USLSoccer.com Staff Report
Saturday, February 13, 2016
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A late goal by A.J. Cochran lifted the Colorado Rapids to a 1-0 victory against Sacramento Republic FC in a preseason exhibition on Saturday night at Bonney Field.
“After nine days of preseason, which is a lot less than what the opposition had, we were very proud of the performance,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “Overall, I thought a draw would have been a fair result. They didn’t score on us in open play and I am pleased with that, we will have to tighten up with the set plays, but this was a very good start for us.”
Colorado struck as a free kick by Marc Burch was met by a diving header by Cochran four minutes from full time. Sacramento pushed to try and find an equalizer, but was unable to find a breakthrough.
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Featuring a new center back partnership of Chris Christian and Mike da Fonte ahead of goalkeeper Evan Newton, Republic FC proved solid for much of the contest defensively. Colorado’s Kevin Doyle had a good first-half chance that went just over the crossbar, but Sacramento held firm for the most part as a new-look side got its first outing of the preseason.
Burch was a handful for the Rapids after coming on at halftime, and forced a good save from Newton seven minutes into the second half. Sacramento then thought it had taken the lead as former Pittsburgh Riverhounds forward Mackenzie Pridham, currently on trial with the club, found the back of the net with 13 minutes to go, only for the assistant referee’s flag to be up for offside.
Republic FC midfielder Max Alvarez also created a good opening with seven minutes to go, while Alex Risdale's shot two minutes later came moments before Colorado scored what was the winning goal.
Sacramento returns to action next Saturday as it hosts the San Jose Earthquakes at Bonney Field. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. PT.