. Rush created scoring opportunities playing technical soccer with the involvement of all the players on the field, goal keeper included. The Pikes Peak and NA Rush players were integrated immediately into the rhythm of the game, which was intentionally high to surprise Pride with organization and pressing . The strategy worked well for Rush as they created nearly a half dozen chances in the first ten minutes of the game. Rush controlled much of possession in the game and created numerous quality services from the flanks. Rush’s Dylan Keeney converted one of the crosses, giving Rush a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately Rush was unable to hold onto the lead, allowing the equalizer one minute before half, on a free kick from the left flank.
The BU16 Rush team also began their NPL season with a 1-1 draw versus Pride. An unseasonably warm Colorado morning brought some bright play from the team, which added several new players in the off-season. The game was closely contested throughout, with some moments of very good soccer by both teams. Rush took the lead midway through the first half with a goal by Matthew Kinney. Robbie Malone went on a mazy run through the midfield before slotting an inch perfect pass to Matthew, who made no mistake with a neat finish under the onrushing keeper. Pride leveled the score just before halftime when a speculative ball over the top resulted in the forward nicking in ahead of goalkeeper Chris Linden. The second half brought good pressure from Rush, but not enough clear cut goal scoring chances. Honors even, with the promise of better things to come.
The BU17 Rush NPL team suffered the only defeat of the day.
Rush will continue NPL action on Sunday, December 9th, as they host Storm at Trailwinds.