Friday, February 26, 2010

Preseason Match Recap: Rapids Battle RSL to 0-0 Draw

Rapids Match Report (Phoenix, AZ) - The Colorado Rapids wrapped up a week-long stint at the Casa Grande Performance Institute by earning a 0-0 draw with Rocky Mountain Cup rivals Real Salt Lake this afternoon.

Colorado conclude their trip with a 0-1-2 record against the 2008 and 2009 MLS Cup champions and the 2009 MLS Cup finalists.

(Check out exclusive video from Rapids Head Coach Gary Smith commenting on today’s match and the team’s Arizona trip on the Rapids' Facebook page by clicking here).

The Rapids can head back to Colorado tomorrow with their heads held high after playing their most complete match of the week. Players had obiviously been influenced by Gary Smith and his staff's instruction throughout the week, as the team’s shape and link play were far improved today, and the squad's overall energy was the better of the two sides on the pitch vs. RSL.

Colorado dominated much of the first half play on RSL's side of the field. The Rapids' most opportunistic scoring chance of the first 45 minutes came in the 28th minute when Mehdi Ballouchy’s shot from the top of the box rebounded off the crossbar.

The Rapids started the second half with trialist Rolan De La Cruz in the central midfield. The 6’4” Colombian joined the club on Wednesday night and only had two training sessions before being thrown into the fire of today’s quickly-paced match.

Neither side were too creative in their offensive play in the second stanza, as the 0-0 score held firm.

The Rapids return to Colorado tomorrow for one week of two-a-day sessions before heading back out on the road again for a weeklong preseason trip to London, England to train at the headquarters of Rapids partner club Arsenal FC.

Colorado Rapids vs. Real Salt Lake
Preseason match

Scoring Summary:


Rapids 1st Half Lineup: Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura, Julien Baudet, Mike Holody, Drew Moor, Wells Thompson, Mehdi Ballouchy, Ross LaBauex, Jamie Smith, Omar Cummings, Devon Hodges

Rapids 2nd Half Lineup: Matt Pickens, Rob Valentino Drew Moor, Greg Dalby, Mike Holody, Andy Lorei, Nick LaBrocca, Rolan De La Cruz, Ross LaBauex, Omar Cummings, Andre Akpan

Rapids Give Soccer Fans in Boulder Another Reason to Party

Soccer fans in Boulder, rejoice.

The Colorado Rapids today announced that the club has added Conor O'Neill's Traditional Irish Pub, located on 13th Street in Boulder, as the newest Rapids Official Pub Partner.

Already recognized as Boulder's most soccer-friendly watering house, with the partnership, Conor O'Neill's adds to their legendary status by partnering up with the Rapids, and in the process become the only Rapids Partner Bar located in Boulder.

As part of the partnership, Conor O'Neill's will televise all Rapids road games and offer drink specials during the match viewing parties.

Join the Rapids at Conor O'Neill's for a special kickoff event highlighting the partnership on Sunday, March 14 in conjunction with their legendary Boulder St. Patrick’s Day Parade!

FC Denver Holding Tryouts Sunday

Looking to join an adult soccer team this Spring? Local adult soccer club FC Denver announced that they are holding tryouts this Sunday!

From their e-newsletter:

"FC Denver tryouts are scheduled for Sunday from 10am - 1pm at Hampden Heights Park. There are no cost for tryouts. Just bring your gear, any club questions you have, and be ready to show your skills. We'll start at 10am sharp, so be sure to be there and be ready.

We will have a chat as a group and a group warmup before splitting into groups (a group for those playing and trying out for Masters, a group for returning Premier players and a few chosen United players, and a group for all other returning and new players).

We will run 45 minutes sessions and take breaks in-between. Expect to be at fields until approximately 12:30pm.

Premier & United roster spots will mostly be made on Sunday after tryouts, while Masters and our players making our practice squad will take additional time to deceide. Guys trying out for Premier and United should expect to be receiving an email on Sunday evening with information about our upcoming rosters."

For more information, visit FC Denver's website.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Moor's Musings: Hello From Phoenix!

What’s up everybody,

I'm glad to join Scott Palguta as a Rapids player blog contributor!

I am currently writing from that actual place that people refer to as “in the middle of nowhere.” Not that it’s a bad place by any means; I just don’t think Casa Grande is the place most people would expect when they think about soccer preseason.

