Saturday, March 28, 2009

Rapids Week - Event #6 Recap - First Kick Pub Crawl

What better way to take back the streets after a city-wide paralyzing blizzard than to hit the pubs of Lodo with a full force of Rapids supporters!

The Rapids' First Kick Pub Crawl kicked off last night at 6pm at Fado Irish Pub, where you can see several of the crew posed and composed getting ready for all the action while the night was still young (somehow the photos got progressively worse after this).

Next up on the tour was the Ginn Mill, where we were treated to Bob the bartender's hospitality, then over to Scruffy Murphy's, who still sport an old-school Rapids jersey hanging from the ceiling, then to the Giggling Grizzly, where several of the crew snapped ilicit photos of the bar's trademark stuffed bear wearing a Rapids shirt, then to the Tavern Downtown, where several of the crew broke down and finally consumed some food, then to Delaney's, where bowling grudge matches were held, and then finally to the terminus, the Celtic Tavern, where somehow several crawlers we had lost along the way managed to catch up with the rest of the crew.

Each participant on the crawl got a commemorative Rapids Pub Crawl t-shirt, which everyone sported all night, discounted drinks at every pub, as well as free schwag from Budweiser, whose marketing director and Bud girls joined us at each location all night.

Thanks also to HDNet, who filmed the entire pub crawl in high definition. Look for the footage to air sometime in the next several weeks on HDNet in their show titled "Denver Diversions".....we are betting some of us will be regretting the high-def footage that was shot later in the evening when we actually see it.

Thanks again to all our crawlers as well as our participating pubs on the route. Lots of friends were made, lots of normal civilians were influenced by our presence bursting into each location, and everyone had an enjoyable jaunt through some of Lodo's top watering holes. We look forward to seeing you all at the match tonight.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Cory Gibbs on KS 107.5 Morning Show

Rapids defender Cory Gibbs joined Rapids PA announcer Kendall B. and the rest of the cast of the KS 107.5 morning show, Kathie J and Larry Ulibarry, live this morning on the radio.

If you missed it this morning fighting to keep your vehicle on the road on the way in to work on the icy roads, we've got you covered.

Topics discussed? How the team is looking this season, Cory's playing time in Germany and England, what it's like to play in snow, European locker room etiquette, and yes, Cory's flashy new wheels.

Listen to the 6-minute audio clip from the show on the "music player" tab only on the Rapids' Facebook page by clicking here.

Dick's Sporting Goods Park Enters New Pizza Sponsorship with Aliki Foods

Dick’s Sporting Goods Park has entered into an agreement with Aliki Foods to offer Aliki’s 7-inch pan pizzas at their concession stands, it was announced today.

Aliki Foods’ 7” pan pizzas are made with a long-standing family pizza sauce recipe and a special cheese blend and now will be available at all Colorado Rapids home games and other in-stadium events.

“We are glad to be adding Aliki Foods to our family of partners,” said Rapids Director of Corporate Sponsorship Ken Blasi. “We are always looking for opportunities to enhance our guests’ experience at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and offer them the best in quality food options, and we feel Aliki Foods share in that mission as well.”

Michael Pappas, the President of Aliki Foods, which is based in Old Lyme, Connecticut, is proud of his Greek grandmother’s specialty pizza sauce.

“My grandmother’s homemade pizza sauce was made from fresh tomatoes from my grandfather’s garden and consisted of a blend of fantastic spices,” he said. “I wanted to duplicate that freshness everybody could enjoy. My grandmother, Aliki, would be proud to know her recipe is a part of the Denver community, where more people can enjoy our quality pizza.”

As part of the sponsorship, the Rapids will be offering special Family Night packages to fans that include four tickets to a Rapids home game, four Aliki pizzas, and four sodas for just $69. There will be four Aliki Rapids Family Nights throughout the 2009 season starting with this Saturday, March 28, as well as the games on July 11, August 1, and September 23. Family Night packages are available at or by calling (303) 825-GOAL (4625).

Digging Out Just in Time for Opening Night

Well that was quite a scare yesterday. The "Spring Blizzard of 2009", as all the TV stations are labeling it, came and went in the span of 12 hours. Just enough time to freak people out for one day, but not cause any real problems for Saturday's Opening Night.

