Colorado Rapids Stay Unbeaten at Summer Showcase with 2-1 Victory over Atlanta United

Westfield, Ind. (June 21, 2017) - First half goals from Jason Robles and Carlos Vasquez helped lift the Colorado Rapids to a 2-1 win over Atlanta United as a sun-splashed afternoon greeted the teams on Wednesday for the first feature game of Day Two of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Summer Showcase and Playoffs.

"It was a good day for the boys," said Colorado Rapids U-14 head coach Marcelo Balboa. "To play against one of the top teams (in the Academy), it was such pressure, this was probably the most pressure we have had, being streamed with parents, family and friends watching back home. We are getting there little-by-little and I am very proud of the effort from the boys today."

It took the Rapids just six minutes to open the scoring on a goal from Robles. Collecting the ball in midfield, Robles skipped past an Atlanta defender before laying a pass into the path of Zion Wagoner who collected the ball on the left side. Wagoner's cross then found Robles near the penalty spot and he fired a shot into the net for his 38th goal of the season to open the scoring.

Atlanta United pulled level on a penalty kick in the 14th minute by Jackson Wrobel. After Chase Oliver was pulled down in the area by a Colorado defender, Wrobel stepped up and converted the penalty to even the game, 1-1.

Colorado moved back in front in the 24th minute as Vasquez gave the Rapids a 2-1 lead. A long ball from midfield was misplayed by the Atlanta defense and Vasquez pounced on the mistake, slotting a shot past Atlanta United goalkeeper Ryan Schewe to restore the lead for the Rapids.

A minute before halftime, Rapids goalkeeper Abraham Rodriguez made an excellent save to keep Colorado in front at the break. Off an Atlanta United corner kick, Rodriguez was quick diving to his right to deny a headed attempt from inside the six-yard box.

In the second 40 minutes, both teams had chances but neither found an end product as the Rapids earned a 2-1 win and remained unbeaten at the Showcase.

A member of the U.S. World Cup teams in 1990, '94 and '98, Balboa relished in the opportunity provided to clubs this week at the Summer Showcase, noting how far player development has come since his days as a player.

"It is amazing to walk out here and see the U.S. Soccer Development Academy put up this stage for featured games," Balboa said. "We didn't have that, we had the Sports Festivals back when we played, North, South, East, West, that whole thing, so there were a lot of kids that were missed. Club soccer was big, but the talent was divided everywhere.

"Now it seems to be localized to Academy clubs. MLS teams have a little bit of an advantage because we look at players to be homegrown players, and if they want to be professionals the best place to be is in the environment of a professional team. They are very fortunate to have this wonderful setup and what U.S. Soccer has done to develop this has been great."

Colorado Rapids will close the Summer Showcase against Chicago Fire while Atlanta United will finish the Showcase against Seattle Sounders, both games taking place on Friday, June 23 at 1 p.m. ET.