Here, just as reference, check out where we are (and be sure to zoom out a bit…). Click here for the Google map of Casa Grande.

OK, so now that you have an idea of where we are, then you know that we are eating, sleeping, drinking, breathing, walking, and talking soccer 24/7. Which, really, at this point, is what we’re supposed to be doing, right?

So far through preseason, including this trip, the training has been quite demanding and a lot of focus has been put on the crucial small details of the game. Defensive positioning, midfield to forward link play, communication from the back, fitness, and so on.

I am very confident that the time we have been spending on the pitch (twice a day 4 or 5 times a week) has been very constructive, and perhaps as focused as I’ve been a part of in my 6 pro years.

The weather here at Casa Grande has been nothing to argue about either, with 70 degree sunny days and 40 degree chilly nights; it’s the kind of weather I want to spend “in the middle of nowhere” in.

Our two matches so far vs. Columbus and LA were very competitive and although the results weren’t what we were looking for, there was still plenty of good to take from both. Preseason is the time to look at different combinations, try different formations, get injured players healthy, and have a look at our young kids.

Speaking of the young kids, we have a solid group of rookies. All of them are very capable of playing good soccer, have great attitudes, and most importantly to me, we have one from Texas.

And, speaking of injured players, I believe just about everyone has been able to get involved in a couple of competitive drills (minus one or two guys), which is a good sign.

I know this post was no Scott Palguta, but I hope everyone enjoyed the map, and the quick update, and that the horse that’s about to deliver this telegram across the desert is able to get this to ya’ll soon….

Until next time!

-Drew Moor
Defender #3

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Preseason Match Recap: Rapids Fall to Galaxy 0-2 in Phoenix

Rapids Match Recap (Phoenix, AZ)- Playing their second match in as many days, the Colorado Rapids dropped a 0-2 decision to the LA Galaxy at the Casa Grande Performance Institute this afternoon.

(Check out video from the match and reactions from rookie Ross LaBauex on the Rapids' Facebook page by clicking here).

Los Angeles’ Mike Magee tallied a brace in the first half, registering goals in the 7th and 34th minutes.

Magee’s first score came from a rocket of a shot from the left side, while his second goal of the day was assisted by a Tristan Bowan touch pass inside the six-yard box, giving Magee an open net look.

The Rapids' best scoring opportunity of the first half followed a minute later when Drew Moor towered above the pack to head a Jamie Smith corner kick off the crossbar.

The Galaxy took their two goal advantage into the halftime break, as the Arizona sun beat down for the first time in three days.

Los Angeles looked like the more tactical team today, controlling much of the flow throughout the second half and keeping Colorado’s offensive threats to a minimum.

Rapids rookies Andre Akpan and Ross LaBauex gave the Rapids a sense of hope in the 88th minute when LaBauex’s through pass sliced the Galaxy defense at the top of the box, putting Apkan in position for a shot. Akpan’s shot was headed for the lower left corner before Galaxy ‘keeper Josh Saunders came up with a fingertip save.

In other notes, Colorado goalkeeper Steward Ceus also recorded his second straight second half shutout today, as the Rapids' netminders split halves again this game.

The Rapids will have one training session Thursday afternoon and one Friday morning ahead of their third and final preseason game in Arizona when they face rivals Real Salt Lake at 4:00 p.m. MT....make sure to check back here for updates from the rest of the week and Friday's match!

Colorado Rapids vs. Columbus Crew
Preseason match

Scoring Summary:
LA- Magee (unassisted) 7'
LA- Magee (Bowan) 34'

Rapids 1st Half Lineup: Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura, Julien Baudet, Mike Holody, Drew Moor, Pat Noonan, Nick LaBrocca, Medhi Ballouchy, Jamie Smith, Omar Cummings, Devon Hodges

Rapids 2nd Half Lineup: Steward Ceus, Kosuke Kimura, Greg Dalby, Mike Holody, Rob Valentino, Wells Thompson, Medhi Ballouchy, Ross LaBauex, Andy Lorei, Ross Schunk, Andre Akpan

FC Denver Announce Partnership With British Bulldog

FC Denver announced today an exclusive partnership with Rapids partner bar The British Bulldog.

FC Denver are one of the largest and most respected adult soccer clubs in the state with 85 members that participate on teams ranging from skilled to highly advanced. They field competitive-level Men's, Women's, and Coed teams while building a strong community of diverse, fun, and thoughtful members.

