Friday, January 30, 2009

Rapids Building for the Future

In a very positive move for the club, the Rapids have this morning signed 4 of the team's most promising young players to multi-year contracts.

With the combination of veteran players such as Pablo Mastroeni re-signing for the club, and now today's news of several of the Rapids' key young stars comitting to the Rapids for the next several years, the future is looking very bright for Gary Smith's squad.
Wondering who the players are? Look for a full press release in the near future on, once all the contract details are finalized.


Stephen Keel, Heartthrob, is Single In the City

Our very own Rapids defender Stephen Keel is set to grace the pages of 5280 Magazine as one of Denver’s 24 top singles.

Joining Keel are graphic designer Jill Hodges, former DA Norm Early, mountaineer Sean Swarner, architect Daniel Gonzales, actor Laurence Curry, teacher David Singer, Table 6 owner Aaron Foreman, makeup artist Gina Comminello, charity exec Lauren Casteel, Merrill Lynch VP Marti "Smarti" Awad, Galloway Group's Frances Owens, Denver Health's Elbra Wedgeworth, PR's Hillary Martin, KMGH-Channel 7's Jane Slater, ad woman Ester Kang, interior architect Megan Hudacky, High Country Club's Nancy Nally, events manager Jenny Starkey, ad man Mike Sukle, Avs forward Wojtek Wolski, graphic designer Ted Crawford, art curator Eric Trujillo and's Waylon Lewis.

On Friday, Feb. 27, 5280 Magazine will again be hosting their Single in the City party. Held at the Exdo Event Center (1399 35th Street), anyone interested can come celebrate with Mr. Keel and the rest of 5280's top 24 singles with fabulous entertainment, food, cocktails, and great company. Proceeds will benefit Volunteers of America.

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Doors open at 8pm for the party. And while you are welcome to stay as long as you want, Stephen does have training the next morning at 10am.


Rapids Negotiating for International Match on March 11

The Colorado Rapids are in negotiations to host an international friendly on Wednesday, March 11, 2009.

Executives from Soccer United Marketing visited Dick's Sporting Goods Park yesterday, checking out the facility, and meeting with team and stadium executives to discuss possibilities for hosting this match between two men's national teams, which would take place a little over 2 weeks before the Rapids' Home Opener on March 28.

Most likely the Rapids would negotiate a specially priced combo ticket for this match and the Rapids' home opener.

Kickoff would most likely be 7 or 8pm on Wed. March 11.

Negotiations have reached their final stage, so if the deal gets signed, look for a possible announcement very soon on!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Back to Work

Today was the first day on the pitch for the team (the turf pitch to be precise) and despite the afternoon sun shining down, it was still windy and cold for those in attendance.

It is always a great feeling though regardless of the weather to see the players back at work with all the hope and spark in their eyes that a new season brings.

With piles of snow outlining the field and an occasional tumbleweed rolling by, the new coaching staff wasted no time getting down to business. Most of the first’s day session was spent in group drills focusing on first touch and passing. Mix in some conditioning, and day one is in the books.

The team will move on to two-a-day sessions on Thursday and Friday with a morning practice scheduled for Saturday.

Looking over the number of players out there today and the talent that Gary Smith has assembled in this camp, it will be very interesting to see how the next several weeks play out as we get closer to finding our 24-man regular season roster and who that starting 11 will be on March 21.

But that is looking ahead too far. Even looking ahead to Feb. 11 and the warmer weather of Ft. Lauderdale is too far ahead. There is a lot of work to be done here first and one gets the feeling that positions will be won and lost every day.

Fresh back from his stint with the U.S. National Team, we caught up with Ugo Ihemelu, who ommented on the first day of camp:

“It is a little bit of a transition coming from the 80 degree weather in Los Angeles to the cold weather here and then training on turf, but I am glad to be back. It’s good to see all the guys again and also start working towards the season with a new coaching staff seeing the direction that they are taking with the team.”

It was great to see Ugo earn another national team cap last weekend. With the Nats' next match against Mexico on Feb. 11 (which sold out in 90 minutes earlier today), could Ugo be headed back to camp with the USMNT again here soon?

Ride the Rapids with the “Official Rafting Company of the Colorado Rapids.”

