Match Preview: Colorado Rapids 2 Travel West to Take On Earthquakes II

Rapids 2 (1-3-1, 5 pts) will catch a flight to California this weekend to face off against Earthquakes II (2-3-1, 7 pts) on Sunday, May 15 in the team’s fourth road match of the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro season. Kickoff at PayPal Park is set for 8:30 p.m. MT and the match will be broadcast on

“I think coming off the heels of a very difficult game in Houston, we are anxious to put forth the lessons that we have been learning,” said Rapids 2 head coach Erik Bushey. “I think there are a lot of lessons to be learned from the game in Houston, which was a very difficult game. It was a different team for us to put on the field, so within that we gained a lot of very valuable experience and I think we will be better for it coming into this weekend. So, the chance to put that on the field and apply those lessons is motivation in and of itself. Getting another win in the win column is another motivation. Playing against another quality opponent in a quality venue is the same. So, plenty of motivation for us to look forward to.” 

Rapids 2 took the field last weekend in slightly different form than usual with first team loans Darren Yapi, Anthony Markanich and Sebastian Anderson all on the road with the Rapids first team in San Jose. With a few key players absent from Sunday’s starting 11, Rapids 2 defender Steve Flores, midfielder Andres Torres and forward Vlad Walent were asked to step up against an attack-heavy Dynamo 2. The match, which saw the team record a 2-0 loss, was some of the best technical work the team has put forth all season. Colorado managed to maintain nearly 50% of possession while putting up a valiant effort in the attacking third with nine shots, two of which were on goal. 

“Yeah, we are still dealing with change and player fluidity and the movement in and out. For me, that was an exceptional positive from last week. We had young players come in and have to earn some stripes if you will and for the most part passed the test. That will be the same this weekend. There will be no surprise, we will be a young team but the expectation will be greater than last week because they have some very valuable minutes under their belt,” said Bushey. 

A new addition to the Rapids 2 roster, defender Blake Malone logged his first minutes with the Colorado team in the showdown against Dynamo 2. The 21-year-old centerback recorded 13 minutes and is expected to add some additional minutes to his stat line in this weekend’s match versus Earthquakes II.

“I know how high level of an organization the Rapids are and how truly professional they are. I know that for my development personally, it was the right step for me,” said Rapids 2 defender Blake Malone. “Just in the short time that I have been here, I can already tell that it is going to do me wonders and hopefully I can add to this group and make the organization better as a whole and to do what I can as my part. I know just in this short week that they have done so much for me, so I can tell that it is such a professional environment. So, I am glad to be here.” 

The home side of Earthquakes II will host Rapids 2 this Sunday following a 3-0 win against Timbers2, which saw San Jose goalkeeper Emmanuel Ochoa record his second shutout of the season against Portland. As it stands, San Jose sits two points ahead of Colorado in the league standings with six games under their belt while the Rapids have only played five games this season. Sunday’s match will see the two sides go head to head for the first time as the team’s search to establish winning records heading into the remainder of the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro season. 

To view the full Rapids 2 schedule for the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro season, click here.

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Americans travel to Columbus to play the Rapids

New minority owner also named for NISL franchise

The Memphis Americans men’s and women’s NISL indoor soccer teams face the Columbus Rapids at the Columbus Civic Center in Columbus, Georgia, on Thursday, March 31. The first match is set to begin at 4:30 p.m. Central time.  

The men’s team (12-5) and women’s team (15-2) are coming off wins over the Rome Gladiators. On Sunday, March 27, the men secured its third straight victory by a score of 9-8. The Gladiators secured two goals late in the match, but the Memphis Americans were able to maintain the lead. 

Meanwhile, the women won their seventh consecutive match. The first seven of the women’s goals went unanswered, ending in a decisive 9-1 victory. 

Currently, the Memphis Americans men’s team is second in National Indoor Soccer League standings behind the Fayetteville Fury and the women are ranked first.

Thursday’s matches mark the seventh time this season the Memphis Americans and Columbus Rapids have competed against one another. The Memphis Americans men are 6-1 and the women are 5-2 against the team. 

NEW MINORITY OWNER NAMED: The Memphis Americans Wednesday announced that Maria Opeaye has joined the ownership group as a minority owner.  

Opeaye was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She moved to Santa Barbara, California and attended Santa Barbara College of Law.  

After law school Opeaye moved back to Atlanta. She is a single serial entrepreneur and a published author. 

Maria designs her own brand of shoes called M’Opeaye Shoes. She also is the owner of the London Marie coffee brand. Maria has a mediation and arbitration certification. She started a legal firm that specializes in mediation and arbitration cases. 

