Sporting Kansas City and the Rapids played evenly through much of the first half with each team getting multiple opportunities that never came to fruition. In the 31st minute that changed when the Rapids Jamie Smith received the ball just out of the center circle and launched a long-range blast shot into the upper left corner of the net and out of Sporting KC’s Jon Kempin’s reach.
Smith scored again in the 54th when he finished a give and go with Andre Akpan and one-touched a shot from the top of the six-yard box. A minute later, Ross LaBauex slid to the endline and slipped a pass back to Kamani Hill who put the Rapids up 3-0 in the 55th.
Smith’s two goals are more remarkable since it is his second game back after tearing his ACL last October.
Sporting KC did not give up. Striker Soony Saad collected a loose ball, faked to his left to and shot to the lower right corner out of Ian Joyce’s grasp in the 63rd. The goal was Saad’s second goal in Reserve League play and fourth in all competitions this season.
The win brings the Rapids to a 4-2-1 record and first place in the Central/Mountain Division with 13 points, and Sporting remains at fourth in the standings with a 2-3-2 record. The Colorado Rapids Reserves next face Real Salt Lake at home on August 5, and Sporting Kansas City faces Houston Dynamo on August 14 in Texas.
Both teams included academy players and Sporting KC utilized a pair of trialists as well after having several injuries pop up with the senior team over the last couple weeks. The Rapids used U-18 Academy players Dillon Serna, Shane O’Neill and Idrissa Camara in their lineup. Sporting KC used SKC Juniors U-18 Eduardo Moreno and U-16 players David Leichty and Erik Palmer-Brown. Palmer-Brown just recently turned 15 and Sporting KC Academy Director and head coach believes that Palmer-Brown may be the youngest to ever play in the MLS Reserve League.
COL – Jamie Smith (unassisted) 31
COL – Jamie Smith (Andre Akpan) 54
COL – Kamani Hill (Ross LaBauex) 55
KC – Soony Saad (unassisted) 63
COL – Harrison Henao (Unsporting behavior) 88’
Colorado Rapids Reserves – Ian Joyce, Davy Armstrong (*Idrissa Camara 78’), Eddie Ababio, Joseph Nane, Luis Zapata; Brian Mullan (Ross LaBauex 46’), *Shane O’Neill, Kamani Hill (Harrison Henao 63’), Jamie Smith (*Dillon Serna 69’), Edu, Andre Akpan (Tony Cascio 73’).
Substitutes Not Used: Steward Ceus, *Avery Ball
Sporting Kansas City – Jon Kempin; Michael Harrington, Konrad Warzycha, Michael Thomas, Kevin Ellis (*Erik Palmer-Brown 70’); Kyle Miller, **Sana Camara, *David Leichty (**Evans Prophe 76’); Dom Dwyer, Soony Saad, Jacob Peterson (*Eduardo Moreno 32’).
Substitutes Not Used: **Steve Spangler
* = Denotes Colorado Rapids or Sporting Kansas City Academy players
** = Denotes trial players