Excerpted from the FC Denver news story, posted on their official blog, The Green Army:

Our partnership ranges from the big (upcoming tournaments, events, player referral, jersey recognition) to the more minute (discounts on food purchases, video watching availability, etc) and is geared towards the growth of both organizations and, possibly more importantly, promoting the love of the game in Denver and beyond. Our organizations share a uncannily similar desires to share our passion of the game with the broader community.

By combining efforts in several like-minded areas, we can have a broader and more wide-ranging influence. One area that FC Denver is excited to put its support behind is the new Rapids Supporters group that the British Bulldog has organized called the “Bulldog Supporters Group” or “Bobbies” for short.

FC Denver will be joining and chanting alongside the Bulldog Supporters group in the new Supporters Terrace Section of Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Be sure to check back on the blog in the coming days for more information about getting involved with the Bulldog Supporters Group.

Our first official club event @ the Bulldog will be our FC Denver Spring 2010 Preseason Club party next Thursday evening March 4th from 6:30 - 9pm. We will also be organizing once or twice a week get-togethers at the Bulldog after games/practices so everyone can get to know Jon Forget (Bulldog GM), his friendly crew of employees, and all the great beers and food they have to offer."

FC Denver place special emphasis on giving back to the larger community through community service and fundraising events. They are equally passionate about the joy of playing soccer and the value of bringing people together for friendships, networking, and bettering our community. For more details, visit their official website.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Match Recap: Rapids Draw Columbus 1-1 in First Preseason Match

Rapids Match Recap (Phoenix, AZ) - Omar Cummings’ penalty kick goal in the 19th minute pulled the Colorado Rapids even with the Columbus Crew today as the Rapids earned a 1-1 draw in their first preseason match of 2010.

(Check out video from the match and reactions from Head Coach Gary Smith on the Rapids' Facebook page by clicking here).

The contest’s scoring all came in the first half, as Columbus jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the 4th minute of play.

The Crew's Steven Lenhart received a well-timed through pass that split the Rapids defense, leading to a 1-v-1 with Matt Pickens. Lenhart was able to seize the opportunity, giving the Crew the early advantage.

The Rapids controlled much of the offensive play after giving up the early goal and were able to respond with their first goal of the new season not long thereafter.

Fighting through a hard tackle and winning the ball, Colorado's Wells Thompson found himself surrounded with open space headed to goal. Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer was called for a penalty after he fouled Thompson with a mis-timed slide tackle attempt.

Omar Cummings stepped up to the spot and knocked it calmly home in the 19th minute for the tying score.

No real attempts threatened for the remainder of the first half, and the score was 1-1 at halftime.

The second half saw both teams play a back and forth affair. The pace and flow at times looked like an early preseason game, but both sides could leave the afternoon tilt with a positive feeling of where they are in the early stages of preseason.

Colorado made six substitutions to start the second half, giving the technical staff a good look at some of the club's new young talent as well as trialists in camp (see the Rapids' lineups at the bottom of this story).

Meanwhile, Columbus subbed in a slew of veterans around the 60th minute as Schelotto, Hejduk, Padula and O’Rourke all entered the game.

Colorado were able to hold the score at 1-1 in the second half behind some key saves by Steward Ceus in the 66th and 70th minutes, but scoring chances were limited on either side over the match’s final minutes.

The Rapids have a short turnaround before their next match, as they face off against the LA Galaxy here at the Casa Grande Performance Institute tomorrow afternoon; check back here for updates from tomorrow's match!

Colorado Rapids vs. Columbus Crew
Preseason match

Scoring Summary:
CLB- Lenhart (unassisted) 4
COL- Cummings (penalty kick) 19

Rapids 1st Half Lineup: Matt Pickens, Rob Valentino, Julien Baudet, Oscar Murrilo, Drew Moor, Wells Thompson, Ross LaBauex, Nick LaBrocca, Jamie Smith, Omar Cummings, Devon Hodges

Rapids 2nd Half Lineup: Steward Ceus, Kosuke Kimura, Rob Valentino, Oscar Murillo, Mike Holody, Wells Thompson, Greg Dalby, Ross LaBauex, Andy Lorei, Ross Schunk, Andre Akpan

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Green Army's Rapids Training Report

The Green Army, the official blog site of FC Denver, posted a good insightful report from yesterday's Rapids training session titled "Shining Through".