In June 2021, Opeaye became the second African-American female professional soccer agent for the USA Soccer Federation. Maria started her own sports agency named Neoteric Sports & Entertainment in June 2021.  

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Prep roundup: Grand night for TC Christian’s Broderick; Glen Lake tops Elk Rapids 50-46 | Sports

TRAVERSE CITY — Brock Broderick needed 27 points to reach 1,000 for his career.

By the end of the first quarter Tuesday, the senior varsity boys basketball star for Traverse City Christian needed just seven after dropping 20 points in the first eight minutes.

“It didn’t take much from there,” TC Christian head coach Rene LaFreniere said. “He was on a mission.”

Broderick completed the mission and finished the contest with a game-high 40 points as the Sabers went on to beat Leland 74-38.

“It just feels good to surpass it so I don’t have to worry about that,” Broderick said. “We can just keep going, now.”

Tuesday was the first time LaFreniere coached Broderick in live-game action. The senior certainly impressed his coach.

“That’s a heckuva way to start off,” LaFreniere said. “It wasn’t just offensively. He was hustling all over the floor on defense, he was talking, getting rebounds. He set the pace for the game, and the rest of the guys followed suit.”

Broderick said he is feeling good about his squad’s potential this year, bringing in a senior-laden group that has been playing together for a while.

“We’ve got a kind of a soccer squad,” Broderick said. “We’re scrappy. We’re fast. We’ve got a few big guys. If we keep going with that chemistry, we could be really good.”

The Sabers (1-0) take on Onekama next Tuesday. The Comets (0-1) host Glen Lake on Friday.


Glen Lake 50

Elk Rapids 46

Glen Lake: Luke Hazelton 20 points, 15 rebounds; Henry Plumstead 8 points, 4 assists; Ethan Steffke 8 points.

Elk Rapids: Jack Spencer 14 points; Spencer Ball 10 points, 5 steals; Joshua Lavely 9 points, 5 rebounds.

UP NEXT: The Lakers (1-0) travel to Northwest Conference foe Leland on Friday. The Elks (0-1) have a week layoff before heading to Charlevoix to open Lake Michigan Conference play.

Charlevoix 41

Gaylord 39

The Rayders won on a last-second tip-in from Jack Gaffney.

Charlevoix: Caleb Stuck 17 points, 13 rebounds, 5 steals, 2 assists; Evan Solomon 16 points, 2 rebounds; 2 assists.

Gaylord: Luke Gelow 17 points.

UP NEXT: The Rayders (1-0) play Traverse City St. Francis in Lake Michigan Conference action next Tuesday. The Blue Devils (0-1) hosts Cadillac to open the Big North season Friday.

Grayling 86

Harrison 43

Grayling: Ethan Kucharek 17 points; Nate Persing 17 points; Dylan Cragg 11 points; Fletcher Quinlan 12 points.

UP NEXT: The Vikings (1-0) travel to Mancelona for a nonconference game Thursday.

Manton 47

Kingsley 38

Manton: Carson Danford 13 points; Johnathon Traxler 11 points; Lucas McKernan 6 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists; Nolan Moffit 11 rebounds.

Kingsley: Brett Peterson 14 points, 8 rebounds; True Beeman 6 points.

UP NEXT: Manton (1-0) heads to Evart to open Highland Conference play Friday. The Stags (0-1) take on Onekama in a Northwest Conference tilt Friday.

Central Lake 60

GT Academy 29

Central Lake: Drayten Evans 21 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals; Garrison Barrett 20 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals; Dylan Sanderson 6 points, 9 rebounds, 6 steals.

UP NEXT: Central Lake (1-0) plays at Mancelona on Tuesday.

Frankfort 36

Manistee 22

No stats reported.

UP NEXT: Manistee (0-1) hosts Muskegon Catholic Central in Lakes 8 Conference play Friday. Frankfort (1-0) heads to Suttons Bay for Northwest Conference action Friday.

Manistee CC 47

Onekama 45

Manistee Catholic Central: No stats reported.

Onekama: Caden Bradford 20 points, 3 assists; Adam Domres 11 points, 9 rebounds; Mason Sinke 8 points, 8 rebounds.

UP NEXT: Onekama (0-1) welcomes in Kingsley on Friday for Northwest Conference play. The Sabers (1-0) travel to Brethren on Thursday for a West Michigan D League tip.

East Jordan 58

Mancelona 48

East Jordan: Preston Malpass 20 pts; Ethan Antaya 14 points; JJ Weber 11 points.

Mancelona: Oumar Sy 22 points; Trace Miller 11 points, 10 rebounds.

