North Texas Soccer Club returned to action coming back from the international break on Saturday night. at Colorado Rapids 2 hosts FCD’s pro-development side.
In a repeat from the first meeting in 2022, North Texas SC defeated the Colorado Rapids 2, 3-1.
Pa-Modou Kah only made three changes from North Texas’ previous game over the Real Monarchs. Collin Smith, Andre Costa, and Lucas Bartlett returned to the starting lineup
Darren Yapi opened the scoring giving Colorado the early lead.
Hope Avayevu quickly brought the game level with a curler of a shot in the 7th minute, 1-1.
Bernard Kamungo covered his penalty kick in the 36th minute to lead 2-1.
Collin Smith scored his first professional goal to extend North Texas’ lead, 3-1 in the 51st minute.
Luis Cardoso and Derek Waldeck came in for Collin Smith and Andre Costa in the 65th minute.
Pablo Torre replaced Jose Mulato in the 71st minute.
Santiago Ferreira was the final substitute in the 85th minute for Hope Avayevu.
Antonio “La Muralla” (The Wall) Carrera saved Colorado’s stoppage time penalty to maintain the 3-1 scoreline.
North Texas defeated Colorado 3-1.
Thoughts & Takeaways
Coach Pa had been adamant about wanting his team to be focused during games. Going as far as to describe this game as a “trap-game”, Kah wants his players to go out and play their own game regardless of the opposition.
In spite of giving up an early goal, North Texas responded quickly to bring the game level. Additionally, they imposed themselves on the game.
“The first goal is on me because I asked them to play that way but the response and how they capitalized is on them,” Kah said of his team’s mindset. “That is the group and they showed their character.”
North Texas remained steadfast in its will to control and win the game. The idea of having a squad of players rather than a first-choice team and subs has served North Texas well when it comes to playing together as a team.
It’s not often when a team commands a game in the manner that North Texas did against Colorado.
While the early goal Colorado scored was not ideal, North Texas did well to put the minor flaw behind them and control the game comfortably.
“We were up to the challenge, Pope said of North Texas and the play. We come in, went down a goal, but have an amazing response and scored three unanswered goals. We stayed confident and comfortable and you can see that the guys are in a good mood. We’re happy with the win and moving on to the next one.”
If North Texas can consistently reproduce this performance over the remainder of the season, North Texas SC will be in a very comfortable position come playoff time and might become the inaugural MLS Next Pro champion.
“This group is fantastic, every day they want to get better,” Kah said of his team. “They ask how they can get better, they can handle the responsibilities. They love being with each other as a group. I’m lucky to be able to coach a group like this. The focus is on the process and gaining experience and growing as a group. This past month has been great for the group but this group is getting better and are going to get even better.”
North Texas will return home on Saturday, June 11th, and host the Portland Timbers 2 at 8 PM Central.
I hope Avayevu gets promoted. 🙂