And the ball keeps moving! Colorado Rush's 18DA team continued its successful run of soccer this past week as they competed in the US Soccer Development Academy Playoffs in Indianapolis. Drawn into a group that featured teams from Connecticut to North Carolina, the Rush carried its flag proudly.
Winning the first game was vital; playing an opponent it had never faced before, Oakwood Soccer Club, the team took the field with confidence. An early goal conceded did not sway the Rush from its target as before the half was over the Rush were ahead through goals from team goal scoring leader, Pauly Apostolopoulous (he called Greece advancing in the World Cup before anyone else on the team!) and Steve Teshima. The score would hold through to the final whistle.
Match-day 2, saw the Rush up against the Philadelphia Union, which is home to Rush's own Conor Casey. A goal in the 40th minute put the Rush behind. As the team took the field for the second half, it knew it needed at least a draw to have a chance at winning the group and moving onto the next round. The Rush Tenacity saw the needed result come to fruition as Eric Morrison, only 10 days back from a 3 month injury, equalized a minute and a half into stoppage time!
Match-day 3, had the Carolina Rapids as the opponent. The Rush had to win to advance. In a display of soccer (defending, attacking, working, battling) the Rush dominated an opponent that came into the game with 99 goals scored and 8 in its first two games of the week. They would not see 100. A 2-0 win behind goals from Miguel Ruiz, who finished off the cross from Miguel Jaime after an intricately worked display around the penalty box, and Eduardo (Lalo) Reza, who completed the penalty kick that was drawn by a great individual move from Joe Kerridge. The longtime captain and All Rush Team selection, Lalo led his team from beginning to end. And, it was the team that won. From Jonny Finucane in goal to all those in front of him to the Rush 16DA team cheering, chanting and encouraging their club-mates on, it was a display of Rush Soccer at its finest!
The team now eagerly awaits FC Dallas, traveling to play July 7th as one of the Final 8 teams in the Academy Championships!