UP NEXT: The Red Devils (1-0) stick with nonconference play as they take on Gaylord St. Mary on Thursday. The Ironmen (0-1) play at home against Grayling Thursday, also in a nonconference tilt.

Boyne City 68

St. Ignace 50

Boyne City: Alex Calcaterra 16 points; Mason Wilcox 14 points; Scott Haley 11 points; Gavin Hewitt 11 points; Jack Neer 10 points.

UP NEXT: The Ramblers (1-0) travel to Sault Ste. Marie on Friday.

Cadillac 55

Lake City 34

No stats reported.

UP NEXT: The Vikings (1-0) host Alpena in a rescheduled Big North Conference game on Dec. 17. The Trojans (0-1) travel to Houghton Lake for Highland Conference play Friday.


TC Central 55

Benzie Central 16

Traverse City Central: Catelyn Heethuis 15 points; Bryce Roy 8 points; Ashlen Hill 8 rebounds; Sophie Simon 5 rebounds. Every TC Central player scored. Head coach Jen Dutmers said freshman Jakiah Brumfield “set the tone defensively” and that the entire team was patient on offense, adding it was a “great win.”

Benzie Central: No stats reported.

UP NEXT: The Trojans (1-1) host Marquette on Friday. The Huskies (0-3) travel to Buckley on Friday.

TC St. Francis 58

Frankfort 42

Traverse City St. Francis: Maggie Napont 22 points; Colleen Hegewald 16 points; Gwyneth Bramer 16 points.

Frankfort: No stats reported.

UP NEXT: The Gladiators (2-1) open Lake Michigan Conference action against Kalkaska on Friday. The Panthers (1-2) host Suttons Bay in Northwest Conference play on Friday.

Bellaire 46

Burt Lake NMC 13

Bellaire: Charlie Boyce 18 Points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 10 steals; Jacey Somers 18 Points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks, 2 steals; Maddie Evans 5 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals.

UP NEXT: Bellaire (2-0) travels to Gaylord St. Mary on Dec. 14.

Glen Lake 48

Elk Rapids 41

Glen Lake: Maddie Bradford 16 points, 8 rebounds; Grace Bradford 10 points, 8 rebounds; Gemma Lerchen 8 points 7 rebounds; Jessica Robbins 6 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals; Olivia Mikowski 6 points.

Elk Rapids: Logan Reasoner 12 points, Morgan Bergquist 10 points.

UP NEXT: The Lakers (3-0) host Leland on Friday. The Elks (1-1) travel to East Jordan on Friday.

Gaylord 57

Charlevoix 20

UP NEXT: Gaylord (2-0) travels to Cadillac on Friday for Big North Conference play. Charlevoix (0-3) takes on Boyne City at home Friday.

St. Ignace 53

Boyne City 19

Boyne City: Grace Dawson 11 points; Morgan Deming 4 points; Brook Williams 4 points.

UP NEXT: Boyne City (0-2) travels to Charlevoix on Friday.

TC St Francis JV 40

Frankfort JV 27

TC St Francis JV: Hunter St. Peter 5 points; Sophie Hardy 6 points; Sophia Ellalasingham 6 points; Adrianna Spranger 19 points.

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‘THEY JUST DISAPPEAR’: Tour guide’s tales of how ‘Grand Rapids is a haunted city’

At the turn of the 18th century, Native Americans considered the land on which downtown Grand Rapids sits as, “The Haunted Valley of the Grand.” Is it true?

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Long before the city of Grand Rapids was established in 1850, there have been endless tales of ghostly encounters, vanishings and other mysterious activities that have survived the generations.

At the turn of the 18th century, Native Americans considered the land on which downtown sits as, “The Haunted Valley of the Grand.”

Is the city truly haunted or is every tale just another slice of urban legend that’s stood the test of time?

A local tour guide not only believes the city is haunted, she’ll take you on a downtown ghost tour that she’s certain may turn you into a believer, too.

“We seem to have an unusually high number of spirits that get mistaken for live people,” said Candice Smith, owner and operator of Tours Around Michigan. “People will see them, maybe make eye contact, maybe have a small conversation with them, and then they’ll just disappear.”

Smith, who offers a two-hour ghost tour along the streets of downtown Grand Rapids, says the city was considered haunted as far back as the 1700s.

“Sometimes entire hunting parties were known to disappear in the forest,” Smith said. “They’d never be seen again.”

Smith’s tour escorts those interested in haunted history to numerous downtown locations, of which three seem to garner the most response from both the spirit world and the tour-goers.

