Colorado Rapids Drop Friendly 3-0 to Premier League Force Arsenal

Commerce City, CO - July 15: The Colorado Rapids v Arsenal

COMMERCE CITY, CO – Arsenal defeated the Colorado Rapids 3-0 on Monday in a friendly match-up and their first of four games of their preseason United States tour. With the Rapids coming off a 2-day rest and Arsenal eager to evaluate their young talent, both rosters featured mainly reserve players. Among them was 16-year-old Rapids defender Sebastian Anderson who won man of the match.

Despite the young lineup, Arsenal established possession early on and found the back of the net in just the 13th minute on a chip shot by Bukayo Saka over Axel Sjorberg and keeper Clint Irwin. James Olayinka followed that up with a rocket from outside the box into the top right corner.

The Rapids were able to create a couple opportunities but Nicolas Mezquida missed a key pass in the build up on more than one occasion. Before the end of the first half, Johan Blomberg shot one hard off the hands of the Arsenal keeper rebounded to Dillon Serna whose shot was also saved.

The second half was much of the same in terms of Arsenal showing their Premier League fast style of play and disciplined possession. The Gunners finished the night with 70% possession and completed 686 passes with 90% accuracy. Arsenal would go on to score a third time in the 61st minute on a cross from Dominic Thompson to Gabriel Martinelli.

While it wasn’t the most significant game for the Rapids, it will serve them good to give the starters some rest as well as giving the younger players experience against such a decorated team.

On his team’s performance, Rapids Head Coach Conor Casey said, “Really pleased with our effort tonight, and we had chances but Arsenal’s an excellent team and really at the end of the day it’s all about having a great atmosphere and having a lot of positivity in the stands.”

Still near the very bottom of the Western Conference, the Rapids will look to bounce back this Saturday when they host NYC FC. With 14 games left and 9 points behind 7th place FC Dallas, the Rapids have time but need to start putting together wins right away.

Arsenal will continue their US preseason on Wednesday where they take on Bayern Munich in Los Angeles, California.

Written by Paul Fritz

Photo Credit: Bart Young / Colorado Rapids

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