Here at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, the stadium's snow removal crews were already busy clearing the streets and sidewalks at the crack of dawn this morning, and all the complex's streets were navigable in time for Rapids and stadium staff to arrive to work this morning.

The sun has also already broken through here at the Park, and the melting process is underway.

The Rapids have moved their training session today from their official training pitch to the turf fields at the stadium, which can more easily be plowed.

Forecast for kickoff of tomorrow's Opening Night? 50 degrees and sunny....a world away from yesterday's whiteout conditions and overall bleakness.

That's Colorado for you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rapids Week - Event #5 Recap - The High School Classic

It's event day 5 of Rapids Week 2009, and the events are flowing fast and furiously this week building up to Opening Night!

We're reporting here from the scoreboard master control room at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, and tonight it's the Colorado Rapids High School Classic, presented by CollegeInvest.

The Arvada West Wildcats are taking on the Standley Lake Gators in front of hundreds of friends and family in the first-ever stand alone high school soccer match ever held here on the stadium pitch. Tonight's event is a match-up of two high school girls teams, who just both happen to be archrivals.

Arvada West drew first blood 7 1/2 minutes in, putting the Wildcats up 1-0.

Junior forward #21 Larissa Drew struck for Arvada West, giving her school the honor of getting their team logo posted front and center on this very blog entry.

Arvada West doubled their lead with 13 minutes before the end of the half, off a goal by senior and team captain #23 Brittany Lyman.

10 minutes into the second half, Standley Lake pulled one back. Senior forward #15 Alissa Johnson, team captain as well as daughter of our PA announcer tonight, scored off a great header on a set piece to move the Gators within one.

However only a short time later, Larissa Drew notched her second goal on the evening after being sprung on a breakaway with a deft chip over the 'keeper to make it 3-1 Wildcats.

With 5 minutes to go before the final whistle, Arvada sealed their victory with a fantastic tally by junior forward #9 Anna Evans, who juked the goalkeeper and slotted home to put the Wildcats up 4-1.

The Rapids look forward to making the High School Classic a continued tradition here at the stadium with other high school teams battling it out on the Rapids' match pitch in the future; look for the Pine Creek Eagles vs. the Chatfield Chargers as the next installment coming up on Thursday, April 23.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rapids Claim Burgundy & Blue Game 6-0 Win Over Metro State

Five second half goals paved the way as the Rapids were victorious over the Metro State Roadrunners tonight at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in the team's annual Burgundy & Blue Game.
"Tonight was an opportunity for some of our boys to get 90 minutes of football under their belts," commented Rapids head coach Gary Smith afterwards. "Some of these players will be called upon during the season and maybe in the not-so-distant future, so it was good for them. It’s good for their timing and to replicate game action to get the rust off."

The Rapids controlled the game throughout the first half, but were only able to come away with a 1-0 lead at the break following a 25-yard blast from Terry Cooke in the 36th minute.

Colorado wasted no time upping their lead to start the second half when Jacob Peterson scored on a one-on-one with the ‘keeper in the 48th minute, putting the Rapids' advantage to a pair.

Gregory Richardson and Ross Schunk combined to tally the next four goals for the Rapids, as the home side found the back of the net in the 68th, 71st, 79th and 89th minutes.

Terry Cooke was named Man of the Match for his stellar play on the evening.

The Rapids will get right back to training tomorrow morning at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park with only four days before their home opener against the Kansas City Wizards this Saturday at 7:30pm.


Halftime Update From Burgundy & Blue Game

The referee has just blown the whistle for halftime, and it's Rapids 1, Metro State 0 at halftime of tonight's Burgundy & Blue Game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

The Rapids are wearing their away blue kits, Metro State their home red kits....the Rapids will unveil their new home burgundy kits for the first time at this Saturday's Opening Night vs. KC.

Terry Cooke, who also is captaining the Rapids side tonight, scored for the Rapids in the 36th minute tonight, off an assist from Nico Colaluca.