Included in the post are training observations, reports on some of the new faces in camp, reports on individual players' performances, and a quick interview with new Rapids Colombian player Oscar Murillo.

Check it out here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Conor Casey at USMNT Camp

World Football Daily conducted some on-the-ground interviews with US National Team players out at the US camp at The Home Depot Center.

Included in the video was Rapids striker Conor Casey. Check out the video below; Casey's interview starts at the 1:00 mark.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Palguta's Posts: "I'm Really, Really, Really Ridiculously Good-Looking."

It’s surprising how comfortable and at home I feel playing on national television or in front of a crowd of 30,000 people; no nerves, no jitters, no problems. Yet if you take that little round ball away from me and throw me back in front of the camera....I’m lost.

This is what I experienced last week while taking some time to do a Rapids photo shoot at Dick's Sporting Goods Park for Mile High Sports Magazine. Ok, maybe I’m embellishing a little bit, but it’s still a somewhat awkward experience, at least initially.

The shoot consisted of two parts: a series of outdoor action shots and some indoor fashion shots. We started down on the turf fields where our photographer spent some time looking for the perfect action shot (the easy part). I performed some juggling tricks, side volleys, and even a few overhead kicks until the photographer was satisfied (or maybe he just gave up—we’ll see). About twenty minutes and a few turf burns later, we headed back to the locker room, where I got cleaned up and dressed for the fashion portion of the shoot.

Fortunately, the room was full of complete strangers, which made me extra comfortable.

After a few introductions to these strangers, I was put back in front of the camera, but only after the guys from American Crew styled my 'do, and dressed me in trendy street clothes (courtesy of Metroboom), and asked to perform some relatively unnatural poses. At one point, I was asked to hold my phone and act as if I was texting or reading an email. However, I quickly discovered that actually using my phone was a lot easier than pretending. So, I texted my girlfriend back and forth for a few minutes, and before I knew it, we were done! So it wasn’t so bad after all!

The Rapids also posted a video showing the behind the scenes from the fashion shoot on the club's Facebook page; watch it here.

But in all seriousness, the shoot was a lot of fun and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be even a small part of next month’s issue. I also look forward to seeing the rest of the boys in subsequent issues—it makes for great locker room banter.

Oh, and to the best of my knowledge, that’s 2 defenders, 1 midfielder, and 0 forwards that have been featured thus far in this monthly Rapids feature in the magazine. Go figure!

I’ll be back next week with an update from our preseason training trip to sunny Phoenix, AZ…..



Rapids Players & Their Valentine's Day Mishaps

Hi Rapids fans!

As part of my job as Rapids Inside the Game hostess, I had the chance to interview some Rapids players to find out some of their most memorable Valentine's Day experiences!

In my quest to dig up some of the good stories, I asked several of the Rapids players the following question: Can you describe in a couple of sentences which Valentine's Day experience sticks out most in your memory (for either good or bad)?

Rapids defender Mike Holody: "I think the last good Valentine's Day I can remember was when I was in the 5th grade, because it was the last time we exchanged cards and candy with everyone in our class. I mean, Valentine's Day cards with NFL players on them? Amazing."

Rapids goalkeeper Chris Sharpe: "I think the best Valentine's Day that I had was when I used to get cards and candy from a secret admirer!! That just doesn’t seem to happen anymore!"

Rapids defender Kosuke Kimura: "It's been a while, but I made a reservation one Valentine’s Day at a really nice restaurant. However, my date was an hour late so the restaurant cancelled our reservation! We couldn't get into another good restaurant at that point so we ended up eating fast food that year!"

Rapids defender Scott Palguta: "Regrettably, I never had a true Valentine until this year (although my wallet will argue it’s not all that 'regrettable'). But unfortunately, Murphy’s Law was in full effect this weekend. My girlfriend came down with food poisoning Friday night, so we were forced to cancel our dinner reservations. Then I couldn’t even cheer her up with the flowers I had ordered, because UPS never showed up with the delivery. Needless to say, I’m DONE with a certain 1-800 flower company. We’ll have to have a do-over next weekend."

Rapids forward Ross Schunk: "Few people know this, but Valentine's Day, February 14th, is the great state of Oregon's birthday. On Feb 14, 1859 my home state joined the United States. So growing up, even if I didn't have a Valentine, I still got the chance to celebrate on Valentine's Day every year."

