The Albuquerque Sol arrived in Boulder fresh off claiming its first point of the season. The Sol battled back to share the honors with Colorado Rapids U23 in Denver on Friday June 9th thanks to a Sam Gleadle equalizer minutes from time.
But despite directing traffic for much of the 90, the Sol were not able to depart the two-legged Colorado road trip with more than that draw. The Sol dropped a 2-1 decision to FC Boulder on Sunday June 11th. The austere playing conditions were a distinct challenge for the Sol who were slowed down by the thick grass pitch. The field conditions made sharp passing and quick ball movement difficult. The long grass proved to be a salve of sorts for the FC Boulder defense to keep the Sol attack at a more modest pace than the visitors would have desired.
Nonetheless, the Sol controlled the early portion of the match as has been their trend early in the 2017 campaign. The Sol communicated well to keep their shape and open lines of attack from the midfield. The Sol forced a fine save from the FC Boulder goalie in the 8th minute and stung the crossbar and rang the post in the 18th and 29th minutes.
Minutes later the hosts opened the scoring off its first shot of the match a cracker from 20-yards out that Sol goalie Tyler Pavlett could do nothing about. The Sol were in the gratingly familiar position of having to chase the match down a goal at halftime.
The second half saw more physical play took root denying either side the opportunity to establish much fluidity in attack. The Sol poured men forward to level the match but that left them exposed to an FC Boulder side that loves attacking with numbers. The second FC Boulder shot of the game was as true as the first to double the Sol misery.
As the game wore on the Sol increased the tempo. The Sol once again hit the bar, this time a diving header from Jack Clancy was an inch or so too high. But the Sol perseverance was rewarded after a ball in the right channel found Tommy Ramos. The Sol midfielder made a fine individual effort to thump a cross into a dangerous area and Gleadle was there to give the Sol life. The Sol kept pressing but this time were unable to find a late equalizer. FC Boulder had an extra rest day and it showed in the closing moments of the match
The Sol return to the friendly confines this week. They host the Colorado Rapids U23 on Thursday at 7 p.m. MT at St. Pius X High School and Saturday at the University of New Mexico Soccer and Track Stadium at 7:30 p.m. MT.