The sponsorship department is proud to announce a newly formed partnership with River Runners whitewater rafting company out of Buena Vista. Providing over 21,000 rafters each year with the whitewater experience, River Runners has been the premier rafting company in Colorado since 1972. Keep an eye out for special Rapids/River Runners promotions throughout the season including River Runners Family Nights, offering discounted tickets, concession items and rafting trips.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Reporting For Duty

Today was the Rapids' report day for the official start of the 2009 preseason.

Players will have a team dinner tonight and then take their physicals tomorrow. This Wed., Jan. 28 will be the players' first day on the pitch; hopefully there won't be a repeat of this morning's blizzard on the fields complex at Dick's Sporting Goods Park!

Starting on Thursday, Gary Smith’s squad will be starting two-a-day training sessions. All training sessions during the 2009 preseason and regular season are closed to the public.

Here is a look at the Rapids' preseason roster as of today:

Kwame Adjeman-Pamboe (FWD), Mehdi Ballouchy (MID), Preston Burpo (GK), Conor Casey (FWD), Steward Ceus (GK), Colin Clark (MID), Nico Colaluca (MID), Terry Cooke (MID), Omar Cummings (FWD), Greg Dalby (MID), John DiRaimondo (MID), Kevin Forrest (FWD), Cory Gibbs (DEF), Christian Gomez (MID), Mike Graczyk (GK), Brian Grazier (MID), Ty Harden (DEF), Jordan Harvey (DEF), Mike Holody (DEF), Justin Hughes (GK), Ugo Ihemelu (DEF), Henry Kalungi (DEF), Stephen Keel (DEF), Kosuke Kimura (DEF), Nick LaBrocca (MID), Pablo Mastroeni (MID), Ciaran O’Brien (MID), Jacob Peterson (MID), Matt Pickens (GK), Kwame Sarkodie (DEF), Ross Schunk (FWD), Jordan Seabrook (FWD), Chris Sharpe (GK), Cesar Zambrano (DEF)

Additional tryout players will be brought in throughout the course of training camp as well.

Some noticeable names missing from this year’s preseason roster are Jose Burciaga Jr., Bouna Coundoul, Facundo Erpen and Tom McManus. Burciaga Jr. and Coundoul are both out of contract, while the Rapids declined to pick up the contract option for the 2009 season for both Erpen and McManus. Two others that were on the Rapids '08 roster not returning are Mike Petke and Tim Ward, who both were waived in late November. Petke has since signed with the New York Red Bulls.

The Rapids will train at home the next two weeks before traveling to Ft. Lauderdale for a seven-day camp environment in Florida.

2009 Rapids Game Schedule on the Horizon

Are you pining for the Rapids' 2009 schedule? Tossing and turning at night wondering whether the Rapids will play on your birthday this year? Anxiously trying to plan your trip to Alabama for your cousin-in-law's wedding in mid-June but don't want to take the chance of missing any of your Rapids' home games?

Well, you won't have to wait much longer. The complete regular season schedules for the Rapids and all MLS teams will be made public this Wednesday.

While all MLS clubs have known their first 2 home games of the season for a while now, MLS has been busily negotiating the complete 2009 MLS schedule for the last few months while fans (and front offices) around the nation have been waiting with baited breath.

What takes so long to try and assemble a complete league schedule, you may ask? Various factors go into the equation, including trying to schedule amidst stadium blackout dates in each market (especially those cities without soccer-specific stadia), around international dates (a big priority for the league this year), avoiding mid-season competitions, preferred national TV dates, and this year, an odd number of teams.

Each team also submits to MLS a priority list of preferred dates they'd like to host for each season, and dates that they are unable to host matches each year.

Trust us, that nobody out there in the soccer world would want to have the job of the league staffer who's responsible for compiling all of that info. into complete schedules for each team and trying to ensure all the clubs are happy with the hands they are dealt; it's an unenviable task.

But the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight; starting this Wednesday, you can plan your entire 2009 from March-November, and schedule all other less pivotal events to move to non-Rapids gamedays.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

USWNT Captain Rampone to Appear at Colorado Force Soccer Tournament

The Colorado Force FC, the W-League team that the Rapids have partnered with over the last few years as part of the club's annual Women's Soccer Celebration, have announced a special guest will be attending their upcoming tournament.

Christie Rampone, current captain of the U.S. Women’s national team, will be the featured guest at their upcoming 2009 Colorado Force Showcase.

The Fifth Annual Showcase, which brings over 250 top high school-aged girls together to play before college coaches, is scheduled Feb. 13-15 at The Edge Sports Center in Fort Collins and Arena Sports in Windsor.

