Late Colorado Rapids goal closes out U-14 feature games with draw vs. Orlando City

WESTFIELD, Ind. (June 23, 2017) - The second featured game on day number four of the 2017 Development Academy Summer Showcase and Playoffs presented U-14 side Orlando City SC against Real Colorado. Although originally scheduled for 1:00 p.m., the game took a slight delay due to the weather conditions and instead kicked off at 3:15 p.m. at one of Grand Park's 10 turf fields. Both team would display a great showing, departing the Showcase with a 2-2 final game result.

Played under the watchful eyes of U.S. Soccer Talent Identification Director Tony Lepore and Under-20 Men's National Team Tab Ramos, the teams weren't at all fazed by constant water drops falling from the Westfield, Ind. skies. Players from both sides were ear to ear with smiles, loving every second of the slippery conditions. Passes were more difficult to make, but the coaches and players used the climate as a learning opportunity.

"I thought the players responded really well," Real Colorado head coach Danny Bills said. "They got put in a tough spot since they were preparing for a certain time and had a couple hours of delay and had to get some food and stay hydrated. But once they realized that they were going to be playing with all these great scouts and college coaches out watching, I thought they got around it really well. Throughout the game, they had their peaks and valleys but they were successful by the end."

During the first 30-minute half, the Centennial, Colo. side got on the board first in the 11th minute. After Zane Sokolowski outmuscled his shadowing defender, he used the free run opportunity to take a run at goal before deciding to play the ball across to his left, in the middle of the penalty area near the top of the six-yard box. On the other end of the pass was a cleverly lurking Kazuki Peralta who finished the effort first time.

Unfazed by the early deficit, Orlando City remained composed and elevated their play in the second half. Forward Brandon Bryant, in particular, found his rhythm in the 35th and 46th minutes.

Coming off of a free kick into the box, Bryant used his athletic ability to raise up and header the ball neatly into the back of the net. 11 minutes later, Bryant was once again on the scoring end of the stat sheet, this time of his foot. After slipping in at the half way line, Bryant beat his defender and slotted his second goal of the game past the goalkeeper to give Orlando City a 2-1 lead with 14 minutes left to play.

With time running low, Real Colorado pressed forward and found enough magic in the 57th minute. After a goal saving tackle forced Real Colorado to try their luck from the corner flag, Timothy Sheu became the hero of the game by heading in the tying goal. It happened to also be his first of the U-14 Academy season.

"Overall, Orlando City was a very good team," Bills said. We had to work hard and defend, and I think as we did better of pressing in their middle of the field and not letting them have pressure, we became a better team as well."