As for me personally, my funniest Valentine’s Day story came from when I was a freshman in high school. I was trying out for my high school soccer team and my friend Hannah and I were going to go on a group date that night. I was a goalkeeper, so when the varsity coach came around to look at us I tried really hard to show off so I went out of the box to get the ball and a girl kneed me in the head. I went into the training room and I had a softball size goose egg on my head! So NO date for me that year!

Thanks, and I hope all Rapids fans had a Happy Valentine's Day!

-Lindsay Carroll
Rapids Inside the Game hostess

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Weekend Soccer Games

Hey Rapids fans! Looking for something to do on your Valentine’s Weekend? Grab your date, or even just a few friends and head to one of the Colorado Rapids Official Bar Partners. While you’re there grab some food and a few drinks, sit back and watch one of the many soccer games on TV. Here is a list of the games happening this weekend.

Friday Feburary 12, 2010

AC Milan v Udinese (Live on Fox Soccer @ 12:30 PM MT)

Saturday February 13, 2010

FA Cup: Chelsea v Cardiff City (Live on Setanta @ 4:55 am)
FA Cup - Southampton v Portsmouth (Live on Fox Soccer @ 5:30 AM MT)
FA Cup: Reading v West Brom (Live on Setanta @ 7:55 am)
FA Cup – Derby County v Birmingham City (Live on Fox Soccer @ 8 AM MT)
Roma vs. Palermo (Live on ESPN360 and Fox Soccer @ 9:55 am MT)
FA Cup: Manchester City v Stoke City (Live on Setanta @ 10:00 AM MT)
Sampdoria v Fiorentina (Live on Fox Soccer @ 12:30 pm MT)

Sunday February 14, 2010

Juventus vs. Genoa (Live on ESPN360 @ 6:45 AM MT)
FA Cup: Fulham v Notts County (Live on Setanta @ 7:55 AM MT)
FA Cup - Bolton v Tottenham (Live on Fox Soccer @ 8:30 AM MT)
FA Cup – Crystal Palace v Aston Villa (Live on Fox Soccer @ 8:30 AM MT)
Braga vs. Maritimo (Live on ESPN360 @ 11:00 AM MT)
Napoli v Inter Milan (Live on Fox Soccer @ 12:30 PM MT

Roster Comings and Goings…

Amidst the third week of preseason training, the Rapids have made several player transactions as the team’s roster gets closer to taking its final shape.

In addition to yesterday’s announcement of the signings of defender/midfielder Danny Earls and defender Oscar Murillo and Wednesday’s news that the club traded defender Ty Harden to Toronto FC, the Rapids released forward Chris Cutshaw. Cutshaw was Colorado’s fourth round selection in January’s MLS SuperDraft from Bradley University.

Next week, the Rapids will welcome Jamaican international Devon Hodges for a trial period. The 25-year old forward has appeared in both of Jamaica’s recent friendlies, alongside the Rapids’ own Omar Cummings, playing the full 90 minutes against Canada on January 31 and 12 minutes on Wednesday in the Reggae Boyz’ friendly against Argentina.

Hodges is one of a handful of trialists that will join the team throughout the early weeks of training, as the team has seen former Denver University midfielders Collin Audley and Leon Abravanel among the team’s sessions already this year.

This is always a busy period for the Rapids technical staff, so be sure to check back to and the Rapids Undercurrent for all the latest official news and updates!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rapids Academy Setting the Standard has a good article posted on their site about how the Rapids Academy and other MLS clubs' youth systems are setting the standard in America for youth soccer development.

Some excerpted quotes from Brian Crookham, Director of the Rapids Academy:

“We are different [from other traditional youth soccer programs in the US] in that player development is paramount and winning will be a by-product of development, not the opposite.

"The bottom line is that the daily environment must be better if we want to produce better players, and I think there has been some movement in that direction.

“We had [local Colorado youth soccer] clubs that jumped up at the beginning wanting to be partners, and we had clubs that circled the wagons and protected what they feel are their territories.

“Oversight that is good for a traditional youth club doesn't fit with our goals or philosophies.”