Here's the starting lineup for both teams:

Colorado Rapids: Preston Burpo, Ivan Guerrero, Scott Palguta, Ty Harden, Kosuke Kimura, Greg Dalby, Nico Colaluca, Jacob Peterson, Terry Cooke, Gregory Richardson, Ross Schunk

Metro State: Dominique Griffith, Ryan Brooks, Tyler Wilson, Jamey King, Pat Laughlin, Scott Crawford, Pierre Amestoy, Chris Yoder, Mike Martinez, Steven Emory, Kellen Johnson

Visit the Rapids Booth at Sportaccord

The Colorado Rapids have a pretty impressive booth at this week's Sportaccord conference, taking place all week at the Hyatt Regency downtown.

What's Sportaccord, you may ask? Only the largest international sports conference in the world.

Sportaccord is a 5-day gathering of 1,500 leading representatives from international sports organizations. The annual convention is held in a different country each year and encompasses the Congress and General Assemblies of over 100 international sports federations and their related associations.

Its mission is to offer the sports community a powerful opportunity to come together on a global scale, in an exclusive and authoritative networking environment, to build relationships, share knowledge and develop ideas.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber is in town as one of the featured guest speakers tomorrow.

Going to the conference? Feel free to stop by the Rapids booth to say hello!

Rapids Week - Event #2 Recap

The second event of Rapids Week 2009 was the Supporters Kickoff Bash, hosted by Class VI on Sunday evening from 6-8pm at The Cantina at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

Attendees got the chance to hear an exclusive speech from Head Coach Gary Smith, with his take on the result of the game at Chivas, participate in a Q&A session with Gary, bid on fantastic items in the silent auction, win door prizes, enjoy some great food and beverages at the Cantina, and get autographs from Rapids midfielder Terry Cooke!

Thanks to all the supporters who made it out to the Kickoff Bash, both current and prospective members; from what we heard, the money raised from the auction and raffle helped fill a significant portion of the Class VI treasury coffers for 2009!

Pablo Checks In From US Camp

Rapids Team Captain Pablo Mastroeni is currently with the US Men's National Team Camp in Miami preparing for the Americans' upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against El Salvador and Trinidad & Tobago.

We caught up with Pablo to get some exclusive quotes from him about how it feels since joining the camp on Sunday:

"It was good to get into camp and see all the familiar faces," Pablo said.

"It was interesting to hear all the different stories of all the different leagues going on abroad. As you know, the European season is coming to a close in the next month or so with many teams vying to win a spot in the Champions League, while others are fighting to stave off relegation."

"The excitement of the foreign leagues coming to an end along with the start of the MLS season has created a buzz of excitement wihin the group as we begin preparing for El Salvador this weekend."

For more on the US camp, visit US Soccer's official blog by clicking here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rapids Week 2009 - Event #3 Recap

Rapids players and coaches today continued their annual tradition of visiting kids in the hospital, this year at the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center.

This afternoon, the players and coaches visited with patients, signed autographs, and posed for photos with kids in the different wards at the hospital.

Pictured at right, Ugo Ihemelu, Ty Harden, Preston Burpo, Jacob Peterson and the guys try out their video gaming skills with one of the kids they visited.

Rapids Week 2009 - Event #1 Recap

Thanks to all the fans who joined us at Sobo 151 for Saturday night's Rapids official away game viewing party! It was the very first event of Rapids Week 2009.

Pictured at right are some exuberant fans posing with some of the Rapids' players who were in attendance at Sobo. They are (L-R):
-Rapids draft pick Mike Holody
-Exuberant Rapids fan
-Slightly less enthusiastic Rapids fan
-Rapids defender Scott Palguta
-Smiley Rapids fan
-Rapids goalkeeper Steward Ceus

Although the game result didn't go the way everyone was hoping, fans still had a great time downing schnitzel, goulash, Czech specialty beers, and cheering and groaning at each play, alongside the Rapids' non-travelling players.

Congratulations also to Rapids fan Jamie Neal, who walked away with the grand prize from the door prize giveaway on Saturday, which included Opening Night tickets, signed Rapids team memorabilia and more!

Stay tuned for info. on the location for the next Rapids away-game viewing party, coming up on April 4.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Players Saturday Night at Sobo

The Rapids held 10am training this morning at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, followed by the squad jumping on the bus to depart to DIA to catch their flight to LA for tomorrow's match at Chivas.

Not making the trip for the first away match of the season were the following players:

Steward Ceus
Nico Colaluca
John DiRaimondo
Ciaran O’Brien
Scott Palguta
Ross Schunk

These players who are staying in town this weekend have been invited to Saturday night's official away-game viewing party at Sobo 151 to watch the match live with fans and staff....swing on by Saturday to mingle and say hello!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thanks to Rapids Influencer Party Hosts!

