The big news today, as you see above, is the release of our new road/alternate jersey. This replaces the yellow flag kit we've had for the last two seasons. There's not much that has changed though, blue sleeves instead of yellow, a red C instead of the state flag on the base, and removal of some blue edging. Oh, and the addition of a red button. Because why not? I was never a fan of the yellow kit the last two years so this gets the same meh reaction from me. Nothing wrong with it, just not my thing. As BigSoccer poster wormhole put it: "it aptly sums up the off-season: "Let's keep doing what we're doing - with a couple of unnecessary tweaks thrown in just because." "
Also today was the first game of he Desert Diamond Cup against SKC. Our starting lineup:
(D) - Unsigned draftee
(T) - Unsigned trialist
Miller - Burling - Ford - Burch
Hamilton(D) - Cronin
Hairston - Adjei-Boateng - Callahan(D)
Good to see Adjei-Boateng getting minute right away and he had the only notable event for the Rapids in the first half, a yellow card. For the most part KC had the better play in the first half but they arguably had a stronger lineup on the field.
A full team replacement for the second half left us with this XI:
Castillo - Watts - Sjoberg - Williams
Perez - Azira
Siaj(D) - Powers - Badji
Shortly after the second half kickoff SKC scored. A cross from KC's left was redirected past Mizell for the lead. In the 81st minute Siaj had to come off due to a high ankle sprain and Callahan was reinserted (preseason rules) in his place. In the 87th minute the Rapids appealed to center ref Allen Champan for a handball in the box that wasn't given. About 2 minutes later, at the next break in action, Chapman was called to the sideline by the Video Assistant Ref and we got our first look at replay.
This preseason MLS is testing the FIFA approved replay system in preseason games (along with some other leagues) with the hopes of rolling in out at some point in the regular season. It can be used on goalline decisions, penalties, red cards, and mistaken identity. The video assistant ref makes the determination on if a play should be reviewed but the center ref is the one that reviews the footage and makes the call. In this case Chapman reviewed the play in the box and awarded the Rapids a PK for the handball. Powers converted the kick for the 1-1 draw.
The announcers (KC's I believe) got a key point about replay wrong. They stated that a replay could not be initiated until a natural stoppage in play but the rules state that the ref can stop play to go to a replay, though they are encouraged to wait until the ball is not in a dangerous position. I think Chapman pushed it in today's game, allowing almost 2 minutes of play to go by before the ball naturally went out of play.
All three draftees got time in today's game, as did our one real trialist (Mizell). Kai Likewise, who's a high school player on the Academy team, was also listed as a trialist for this game but didn't play. I'm assuming the Rapids brought him with them for the experience but he's not in the running for a first team spot at this point. A good sign for the future though!