Monday, August 31, 2009

Rapids Alumni Players Help Induct Spencer

For those who witnessed the Colorado Rapids Gallery of Honor induction for club legend John Spencer on Sunday, it was a moving experience with a heartfelt speech on the field by Spenny.

Spencer thanked the club, the front office, the fans, and then last, but not least, his former teammates that helped him achieve this honor.

During the induction cermony, several Colorado Rapids Alumni Players were on hand to show their support for Spencer on his special day.

Were you able to identify the former players on the pitch at halftime on Sunday? Judging from all the "Is that who I think it is?" questions in the Cantina during the day's postgame autograph session, we're guessing not.

Not to worry though, we're here to help!

Pictured here from left to right from Sunday's halftime ceremony are:

(Name, position, years played with Rapids):

-Rafael Amaya, defender, 1997
-Chris Martinez, defender, 1997-2001
-Ritchie Kotschau, defender, 2001 & 2002-05
-Marcelo Balboa, defender, 1996-2001
-John Spencer, forward, 2001-04
-Paul Bravo, forward, 1997-2001 & current Technical Director
-Eric Denton, defender, 2005-06
-Seth Trembly, midfielder, 2000-04

Friday, August 28, 2009

Rapids vs. Houston Game Notes Guide

The Rapids face a huge match this Sunday at home vs. Houston, in a period of the year where every point is vital in the push toward the postseason.

"Each game becomes bigger and bigger for us. Houston at home is not going to be a cakewalk by any means, it's going to be a tough game and it's something where we need to get three points," goalkeeper Matt Pickens said.

Read the entire Game Notes Guide assembled by the Rapids Media Relations dept. for this Sunday's game online by clicking here.

Remembering Spenny

As the Rapids prepare to honor a club legend this Sunday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, let's pause to take a quick look at some of his statistics.

Rapids forward John Spencer, who will be inducted into the club's Gallery of Honor at halftime of Sunday's match, still holds the following places in these notable categories of the club's record books as of today:

2nd all time in Goals Scored (37)
3rd all time in Shots on Goal (115)
2nd all time in Game-Winning Goals (10)
1st all time in Penalty Kick Goals (9)
2nd all time in Goals Per Game (.42)
3rd all time in Scoring Percentage (14.3%)
3rd all time in Shots on Goal Percentage (44.6%)

In the majority of these categories, Spencer only trails current members of the Gallery of Honor (current inductees are Marcelo Balboa, Paul Bravo and Chris Henderson).

Spencer played with Colorado from 2001-2004, and perhaps more important than many of the stats he holds, is still best remembered to this day by fans for his fierce competitiveness and fiery enthusiasm on the pitch.

"We called him the 'Little Braveheart'," current Rapids Team Captain Pablo Mastroeni said of the 5-foot-6 Spencer to the Denver Post today. "When he went for anything — a header, a challenge — he'd go in 100 percent. There was never a loose challenge, never a header he wouldn't commit to, against guys 7-8 inches taller than him. Just a great leader."

Read the rest of today's article in the Post by clicking here.

Ceus Plays for USL-2 Championship Saturday

This Saturday, goalkeeper Steward Ceus, leads his Charlotte Eagles against the Richmond Kickers as two of the three most successful franchises in the United Soccer Leagues will collide in the USL Second Division Final for the second time in four years.

Both Charlotte and host Richmond will be playing in their eighth championship match in club history when the two long-time rivals square off in a repeat of the 2006 Final.

The USL Second Division Championship is set for 8 pm ET Saturday, August 29 at University of Richmond Stadium. The match will be broadcast on Fox Soccer Channel at 11 pm ET.

Ceus, who was selected by the Rapids in the third round (37th overall) of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, has been on loan with Charlotte since June. He started in 10 regular season games with a 1.00 goals against average (3rd in league) making 42 saves and registering 4 shutouts.

In the postseason, Ceus has helped the Eagles advance to USL-2 Championship match earning two wins with a 3-1 victory over Real Maryland and a 1-0 shutout win over top seeded Wilmington Hammerheads.

The 6-6, 205 lb. ‘keeper was named to the USL-2 Team of the Week for Week 12 and Week 16 and earned USL-2 Player of the Week accolades for Week 16 as well.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rapids Alumni in the House on Sunday

Want to know what ex-Rapids players have been up to since their playing days with the club?