Over the last few months, the Rapids have held several "Influencer Parties" in various locations in our community designed to reach out and touch people who are not yet affiliated with our organization and tell them about the benefits of joining our club and becoming season ticket holders, all on a very informal and personal basis.

We'd like to stop and take a second to thank all the Rapids supporters who have generously hosted these events, whether in their home, workplace, or at a local watering hole, and who have personally invited out all of their friends, neighbors, clients or colleagues to hear Gary Smith, Jeff Plush, and numerous Rapids players talk to them one-on-one on their own turf.

Thanks especially to the following Rapids fans and business partners who were influential in organizing and hosting Rapids Influencer events over the last few weeks:

-The British Consul of Colorado, Kevin Lynch
-Hugo Boss Cherry Creek
-Season ticket holder Kevin Callahan
-Denver Chop House
-Season Ticket Holders Tina & Dave Nuechterlein
-The Mexican Consul of Colorado, Eduardo Arnal
-Season Ticket Holder Josh Vaisman

We anticipate much new business out of these Influencer events, and thanks to these supporters, we've made inroads in several different areas and industries and been able to bring new season ticket holders on board.

Haven't attended a Rapids Influencer Party? Want to make a difference in our community? Got 50 or more friends, clients or aquaintances you can assemble in an intimate location where the Rapids provide the food, drink and celebrities? Find out how you could host a future Rapids Influencer Party by calling the Rapids at (303) 727-3414.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in past events....the Rapids appreciate your hands-on help in building our fan base and our sport in Colorado!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

See You at Sobo Saturday

Join us for the club's first viewing party of 2009 this Saturday as the Rapids travel to Chivas!

The viewing party will be at Sobo 151.

Haven't been to Sobo? What you can expect on Saturday:

-the best Czech food in Denver
-Czechvar authentic beer on tap, the only place west of the Mississippi
-door prizes
-non-travelling Rapids players
-Drink specials in effect

Kickoff is at 8:30pm on Saturday. Get there early or expect to fight for a seat.

Don't forget to wear your burgundy and we'll see you at at Sobo Saturday night! Thanks for helping support the bars who support the Rapids!

A St. Paddy's Day Message From Ciaran O'Brien

Have a safe and enjoyable St. Patrick's Day from your friends at the Rapids!

Our resident Irishman, midfielder Ciaran O'Brien, sends this special message out to fans:

"Just wanted to wish all the Rapids fans out there a happy St. Patrick's Day full of great laughs, green outfits and of course your favorite Irish beverage. I personally will be heading downtown to enjoy the festivities with a few of the lads on the team later tonight. Hope everyone has a fun and safe day!"

Thanks also to all the fans who came down and visited the Rapids booth at the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday morning....the Rapids Street Team had a prime position right in the Fado parking lot at the terminus of the parade, and the craic was good.

Have an enjoyable one, and the Rapids will give fans one more time to celebrate their Irish heritage this year, on the club's annual "Celtic Heritage Night" on August reason to wait until St. Paddy's 2010. Sláinte.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Keel Signs with Portland Timbers

Less than 24 hours after his release from the Rapids, defender Stephen Keel wasted no time finding an outlet to continue his professional career.

The Portland Timbers of the United Soccer League First Division announced that the Littleton native would be joining their club. Keel played all 90 minutes in the Timbers 0-1 exhibition game loss to the San Jose Earthquakes this past Saturday.

"Stephen was a terrific lad and a gentleman," said Rapids head coach Gary Smith after training on Monday. "He was hard working and an honest professional. I thought he served the club well. Being a local boy I am sure there will be some disappointment, but he has a fabulous opportunity to play regular football and certainly with a club that is pushing for their own MLS franchise."

The Timbers kick off their season on Saturday, April 25 against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Swangard Stadium.

Friday, March 13, 2009

An Old Amigo at the Stadium

Celebrity sightings at Dick's Sporting Goods Park: spotted at the stadium on Wednesday night for Mexico vs. Bolivia was ex-Rapids #10 and Colombian legend Carlos Valderrama.

