Sunday, December 8, 2019 | ePaper

Arsenal top Rapids 3-0 in friendly match

  • Print


Colorado Rapids forward Niki Jackson (left) and Arsenal forward Tyreece John-Jules go after the ball during the first half of an international friendly soccer match in Commerce City, Colo on Monday.

AP, Commerce City :
James Olayinka had a goal and an assist to lead Arsenal past the Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids 3-0 in a friendly on Monday night.
Olayinka's sizzling right-footed strike in the 29th minute came from just outside the box as he scored into the upper-right corner of the net to give the English Premier League team a 2-0 lead.
Olayinka assisted on Arsenal's opening score. He pushed the ball into the box where Bukayo Saka found it and lifted it into the net in the 13th minute. The third score came just after halftime from Gabriel Martinelli in the 61st minute. It was Martinelli's debut after joining Arsenal from Ituano earlier in the month.
"I'm really pleased with our effort," Colorado Rapids interim coach Conor Casey said. "We had chances but they're a great team at the end of the day it was just about the atmosphere."
In front of a near sellout - many of them cheering the visitors - Arsenal controlled the match.
"The first match was good to use different young players," Arsenal manager Unai Emery said. "To give them chances to show their quality, commitment and the idea to help the team. The atmosphere here was perfect, a lot of Arsenal supporters and we had a good day here."
This was the first preseason match for Arsenal ahead of the 2019-20 season as they embark on a three-game exhibition tour. Monday's match was the only one against an MLS club.
Olayinka's score was huge sign for the club. The 18-year-old developed through Arsenal's academy and signed with the first team in January. He has yet to play in the Premier League. He represents a big hope as Arsenal finished fifth in the EPL last season.
Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard was kept out of the game as the club limits his minutes in his final season. Howard spent the second half doing color commentary on local radio. Recently, Howard has done commentary for TNT during its Champions League coverage.
"It's important, this relationship is massive for our club and fan base," Howard said on the broadcast about the game. "The fact that we can attract this is massive."
While the third-year Rapids goalie is new to broadcasting, he said of his younger teammates playing, "The experience of playing against such a talented side is eye opening."
Arsenal stars Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Özil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang entered the game in the 78th minute. Each got rousing ovations and drew reactions from the crowd in the final 10 minutes when generating opportunities.
The Rapids only played six regulars the entire 90 minutes as they played an MLS match on Saturday.
Rapids' 17-year-old midfielder Cole Bassett grew up an Arsenal fan. The Littleton native played the first 45 minutes and had one scoring chance. His time was limited because of how much recent time he has had in league play.
"It was a nice experience," he said. "I just tried to show my stuff and maybe one day I'll get to that level."
United States Women's National Team players Lindsey Horan and Mallory Pugh were in attendance. The two soccer stars and world champions are Colorado natives. They were honored at halftime in front of the crowd as Colorado's governor Jared Polis declared July 15th U.S. Women's National Team Day in the state.
"You could feel it in the air walking in," Casey said. "The energy of a full house. So many important people who are a part of pushing this sport and this club forward. Just a great night to take part of this and come together as a group."
Arsenal heads to Los Angeles to face Bayern Munich on Wednesday in an International Champions Cup match.
"The idea was to play with youngsters today. Wednesday we'll use some different players," Emery said. "Our preparation here is very important. The club is working very well, our idea is to continue creating."

More News For this Category

Mourinho sleeps at training ground to conquer anger after United loss

Mourinho sleeps at training ground to conquer anger after United loss

Jose Mourinho said he reacted to Tottenham's midweek defeat at Manchester United by sleeping at the club's training ground.Mourinho's 100 percent record since taking over at Spurs came to an

Inter held by Roma after racism storm, leaving Juve to eye top spot

Inter held by Roma after racism storm, leaving Juve to eye top spot

AFP, Milan :Inter Milan were held to a goalless draw by Roma at the San Siro on Friday, leaving the way open for Italian champions Juventus to reclaim top spot

Riquelme and Maradona carry old feud into Boca election

Riquelme and Maradona carry old feud into Boca election

AFP, Buenos Aires :Diego Maradona and Juan Roman Riquelme are back in the heart of the battle at their former club Boca Juniors, but this weekend they are playing political

Akash DTH becomes title sponsor of BBPL

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has announced the Akash DTH, a by-product of Beximco Group as the title sponsor of the special edition of the BPL, namely 'Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier

Man City flex financial muscle to leave Man Utd lagging behind

Man City flex financial muscle to leave Man Utd lagging behind

AFP, Manchester :The balance of football power in Manchester has swung comprehensively to City from United on the field and the Premier League champions are now on the verge

Former FIFA executive appointed to run Australian football

Former FIFA executive appointed to run Australian football

AFP, Sydney :Former FIFA head of football James Johnson was Friday appointed to steer Football Federation Australia into a new era after a months-long search to replace retired chief

Madrid find their Pogba within as Valverde proves the catalyst for change

Madrid find their Pogba within as Valverde proves the catalyst for change

AFP, Madrid :Zinedine Zidane pursued Paul Pogba but found Fede Valverde and his emergence as Real Madrid's most important midfielder may yet prove the turning point in their season.Signed

Pele's last Brazil jersey sells for 30,000 euros in Italy

Pele's last Brazil jersey sells for 30,000 euros in Italy

Agency :The jersey worn by Brazilian football legend Pele during his final match for the five-time world champions has sold for 30,000 euros ($33,000) in an action in Italy.The

PSG searching for best form with superstar duo back together

PSG searching for best form with superstar duo back together

AFP, Paris :With Neymar and Kylian Mbappe finally both fit and playing in the same team, the pressure is on Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel to get his all-star

Arsenal no show ends in defeat to Brighton

Arsenal no show ends in defeat to Brighton

AFP, London :Caretaker manager Freddie Ljungberg said Arsenal "did not show up" for the first 45 minutes as the Gunners' winless streak reached nine games in a 2-1 home