Well here's your will get the chance to rub elbows with several Rapids Alumni players at this Sunday's home match vs. Houston, as the club are hosting their next official Alumni event at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Sunday.

The Rapids Alumni will be seated in the Southeast Party Canopy (atop section 113), and fans can swing by to chat or say hello, as the party canopy opens onto the concourse.

The alums will also be on hand to help recognize one of their own members, by participating in Sunday's on-field halftime ceremonial induction of John Spencer into the club's Gallery of Honor.

The Rapids Alumni will also join Spencer in the Stadium Cantina after the conclusion of the game to sign autographs and swap stories.

Worried that some of the Rapids' former players have changed their looks dramatically since their playing days and you might not recognize them? Not to worry.....they will all be wearing matching white polo shirts with the Rapids Alumni logo for easy identification!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rapids Rewards

As an added benefit just for Full Season Ticket Holders the club is offering Unique Game Day Experiences just for our Season Ticket Holders!

What are they, you ask? Full Season Ticket Holders could watch the game from the Managing Director's suite; listen to Gary Smith talk about what's on tap for the night's match in our Cannon Corner Chalk Talks; sit on the bench and watch the players' warm-ups; or challenge other Full Season Ticket Holders to an All-Star game on the pitch!

Now you may be wondering "what's the catch" or "how much will that cost", but not to worry - it is free of charge to all of our Full Season Ticket Holders! We send out Rapids Rewards emails leading up to the game for the chance to participate in one of these amazing Game Day Experiences, and the first people to reply win!

Full Season Ticket Holders: keep checking in your inbox for more Rapids Rewards emails to come!

Not a Full Season Ticket Holder? Click here to find how you can become one and take advantage of this incredible new benefit!


Monday, August 17, 2009

Fans Kick It With Players and Coaches at Season Ticket Holder Party

This past Saturday, the Colorado Rapids' most loyal fans gathered with the players and coaching staff at the Denver Marriott City Center downtown for this year's annual Full Season Ticket Holder Party.

Several hundred Rapids Season Ticket Holders were in attendance and all got the chance to interact with the team by playing board games, video games and even foosball with their favorite players.

(View an exclusive photo gallery from the party on the Rapids' Facebook page by clicking here)!

The day started with getting checked in at the fabulous ballroom of the Marriott, where the room was decked out in burgundy and blue from floor to ceiling.

The food was delicious, and once lunch was over, everyone went on the prowl to get autographs and pose for photos with all the players on the squad!

One of the highlights of the day was when Gary Smith got up on the mic and thanked all of the Season Ticket Holders for their loyal support this season.

All attendees got the chance to enter the Rapids raffle, which included great prizes such as autographed banners, balls and jerseys, other memorabilia, and even a free night in a suite!

The event was rousing and a great time was had by all!

This annual event is just one of the many benefits the club offers to Full Season Ticket Holders.

Not currently a Full Season Ticket Holder? Find out how you can become one online by clicking here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rapids Reserves Claim 3-0 Win Over Orediggers

Ross Schunk's goals in the 33rd and 37th minutes paved the way, as the Rapids Reserves cruised to a 3-0 victory over the Colorado School of Mines Wednesday afternoon at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Rob Valentino put the Rapids Reserves up in the 5th minute when he headed an Ugo Ihemelu throw to the far post for the early 1-0 lead.

Schunk added to the Rapids' advantage first with a beautiful volley score from Facundo Diz and later with a blast to the upper right corner of the net from 25-yards out.

Playing the full match along with Schunk, Valentino and Diz were Greg Dalby, Ty Harden and Chris Sharpe. Ugo Ihemelu played the first half, as the Rapids were joined by several guest players including Richie Kotschau, Ross Burki and Babucarr Ceesay.

The Rapids train tomorrow morning before enjoying three days off over their bye weekend. Colorado’s next regular season game will be on Sunday, August 23 when they take on the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park at 4 pm MT.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

DSG Park Turf Crew Aerating the Pitch

With a 3-week window between Rapids home matches at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, the award-winning stadium turf crew are taking this opportunity to aerate the stadium pitch.

The turf crew has been hard at work starting the process of marking out drain spots and sprinkler heads and then actually aerating the field.

What does aerating the pitch do to benefit the Rapids, you may ask?