“I’ve found that St. Cecelia Music Center is the most haunted building in the city,” Smith said. “One of the better known stories surrounds a Victorian woman who still occupies her favorite seat in the auditorium.”

Smith says her favorite was seat #105, second row back from the stage.

“Sometimes she has been seen sitting in that seat so people will be there for an event and they’ll sit down and kind of look down a couple seats and there she is,” Smith said. “They’d make eye contact and then she’d disappear.”

Smith says she also make sure that seat #105 is always available for her to sit in.

“Back when they printed tickets, all of the tickets for seat #105 would always be missing,” added Smith. “There would be sold out events and seat #105 would be empty from the front of the house all the way to the back.”

Another ghostly encounter that seems to happen regularly during the downtown tour is with a man named Amos.

“One can actually experience Amos on the whole tour,” Candice said. “But there’s a certain spot down along the Grand River where he makes is presence known.”

It’s along the river walk where Lyon St. dead-ends into the river, between the Civic Auditorium and the Amway Grand Hotel.

“Most say Amos looks like he’s from the 1800s and has a bushy mustache,” says Candice. “One time, a tour-goer said Amos approached her and wanted to make sure he knew his full name.

“I remember her telling me she heard him say his name was Hawthorne or Rathbone.”

Candice says she started researching Amos Hawthorne and Amos Rathbone and soon discovered there was a man named Amos Rathbone who helped build Grand Rapids.

“Amos used to use teams of oxen to help drag rocks up from the Grand River which still to this day are a part of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church,” Candice said. “His house was where the Michigan Bell building stands today.

“People tell me they’ve heard Amos walking behind them on the tour. I’ve heard him walking behind me.”

Amos Rathbone is buried at Oakhill Cemetery.

Another eerie visit on the tour is McKay Tower which is located on Monroe Center, cross from Rosa Parks Circle.

“Once the building was finished in the 1920s, a man named Frank McKay purchased it and named it after himself,” Candice said. “McKay was essentially a mob boss disguised as a political leader.

“He ran the Republican Party in Kent County.”

Candice adds there were many investigations into McKay for corruption and his possible connection to random, execution-style killings.

“He wasn’t a guy you wanted to mess with,” added Candice. “There are many stories of prominent people in the city who were under his thumb because he was so powerful and vicious.”

Candice says many people have claimed to see Frank McKay roaming around inside the building.

“People will walk past him in the hallways,” she said. “There was a woman on an elevator inside the building and when the elevator doors opened, a ghostly Frank McKay stepped into the elevator with her.

“The doors closed and the two traveled up a few more floors. The elevator doors opened and Frank stepped off.”

While perusing the bank vault inside McKay Tower, Candice took a photo which she believes captured an orb, which many paranormal investigators say is a spherical, celestial body.

“Spending a length of time inside McKay Tower isn’t for the faint of heart,” Candice added. “That said, it’s a staple on my tour.”

Candice says she does downtown Grand Rapids ghost tours all year – not just during the Halloween season. If you’re interested in joining one of the tours, click HERE and you’ll be taken directly to her website.

If you’d like to be spooked by all of the ‘Our Michigan Life‘ haunted stories we’ve done over the past decade, please check out:

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Grand Rapids encourages staycations to help local hotels

Korn says a good Valentine’s Day weekend turnout in Grand Rapids showed that people are willing to stay in hotels once again.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — If you have the travel bug but are unsure about it during the pandemic, a staycation could be the answer. And Experience Grand Rapids hopes it will help local hotels as well.

“We’re really hopeful that we’ll be able to get our local community members staying overnight and also getting people coming from out of town,” says Janet Korn, Senior Vice President for Experience Grand Rapids.

The travel industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, but that could soon change. According to travel research group Longwoods International, 80% of American travelers plan to vacation in the next six months. That’s the highest total since March of last year. Alternatively, only 40% say COVID will impact their decision to travel.

Korn says a good Valentine’s Day weekend turnout in Grand Rapids showed that people are willing to stay in hotels once again.

“We know that if people have enough of a reason to get out, they will do an overnight stay,” she says. “That was a good weekend, but we need a lot more good weekends.”

To help, Experience Grand Rapids is partnering with ten local hotels to give a 25% discount off the second night of your stay throughout March and April. Korn says in talking with hotel owners, increased business is much needed after a year of mass layoffs in the industry.

“Our local hotels are staffed by the people who live in our community,” says Korn. “And the people who are holding onto their jobs would really love to bring back some of their team members.”

She hopes the incentive to staycation will keep local businesses thriving.

“To really help restore some of those lives in the hospitality industry,” says Korn.

A full list of participating hotels can be found here.

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