Read this entire story online here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rapids Youth Teams Weekly Schedule

This week's Rapids youth teams schedule, courtesy of the Rapids Academy:

February 8 – February 15, 2010

Monday: Teams off

Tuesday: Training, U15-U18 Teams, 6:00pm, Fields 8 and 10
Indoor Training, U11-U12 Teams, 6:00pm, Adams City High School Gym*
Indoor Training, U13-U14 Teams, 7:00pm, Adams City High School Gym*

Wednesday: Training, U15-U18 Teams, 6:00pm, Fields 8 and 10

Thursday: Training, U16 and 18 Teams, 6:00pm, Fields 8 and 10

Friday: U15 and U17 Teams – Travel to Las Vegas, NV

Saturday: Training, U16 and U18 Teams, 1:00pm, Field 10
Indoor Training, U11-U12 Teams, 10:00am, Adams City High School Gym*
Indoor Training, U13-U14 Teams, 11:00am, Adams City High School Gym*
U15 and U17 Teams – Mayor’s Cup International Showcase

Sunday: Training, U16 and U18 DA Teams, 1:00pm, Field 8
U15 and U17 Teams – Mayor’s Cup International Showcase

Monday: U15 and U17 Teams – Mayor’s Cup International Showcase
U15 and U17 Teams – Travel to Denver, CO

*Indoor Training Sessions

Please note that there will be no indoor training on Thursday, February 11th or Thursday, February 18th. Also, for both sessions this week (Tuesday and Saturday), part of the group will train outside. Players should bring cleats and warm clothing in addition to their indoor shoes. Also note that the original schedule included slight time changes, however by moving outside, there will now be no change from the normal schedule.

Rapids Season Tickets – Academy Supporters
Your Colorado Rapids Opening Day is April 3rd vs. Chicago Fire! Be there with the rest of your team to celebrate the new Rapids Academy Section in 134. If you haven’t already purchased your specially priced Academy Season tickets for 2010, please contact our Academy Season Ticket Rep, Ossie Hamrick, at 303.727.3538.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rapids Academy's 16-Year Old James Rogers Trains With the Big Boys

The Rapids held their first 11-v-11 scrimmage in training on Sat, Feb. 13 and James had an excellent showing in just his second session working with the First Team, scoring the match's most exciting goal of the morning.
The present met what may be the future on Saturday as 16-year old Rapids Academy member James Rogers took the field with the Rapids' first team.

Rogers earned the opportunity to train with the pros after showing well over the last couple of months, including an eye-opening performance at the Development Academy Showcase in Phoenix last December. Although eligible for the Rapids U16 team, he is training and playing full time with the Rapids U18s.

Rogers was born in Sierra Leone and moved to Colorado last year after living in Utah for several years, where he last played full-time for Sparta Premier. He also played for the Ogden Outlaws last summer and participated with RSL’s SUM Cup team.

Rogers was recognized at the national level when he was named to the US U15 National Team Pool.

On Saturday, James took part in the Rapids' first team warm-ups on the fields at Dick's Sporting Goods Park and then was treated to a core fitness session that centered around boxing. Then the fun began.

A forward, Rogers got his first touch early in the 8v8 games and drove straight to goal, sailing a shot high over the bar. He created several more opportunities in the session and proved he can be an asset in possession and defending as well. His performance on the day earned praise from the Rapids' first team coaches and players alike.

Click here to watch a video interview with James taken immediately after the session!

Check back here to The Rapids Undercurrent, as the Rapids Academy will keep you updated on the progress of this talented Rapids Youth Team member!

Rapids Academy Player Vitals:
James Rogers
Rapids Academy U18 team (age-eligible for U16 team)
Born 6/27/1993
Poudre High School - Junior

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Valentino on Trial with Lov-Ham

The Rapids announced today that defender Rob Valentino has gone on trial for a possible loan with Lov-Ham Fotball.

Lov-Ham plays in the Adeccoligaen, Norway’s second highest division.

Valentino, acquired by Colorado in a trade from New England on May 6, 2009 in exchange for Nico Colaluca, has yet to appear in an MLS game in his two seasons since coming out of the University of San Francisco as a Generation adidas signee.

According to Lov-Ham coach Arne Sandsto, Valentino will play in a friendly this Wednesday against Brann.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Palguta's Blog: Recapping First Week of Preseason Camp

Well, February is upon us and we’re already into our second week of preseason training!

Taking a look back at the first week of camp, it started as we all gathered at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park last Tuesday for entrance physicals and a brief team meeting. It was great to have all the guys back in the same locker room together.

