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  • Richard Fleming

Rapids Loan Watch: Switchbacks leave it late

As we creep toward the climax of the USL Championship season, the Colorado Rapids will be well represented down the stretch, with players producing polished performances and managing meaningful minutes.

Colorado Springs Switchbacks bounced back from their midweek loss at runaway Western Conference leaders El Paso Locomotive to edge Rio Grande Valley Toros 1-0 at home, with substitute Thomas Amang providing the winner in the 94th minute.

Three Rapids loanees started the match - Michael Edwards, Sebastian Anderson, and Dantouma Toure. Toure was replaced after 57 minutes. Former Rapids midfielder, Dillon Serna, played the full 90 for the Switchbacks. Unused subs included homegrown goalkeeper Abraham Rodriguez and striker Darren Yapi.

With the top four making the playoffs, the Switchbacks sit third in the Western Conference, level on points with second-placed San Antonio, and eight points ahead of fifth. Their remaining two games are at Real Monarchs (Oct. 22) and home to San Antonio (Oct. 30).

Kortne Ford has played an integral role in San Antonio’s form of late. The Rapids homegrown defender, on loan since mid-August, during which San Antonio has gone 7-2-3. They were 6-5-6 before Ford’s arrival.

On Saturday, San Antonio were held to a frustrating 1-1 home draw by FC Tulsa, who have gone off the boil of late. Ford, who has three goals in his 10 appearances, played the full game. Former Rapids defender Axel Sjoberg, a teammate, was an unused sub.

San Antonio has three games remaining, starting with a midweek trip to New Mexico United, and Micheal Azira, on Wednesday night.

Oliver Larraz came on for the final five minutes of San Diego Loyal’s home game with New Mexico United on Sunday afternoon. The Rapids’ homegrown midfielder has made eight appearances for Landon Donovan’s team, who sit second in the Pacific Division and have already secured a postseason berth.

San Diego led 1-0 from the 61st minute, conceding a leveler four minutes into added time, ending their three-game winning stretch. They have three games to go, with a trip to Orange County on Wednesday next on the schedule. Orange County won 1-0 at Oakland Roots on Saturday, despite a missed penalty from ex-Rapid and former MLS Rookie of the Year, Dillon Powers.

Goalkeeper Andre Rawls was an unused sub as Phoenix Rising moved back to the top of the USL Championship with a 6-3 win at Las Vegas Lights. Phoenix has 65 points, a massive 18 points clear in the Pacific Division, but just three ahead of Tampa Bay Rowdies in the Atlantic Division.

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