In the preseason scrimmage, the Rapids played three different lineups in shifts of 30 minutes while Houston made a full change at the half.
Playing out of the 4-2-3-1 formation, second-year attacking midfielder Dillon Serna scored the first goal to put Colorado up 1-0 in the 12th minute. Serna was one of several young Rapids players with a standout performance, playing 60 minutes in the Vicente Sánchez-like role former head coach Oscar Pareja likened him to.
What does this year’s coaching staff think of Serna? “I think he’s a guy that brings a different dynamic to the game.” Rapids coach Pablo Mastroeni said. “With the amount of games that we have this year, I think he’ll get a few opportunities this year to show what he can do at this level.”
The coaching staff also got several looks at young defenders Albert Edward. Grant Van De Casteele and Tolani Ibikunle, all of whom were taken in this year’s MLS SuperDraft. Each played 60 minutes in the scrimmage.
Houston responded with a Tony Cascio goal four minutes later to tie the game at 1-1. Cascio joined Houston earlier this month on a loan deal from the Rapids.
In the second 30-minute shift, Houston took a 2-1 lead with a tally from Giles Barnes in the 38th minute. The Rapids responded to tie the game at 2-2 on a Deshorn Brown goal set up on a through ball from Rapids’ 2014 first round draft pick Marlon Hairston.
In the 86th minute, the Rapids notched the game winner when Charles Eloundou linked up with Gabriel Torres for the game winner.
Trialist Joe Nasco started the first 60 minutes of the game in goal for the Rapids while SuperDraft pick John Berner finished the game, recording a clean sheet in the final 30 minutes.
The Rapids will remain in Houston through Friday, and will play another preseason scrimmage against Houston Baptist University this Thursday.