We were also able to welcome the four new players the club recently picked up in the 2010 SuperDraft. I’m personally thrilled with the selection of Andre Akpan, because along with the recent acquisition of Jeff Larentowicz, our roster now features three Ivy-Leaguers! That’s right, smart kids can excel at sports, too.

I’m excited to finally play alongside Jeff, since I routinely lost to him and his Brown Bears throughout my collegiate career. I’m not making any excuses for Cornell, but I suppose it’s easier to concentrate on soccer when you have the option to take all of your courses pass/fail.

Now, I have no argument for Harvard; they’re just better.....unless, of course, you want to discuss grade inflation. But this is a soccer blog, so I won’t get into that.

Wednesday was our first official day of training. Most of the session was spent trying to get the rust off, as it was clear that the majority of us spent the last month or so away from the training pitch.

Our training session was followed by an incredible “welcome back” team meal at the Denver ChopHouse. While the meal itself was outstanding, the most memorable moment of the evening was assistant coach Brett Jacobs' toast, which included a proficient and inspiring recitation of “The Man In The Glass.”

With full stomachs, we reported to Impact Sports Performance in Broomfield early Thursday morning for fitness testing.

Impact Sports is a strength and conditioning facility owned by our strength coach, Jamie Heiner. Over the course of a couple hours, Jamie put us through a series of tests which included: vertical jump, 20-yard dash, agility shuttle, body fat testing, and finally, the dreaded Yo-Yo endurance test.

The purpose of the fitness testing is to simply see what we’ve been doing during the off-season. It also gives the coaching staff a feel for our collective fitness level. Based on the results, the coaches can put together the proper training sessions for the coming weeks.

In the end, the staff was thrilled with the results, as nearly everyone surpassed expectations.It’s clear that we have a dedicated group that really wants to build on last year’s progress.

Perhaps our impressive test results will lead to more time with the ball at our feet and less time in our running shoes during the days ahead...

Thanks and until next time!


Rapids defender Scott Palguta blogs exclusively for The Rapids Undercurrent. Post questions or feedback for future columns below!

Rapids Youth Teams Weekly Schedule

This week's Rapids Youth Teams training and match schedule, courtesy of the Rapids Academy:

February 1 – February 7, 2010

Monday: Teams off

Tuesday: Training, U15-U18 Teams, 6:00pm, Fields 8 and 10
Indoor Training, U11-U12 Teams, 6:00pm, Adams City High School Gym
Indoor Training, U13-U14 Teams, 7:00pm, Adams City High School Gym

Wednesday: Training, U15-U18 Teams, 6:00pm, Fields 8 and 10

Thursday: Training, U15-U18 Teams, 6:00pm, Fields 8 and 10
Indoor Training, U11-U12 Teams, 6:00pm, Adams City High School Gym (Optional)
Indoor Training, U13-U14 Teams, 7:00pm, Adams City High School Gym (Optional)

Friday: Teams off

Saturday: Training, U15-U18 Teams, 1:00pm, Field 10
Indoor Training, U11-U12 Teams, 10:00am, Adams City High School Gym
Indoor Training, U13-U14 Teams, 11:00am, Adams City High School Gym

Sunday: Training, U16 and U18 DA Teams, 1:00pm, Field 8

Both the Colorado Rapids and the Rapids Academy are now on facebook with exclusive content, including video from this weekend’s marketing photo shoot. Become a fan of both pages by clicking on the links below:

Rapids Facebook Page
Rapids Academy Facebook Page

**Rapids Season Tickets – Academy Supporters
Your Colorado Rapids Opening Day is April 3rd vs. Chicago Fire! Be there with the rest of your team to celebrate the new Rapids Academy Section in 134. If you haven’t already purchased your specially priced Academy Season tickets for 2010, please contact our Academy Season Ticket Rep, Ossie Hamrick, at 303.727.3538.

-All training and match times listed are at Dick's Sporting Goods Park unless otherwise indicated.

Omar Cummings Assists in Jamaican Win

Rapids striker Omar Cummings provided the game-winning assist in Jamaica's 1-0 win over Canada in the friendly played between the two nations yesterday in Kingston.

Cummings served up his assist to Luton Shelton, who scored in the 68th minute at National Stadium after the Reggae Boyz dominated the first half.

For more info soon (the game story hasn't been posted yet), visit the Jamaican National Team's official website here.