Despite only one season in the Colorado United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) conference being played, Colorado Rush and Club El Azul have quickly developed a heated rivalry between the two clubs.
The first time these clubs locked horns in Azul’s house, Rush came out with a 3-0 victory and Azul went home with a bucket full of yellow cards. Azul was furious with the result and felt like they were slighted by the referees.
Toward the end of the season Rush and Azul faced off once again for the second and final time. This match carried much more weight than the first. Only the top four teams in the conference would find a spot in the post season, Rush and Azul were separated by just one game for the fourth spot.
This was the most intense and rough game that Rush would have all season long. The game was fast paced and there was no love lost between the clubs. Both teams managed a handful of yellow cards along with a pair of red cards shown late in the second half for a small spat between the clubs.
This match would end in a nil-nil draw and since Rush was already sitting on top, Azul was sent home packing and wouldn’t see the post season. Rush went on to win the UPSL Colorado conference championship a few weeks later which just fueled the rivalry even more.
This is the first match between the clubs for this fall season and if there wasn’t already enough juice behind this match up, the U.S. Open Cup draws came out and what do ya know, Azul and Rush drew each other and bang heads in an elimination game at the end of September.
Rush made a deep-ish run in their Open Cup campaign last year and have returned lots of veterans alongside some new faces that should be enough fire power for them to make another solid run in the Open Cup. The only problem that I see with that plan is that when a team like Azul comes to play with their extreme physical nature, lots of crazy things can happen.
Rush: Keys to the Match
Ball movement is paramount for Rush in this game. Azul loves to play fast and do a LOT of chasing and aren’t scared to press the Rush back line even if it gets them out of position. It’s also critical to keep the ball moving as Azul isn’t hesitant to play a bit chippy and lay down some hard tackles.
Azul being a high pressure team definitely can make teams flustered and confused but Rush is a veteran team and if they stay composed, they should be able to catch Azul out of position and sneak in behind for some counter attack opportunities.
Rush needs to be disciplined on their back line and stay in position. Azul shouldn’t have the fortitude to break down the Rush back line as long as they don’t get caught off guard and play a smart match.
The match up is set to be played September 3rd at First Bank Field in Westminster, CO. Kick off is at 5pm and this is one you surely do NOT want to miss.