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  • Richard Fleming

Rapids Loan Watch: Ford Scores As Switchbacks Sunk

Kortne Ford got the better of his Colorado Rapids teammates on Saturday night as San Antonio FC secured second spot in the USL Championship Mountain Division (STANDINGS) with a 3-0 home win over the Colorado Springs Switchbacks.

Ford was among the scorers as the Switchbacks, who finished third at the end of the regular season and will also move on to the postseason, were outplayed at Toyota Field. The Switchbacks fell behind as early as the fifth minute after on-loan Rapids defender Michael Edwards scored an own goal.

Edwards played the full 90, as did Rapids homegrown player Sebastian Anderson. Former Rapids midfielder Dillon Serna stepped off the bench for the final 17 minutes, while Matt Hundley and goalkeeper Abe Rodriguez were unused subs.

Only Phoenix Rising and Louisville City scored more goals than the Switchbacks this season, but they were blanked on Saturday and now need to regroup with the playoffs looming.

Ford’s return to playing has been a sensational story. He finishes the regular season with four goals in 13 appearances.

Other loanees built up some solid minutes in 2021. Michael Edwards started 23 of his 24 appearances for the Switchbacks, bagging two goals. Sebastian Anderson (below) started all 27 of the games he featured in. Rookie Philip Mayaka enjoyed 19 appearances, 13 from the start. Dantouma Toure, who was suspended for the San Antonio game, started five of his 22 appearances, scoring three goals.

Of the others, Darren Yapi was on the scoresheet twice, while starting just one of his 16 appearances. Another homegrown, ‘keeper Rodriguez, gave up 11 goals in his six appearances. Matt Hundley started one of his three appearances.

Elsewhere on Saturday, midfielder Oliver Larraz started for San Diego Loyal in their 1-1 draw at Sacramento Republic FC. The 20-year-old homegrown was subbed out after 62 minutes. In all, Larraz started nine of his 11 appearances for Landon Donovan’s team, and managed one goal. San Diego will stride on into the playoffs, after finishing third in the Pacific Division.

Andre Rawls was in between the sticks for Phoenix Rising as they were held 1-1 at home by Tacoma defiance, Seattle Sounders' USL affiliate. Rawls kept six clean sheets in his 21 appearances for Phoenix, who claimed the Pacific Division title by 15 points.

News on the fortunes of teams involving former Rapids players, and Micheal Azira’s New Mexico United missed out on the playoffs, despite winning their final game, 3-1 over Real Monarchs SLC. Sam Hamilton is also at New Mexico.

Orange County SC - with Dillon Powers a regular - continued their fine form, with a 1-0 win at LA Galaxy II. The winner came four minutes into stoppage time. Orange County finished second in the Pacific Division.

Two former Rapids, Mekeil Williams and Josh Gatt, were involved in the goalless draw for Pittsburgh Riverhounds at home to Hartford Athletic in the Atlantic Division. That draw denied Pittsburgh second place in the standings. They will play in the postseason, having finished third, one point and one place behind Charlotte Independence, the Rapids' former USL affiliate.

Charlotte completed their regular season with a 1-1 draw at Austin Bold FC, led by skipper and former Rapids midfielder, Enzo Martinez.

Luis Solignac played in El Paso Locomotive's 4-1 loss at Rio Grande Valley FC. Solignac, who spent just under two seasons with the Rapids (2015-16), played every game for El Paso - who topped the Western Conference by 12 points - and scored a team-high equaling 10 goals.

Veteran Vicente Sanchez played the final three minutes of RGV's victory over El Paso. The one-time Rapids winger - now aged 41 - started four of his 29 appearances in 2021, scoring two goals. Rio Grande Valley - the USL affiliate of Houston Dynamo FC - came in fourth in the Mountain Division.

Goalkeeper John Berner kept one shutout in his six appearances for Memphis 901 FC, as they finished third in the Central Division. Berner was with the Rapids from 2014-2017, making all five of his appearances in his rookie season.

Oklahoma City Energy finished one place outside of the playoff places in the Central Division. Their numbers include Deklan Wynne, who played 36 games for the Rapids between 2018-2020, started 11 of his 14 appearances for OKC.

Enoch Mushagalusa, who came through the Rapids' academy, finished top scorer for Sporting KC II, netting eight goals in 32 appearances. SKC II came dead last in the Central Division, managing only four wins all season.

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