According to Bret Baird, head of turf operations at the complex, aerating the pitch will help soften up the field, increase oxygen into the root zone of the grass, and add thickness and density to the grass....all things that should help the Rapids players definitely see a noticeable change for the better in the next home game.

The aeration process will result in the stadium's award-winning field being in even better shape for the club's next home match vs. Houston on Sunday, Aug. 30.

Baird and his crew try to aerate the field twice per year, both in the first part of the season and then also later on in the year, and results are best with window of a few weeks to allow for regeneration before the field gets used again.

In Baird's own words: "Any time we do this, the turf just explodes. With this window of 3 weeks of dormancy, the field will look like a carpet for the Rapids' game on August 30."

Bring your cameras on Sunday, Aug. 30 to catch the Dick's Sporting Goods Park pitch in all its rejuvenated glory!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hat Trick History

With Rapids striker Conor Casey's 3 goals vs. Chivas USA Saturday night, the Colorado striker joins an elite cadre of all-time players to have ever notched a hat trick in a game.

Some Rapids All-Time Hat Trick Stats of Note:

-Only 4 Rapids players all-time have ever notched a hat trick.

-Only one of those players has ever recorded a hat trick on more than one occasion.

-Only two of those players performed the feat inside one half.

-Two of those hat tricks were on the same date, one year apart.

-Chivas USA are the only club against whom the Rapids have recorded more than one hat trick in history.

-Only 1 stadium has ever hosted more than one Rapids hat trick.

-One of those hat tricks was performed in a commemorative one-off Rapids Red/White/Blue combo kit.

Think you know where and when each of these hat tricks happened, who scored them, and against which club?

Take a second to go down memory lane in your head...............

We'll wait...............................

Ok here they are:

All time hat trick performances by Rapids players:

7/4/01: John Spencer vs. DC United at Mile High Stadium
7/4/02: Chris Carrieri vs. Chicago Fire at Invesco Field
6/18/05: Jeff Cunningham vs. Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center
9/27/08: Conor Casey vs. NY Red Bulls at Giants Stadium
4/4/09: Conor Casey vs. LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center
8/8/09: Conor Casey vs. Chivas USA at Dick's Sporting Goods Park

Chris Carrieri and Conor Casey are the only 2 players to have recorded a hat trick in the same half; Carrieri's came in the second half against goalkeeper Zach Thornton and Chicago in 2002, Casey's in the first half against Lance Parker (who was replacing that same Zach Thornton, out due to injury) last Saturday night.

Conor Casey is the only player in Rapids history to have recorded more than one hat trick. Now with 3 to date, one could say he has a hat trick of hat tricks.

And in case you were really wondering about the impact of kit combinations on hat trick performances, here's what the players were wearing when they performed their feats:

It was Spencer with the Red/White/Blue commemorative Rapids Independence Day kit, Carrieri in Green/Black/Green, Cunningham in White/White/White, and Casey in Burgundy/White/Burgundy for all three of his hat tricks.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Rapids to Recognize Colorado's Hispanic Heroes on Saturday

The Rapids, in their annual tradition, will be honoring outstanding citizens who are nominated by their peers for their contribution to our local Hispanic community in Colorado at the club's annual "Hispanic Heritage Night” this Saturday.

The ceremony will occur during halftime of the Rapids' home match against Chivas USA.

Each Hispanic Hero will receive four fieldside tickets to the match, courtesy of State Farm, a Rapids jersey and a commemorative framed award from the club.


Linda Sosa moved to the United States in 1982 from Aguas Calientes, Mexico and became involved with Denver's St. Cajetan Church, where she encouraged Mexican families to embrace and feel proud of their heritage. She recently organized traditional dance groups, singing groups, and an exhibition on the Aztecs at the Museum of Anthropology in Denver. Linda is often contacted by various organizations throughout the state to help facilitate contact and communication with the Mexican-American community in Colorado.

Jesse Ogas was born in Silver City, New Mexico and moved to Denver 20 years ago. He is the Corporate Relations Director fo Arc Thrift Stores, where his passion for his community can be driven for families who need held with their children, or adults with developmental disabilities. Jesse is on the Board of Directors for Escuela Tlatelolco and Vice Chair for La Clinica Tepeyac, both local community organizations that have tremendous impact and affect on children and adults of Latino decent. Jesse was also appointed to the Mayor’s Latino Commission where he currently serves as a commissioner.