"El Pibe" was serving as the radio commentator for Futbol de Primera for the match, but stopped for a quick photo after the game.

Yes, his trademark 'fro is still there under the hat (somehow).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Rapids Give Head Coach Birthday Victory

The Colorado Rapids completed their 2009 preseason schedule with a 1-0 victory Thursday night over the Seattle Sounders FC at Qwest Field.

This was the Rapids' third consecutive win and third straight victory over an MLS club this preseason. Colorado close out preseason play with a
5-2-0 record.

Conor Casey scored the game’s only goal in the 38th minute off a penalty kick following a foul on Colin Clark in the box.

The Rapids return to Colorado tomorrow to begin preparations for their 2009 regular season opener on Saturday, March 21 against Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center.

Colorado Rapids Lineup: Matt Pickens, Jordan Harvey, Cory Gibbs (Ivan Guerrero 66), Ugo Ihemelu (Ty Harden 66), Kosuke Kimura, Pablo Mastroeni (Nick LaBrocca 66), Colin Clark (Terry Cooke 66), Jacob Peterson, Mehdi Ballouchy, Omar Cummings (Gregory Richardson 66), Conor Casey (Ross Schunk 66)

Behind the Scenes at Rapids Open Video Shoot

The Rapids Game Entertainment department, who got their first chance in 2009 to fire up the state-of-the-art production equipment at the stadium last night and dust off the cobwebs while producing the Mexico vs. Bolivia match, are back to knee-deep preparations for Rapids Opening Night.

One of the elements that fans have to come to expect from the club is the Rapids' annual tradition of creating a new Team Open Video that sets the tone for home matches at the stadium, and runs prior to team introductions.

The Rapids are continuing their yearly efforts to not only top last year's Open Video in terms of theme and theatricality, but also to set the standard league-wide for creating entertaining in-stadium elements like these music videos that celebrate our players and our club in an exciting manner for fans.

This year's production has involved four different on-location video shoots involving the stadium, coaches and players, and is currently in post-production.

Here's a sneak peek photo from behind the scenes with Gary Smith and the "Rapids Studios" staff directing a shot on the green screen in the KSE production studio.

Fans will get the first chance to see the 2009 Rapids Team Open on Opening Night vs. KC on March 28.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mexico vs. Bolivia Tonight

It's Wednesday morning and the first event of 2009 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park hits tonight, and the stadium is a hive of activity today.

Staffers from Soccer United Marketing, the official promoters of the match, are running around today coordinating final details with Rapids and stadium staff to make sure everything is in place for tonight's production.

The weather's also much better today than yesterday, to the delight of the Mexican delegation, who were "muy frio" at their 7-9pm training session at the complex last night.

The Rapids also hosted a special reception with the Mexican Federation President, Desio de Maria, Rapids Managing Director Jeff Plush, and the Mexican Consul, Eduardo Arnal, last night in a swank room at the Westin Hotel with key members of Colorado's latino community.

Mr. de Maria spoke about the great rivalry between the US and Mexico and how great it is to be able to bring El Tricolor to the States so the local Mexican-American population can feel the passion of their homeland live and in person.

Timeline for today's events:

-3:00pm Futbol Fiesta begins in stadium VIP lots, featuring live bands, food, music and vendors; admission is free
-5:30pm stadium gates open
-7:00pm kickoff

The game as of this morning is close to being sold out but is not yet....a big walkup crowd is expected this afternoon, and any fence-sitters should act sooner rather than later if they are still looking for tickets.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

MLS Fan Code & Pledge to Fans

Major League Soccer have unveiled the league's new Fan Code of Conduct, as well as the MLS Pledge to Fans.

It's an effort by the league and all its teams to put down in writing expectations of what fans have a right to expect as part of the fan experience at all MLS matches, from the league, teams, and other fans.

Read the MLS Fan Code of Conduct and MLS Pledge to Fans online by clicking here.

Look for the Code and Pledge to be displayed in all MLS stadia, on team websites, and other locations in time for the season.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Rapids Hit Official Training Field for First Time

Today was a special treat for the Rapids as Gary Smith's squad was finally able to train on the club's official training pitch this morning for the first time this year.

The official training pitch, which is an exact replica of the field inside the stadium, is finally back to form and the grass is ready to take the wear and tear of a Rapids training session.

The squad had previously been training on the artificial turf fields at the complex, with a session on one of the other grass fields every once in a while depending on how far along its progress was.

Long story short, the team's happy to be back on their official training pitch, and the grass is back in world-class shape.

All the Rapids players and the technical staff, led by coach Gary Smith, shared a cold morning of physical and technical training this morning.

Sharing the complex with the Rapids this week will be the Bolivian National Team (who arrive in Denver later today), and the Mexican National Team (who arrive tomorrow). While both national teams will host training sessions at Dick's Sporting Goods Park ahead of Wednesday's international tilt at the stadium, neither team will have access to the Rapids' pristine official training pitch.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday Update: Field Pristine and Ready To Go!

Update on the field at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.....we told you earlier in the week that the Turf Crew had removed the tarp from over top of the grass, and only a few days later, we can now call it a Picture Perfect Pitch.

Check out a shot of the stadium field at right, taken this morning.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Rapids Bringing in WPS Team for Doubleheader

The Rapids have secured an agreement to bring in a women's professional match this year to the stadium featuring Natasha Kai and new WPS Club NY/NJ Sky Blue FC.

The event will feature a doubleheader on Wed. June 24 in conjunction with the Rapids home game that night.

Lineup for June 24:

4:30pm - Colorado Force (W-League) vs. Sky Blue FC (WPS)
7:30pm - Rapids vs FC Dallas

The Colorado Force are the local W-League team based in Ft. Collins that the Rapids have staged 2 previous women's matches with.

One ticket will get fans into both matches. Look for an announcement soon on the Rapids' official site.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Rapids Win Scoring Fest Over Galaxy 5-2

The Colorado Rapids won their second straight preseason match and second in three days claiming a 5-2 victory over the LA Galaxy Wednesday afternoon at The Home Depot Center.

"This was another very positive game for us," explained head coach Gary Smith. "Any time you can find the back of the net multiple times is good. Ultimately it is another step in the right direction."

The Rapids jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Mehdi Ballouchy scored on a deflection off the LA goalkeeper in the 21st minute.

The visiting club then wasted no time pulling away with two goals in a three minute span.

Omar Cummings put the Rapids up 2-0 in the 32nd minute assisted on the play by Kosuke Kimura. Minutes later, Conor Casey recorded his second goal in three days off a Ballouchy quick-start free kick in the 35th minute.

The Galaxy stopped the bleeding the 44th minute when Omar Gonzalez tapped in a rebound goal following a Preston Burpo save.

In the second half, LA cut into the Rapids’ advantage making it 3-2 on a Dema Kovalenko rebound goal off the post in the 81st minute.

Colorado quickly responded in the 82nd minute when Terry Cooke netted an excellent pass from Ivan Guerrero.

The contest’s final goal came on a breakaway score and Cummings second of the match in the 86th minute.

The Rapids return to Colorado this evening and resume training at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park tomorrow afternoon.

Colorado Rapids: Preston Burpo, Cory Gibbs (Serge Wawa 65), Ugo Ihemelu (Greg Dalby 65), Kosuke Kimura (Mike Holody 65), Jordan Harvey (Ivan Guerrero 65), Jacob Peterson (Nick LaBrocca 46), Pablo Mastroeni (Terry Cooke 66), Mehdi Ballouchy, Colin Clark, Omar Cummings, Conor Casey (Gregory Richardson 65)

Pablo Cover Boy for Mile High Sports Magazine

Just hitting stands this week is the March issue of Mile High Sports Magazine, with our very own Pablo Mastroeni on the's the image, seen here for the first time.

Pablo also contributed his comments to the fitness-themed issue; here's an excerpt:

“You have to enjoy what you’re doing,” says the Rapids captain. “You might as well drive to a scenic park so you can take in all the other stuff that goes with working out.”

Interestingly, none of Mastroeni’s offseason workouts involve a soccer ball. He finds that getting away from soccer for a few months makes him extremely hungry to get back into it when practice starts up.

DIET/NUTRITION TIPS “I think my vice is caring too much about my diet,” jokes Mastroeni. “As you get older, you start to feel your mortality as far as your career is concerned, so you take care of yourself a little better.”