Theresa Solano is a well-respected Denver native. She provides support and resources to more than 60 Hope Online Learning Centers throughout the state of Colorado. Theresa manages special projects and opportunities which support Hope Online’s mission to advance the academic successes of Colorado students through quality educational options. Theresa currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors of Mi Casa Resource Center, as Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of Escuela Tlatelolco, as the Public Relations/Marketing Chairperson of the Boy Scouts of America Joint Venture District, as the Latina Chamber Foundation and Partnerships for Healthy Communities, as well as a mayoral appointee to the Denver Latino Commission.

The Rapids strongly believe in the importance of community involvement and applaud all individuals who devote their time and energy to helping others in need here in Colorado.

Congratulations to the 2009 Colorado Rapids Hispanic Heroes; please help us welcome them at Saturday's match.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gary Smith Goes "One On One" With Altitude

Life for Rapids Head Coach Gary Smith is a busy one. Not only does he have all the duties and responsibilities as Head Coach of the Colorado Rapids, but off the pitch he's also an active family man, with three children, two of them twins!

Fans can get an inside perspective into Gary Smith’s life both on and off the soccer field, on the new episode of Altitude's ‘One on One’, hosted by Julie Browman.

One On One with Gary Smith debuts on Altitude this coming Monday, August 10 at 10pm MT.

For details and additional air times, visit Altitude online by clicking here.

A Decade of "The Don"

The Rapids today congratulate MLS Commissioner Don Garber on a special marks exactly one decade of him being in office.

On August 4, 1999 Garber was sworn in as the new Commissioner of MLS, replacing Doug Logan.

Rapids Managing Director Jeff Plush had this to say about Commissioner Garber's 10-year anniversary: "It's amazing to see just how far this league has come in the last 10 years under Don Garber's leadership. His sports marketing experience and background in the NFL led to his being able to position MLS as a real sports power both domestically and internationally. But really it is his passion for this sport that has grown our league over leaps and bounds this last decade."

On that historic day, 10 years ago today, in New York City on August 4, 1999, Garber issued this prophetic statement as he accepted his new position: "I am enormously excited about managing the next phase of development for world-class professional soccer in the United States. I am particularly encouraged about leading this sport that is so uniquely positioned for long-term growth, and translating the passion of the game into mainstream America."

Check out the old news story from that day.

Other excerpted quotes from that press conference in 1999 that hinted toward the future of MLS' potential included:

"Don Garber is a very experienced sports executive who brings a wealth of international knowledge to his new position as Commissioner of Major League Soccer," said Lamar Hunt, investor-operator of the Columbus Crew and Kansas City Wizards. "The future of MLS will be tied to consistent, conservative growth and Don will be an invaluable leader in that respect."

"Don Garber's track record at the NFL revealed a person highly capable of managing a growing sports and entertainment business," said New England Revolution investor-operator Robert Kraft, whose family also owns the NFL's New England Patriots. "His 15years of success at the senior level of a multibillion dollar business prove that he has the savvy and work ethic to ensure Major League Soccer's success, both domestically and internationally."

On this day we pause to look back at just how much has been achieved in the last 10 years under Garber's watch, from soccer specific stadia (only Crew Stadium existed in MLS when Don took office) to expansion cities to the formation of Soccer United Marketing to competitions such as SuperLiga to Designated Players to Game First initiatives to youth development programs to huge league television and sponsorship deals.

Congratulations on 10 years Commissioner.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Season Ticket Holder Party Next Saturday!

Full Season Ticket Holders; if you haven't already RSVP'd for next weekend's 2009 Rapids Season Ticket Holder Party, your deadline to do so is 1 week from today, next Monday at 5pm!

All Full Season Ticket Holders are invited to this exclusive meet and greet with the players and coaches every year; it's just one of the many benefits the club provides to our full season ticket holders!

This year's event with the team takes place next Saturday, August 15th; the location has only been revealed to season ticket holders via email!

Full Season Ticket Holders, if you haven't received your evite yet, please contact your Service Specialist at (303) 727-3414 or send an email to

Want to play Guitar Hero with Conor Casey? How about get autographs and photos from Pablo Mastroeni? There's giong to be great food, awesome prizes, and more!

It's all taking place next Saturday! Don't miss out on this FREE annual event, just for Full Season Ticket Holders.

Don't delay, RSVP today! And we'll see you there for the annual Season Ticket Holder Party next Saturday!