The very disciplined 32-year-old star doesn’t eat red meat, fast food or sweets, including soda. Every day, he has a bowl of oatmeal with seasonal berries and a handful of almonds. For lunch and dinner, he always has one type of green vegetable like spinach or broccoli. He also eats fruits, vegetables and other healthy snacks throughout the day.

To read this entire article, click here, or pick up a copy of the magazine at several locations around town -- visit their website for distribution locations.

Stadium Turf Rollback

After a few weeks of being covered by a tarp, the stadium pitch at Dick's Sporting Goods Park finally was exposed today again as the complex's award-winning Turf Crew rolled back the tarp to give the grass its final preparation toward getting ready for Opening Day.

Why was the field covered with a tarp in the first place?

Here's the explanation, from Bret Baird, the complex's Turf Manager:

"The tarp lets sunlight in but traps heat, acting like a mini-greenhouse, giving the grass ideal growing conditions," said Baird.

"Turf blankets like the one we use retain natural heat and moisture that speed up seed germination and promote deep root development for the grass. Especially in colder climates like we have here in Colorado at this time of year, what that means is that the grass will green up earlier in the spring."

The first time anyone will step foot on the stadium's pristine field in 2009 is next Wednesday, when the Mexican National Team take on Bolivia, and judging by how the field looks, they can expect a world-class playing surface, even this early in March.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rapids Pass In Today’s Waiver Draft

With all MLS teams meeting the League’s roster compliance rules on Monday evening, MLS conducted a waiver draft this afternoon.

The Rapids held the fifth overall pick, but chose to pass on the 38 players made available.

Now any of the players not selected in today’s waiver draft may renegotiate a contract and sign with the team that is the first to submit a formal request for the player.

Get Coaching Tips Straight From the Rapids’ Head Coach

Listen as Zack Burleson and Chris Baker interview Rapids head coach Gary Smith as part of's Coaching Podcast Series.

Smith offers his insights and discusses bringing the soccer culture to your team, academy systems, training methods, coaching influences and how to keep your players’ minds focused.

Coaches, players, and fans of all levels are sure to learn something of great value – Click here to listen now!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Rapids Claim 2-1 Win Over San Jose Monday Afternoon

The Colorado Rapids evened their preseason series with the San Jose Earthquakes with a 2-1 victory today at Loyola Marymount University.

The Rapids used goals by Conor Casey and Jacob Peterson to move to 3-2 during the 2009 preseason and avenge a 0-2 loss to the Earthquakes just three days earlier.

"I thought today was a much more realistic and professional performance which we were rewarded with a couple of goals and a win," said head coach Gary Smith. "We looked a lot brighter and a lot sharper than we did Friday and we continue to take positive steps."

Casey tallied his first goal of the New Year in the 23rd minute, striking a 25-yard rocket over the reach of Joe Cannon to put the Rapids up 1-0.

Minutes later Casey came close to adding another score after beating Cannon only to hit the post, as Colorado would hold their 1-0 advantage at the half.

In the 57th minute, Peterson added to the Rapids’ lead scoring off a Colin Clark cross.

The Rapids finished the game a man down after Peterson left the match suffering a cramp, leaving San Jose to capitalize in the 88th minute with their lone goal from Quincy Amarikwa.

The team will train at The Home Depot Center tomorrow and then face the LA Galaxy on Wednesday afternoon before returning to Colorado.

Colorado Rapids Lineup: Matt Pickens, Jordan Harvey, Cory Gibbs (Michael Holody 64), Ugo Ihemelu, Kosuke Kimura (Serge Wawa 64), Pablo Mastroeni (Nick LaBrocca 64), Colin Clark (Ivan Guerrero 64), Jacob Peterson, Mehdi Ballouchy (Greg Dalby 64), Conor Casey (Terry Cooke 64), Omar Cummings (Gregory Richardson 46)

Former Rapids Assistant Coach Joins Livingston F.C.

John Murphy, who served for four years as an Assistant Coach with the Rapids (2005-2008) and most recently as the team’s Director of Player Development, was named Goalkeeping Coach for Scottish Football League First Division side Livingston Football Club.

Murphy is no stranger to Scottish football, having spent time in the country acquiring his UEFA Pro Badge and UEFA "A" Advanced License with the Scottish FA.

The Livi Lions’ official website will be doing an interview with Murf later this week, so make sure to check back and click here.