"The whole experience [in Colorado] was awesome,” Rampone said of her appearance last July at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, when the Rapids brought in the US Women to face Brazil in a send-off match for the Olympics.

"The soccer fans were so passionate and enthusiastic, and they showed it by finishing first in attendance! It was the most fans we had in 2008, domestically! We beat Brazil, AGAIN, 1-0 in front of more than 15,000 people."

Rampone, who will appear on Feb. 14, will be the focus of two events that day. First, she will lead a skills clinic for 100 youth players (under age 14) at noon at Arena Sports in Windsor. The event will include a 40-minute clinic, t-shirt, Christie Rampone photo keepsake and autograph session.

Later that day Rampone will address a closed gathering for players and coaches participating in the Showcase. “We’re so proud to offer area young ladies the opportunity to be scouted, and to treat them to such a national treasure as Christie Rampone,” said Force managing partner Amy Snider.

Rampone has been recognized as one of the game’s elite defenders, playing both outside back and central defense. A former star forward in college, she is noted for her speed, ball-winning ability, ruggedness, competitiveness and consistency have made her one of the most steady players on the national team for more than a decade, and has earned over 210 caps for the USWNT.

The Showcase allows players to demonstrate their skills in front of dozens of college coaches over a three-day, 6v6 tournament. Top players will also get to perform in all-star contests. Organized by the Colorado Force W-League franchise, the Showcase attracts college prospects from throughout Colorado, as well as from Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. In 2008, the event drew 38 coaches from 12 states.

To register, or for further information, e-mail, or call (970) 484-4653. You can also learn more about the Colorado Force by visiting their official website.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ocho vs. Burpo

The off-season for an MLS player lends itself for an athlete to get involved in an array of activities. Anything from 24/7 workouts, taking up a part-time job to plenty of rest and relaxation. Or in the case of Preston Burpo...test my hand-eye coordination against some of professional sports premiere athletes.

Burpo was recently featured on the Fox Sports Net show “Sport Science” where he tested his reflex talents against Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson, Carolina Panthers quarterback Josh McCown and Toronto Raptors guard Jason Kapono.

Click here to find out who wins

Quick update from the Sponsorship Department

We are putting together some great sponsor deals that you will hear about in the months to come. Here are some of the new and renewed sponsors already signed on for 2009 and beyond:

Colorado Rapids and MLS have renewed their partnership with Arrow Stage Lines as the “Official Ground Transportation of the Colorado Rapids.” Arrow Stage Lines will transport all MLS teams between DIA, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and their hotel while visiting Denver. Check out Arrow Stage Lines for all your bus charter needs.

Eat where the players eat! The Denver Chophouse & Brewery is the preferred restaurant of your Colorado Rapids. Experience the Chophouse for yourself at 1735 19th Street. They offer private and semi-private party and banquet facilities as well as brewery tours upon request.

The Colorado Rapids and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park are proud to announce their renewed partnership with The Wright Group Event Services. The Wright Group is the “Official Tent, Party Supply and Convention Services Partner” of the Rapids and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. If you need a tent rental or party supplies please check out our friends at The Wright Group.

Please check this space for more sponsorship announcements in 2009.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pickens Podcast

Our friends at U.S. Soccer posted a podcast with Matt Pickens over on their MNT blog on Sunday. Colorado's new 'keeper talks about leaving MLS for Europe, his return to the states and his recent time with the Nats. Click here and Enjoy!


Monday, January 19, 2009

The Other St. Louis Event - the '09 NSCAA Coaches Convention

A great deal has been written, on this site and others, regarding the draft this week, so here's a few notes on the other big St. Louis event that was taking place at the same time, the NSCAA Coaches Convention.

First off, if you are an avid soccer person (fan, volunteer, coach, etc.), it's highly recommend that you attend this annual event. The convention is obviously focused on coaches, but it is also a veritable Who’s Who of significant soccer stakeholders that creates a ripe environment for networking, celebrity-spotting, and idea generation.

The convention is made up of coaching education sessions, with on-field and/or video instruction provided by top-level coaches, classroom sessions on business and theoretical aspects of the game, and a large exhibit hall where all sorts of vendors ply their trade.

The exhibit hall is composed of companies that specialize in many different concepts, including web design, database management, apparel, tournaments and camps, player registration, synthetic turf, medical supplies, and awards. adidas had a great setup, with great new boots and some new cuts for the 2009 MLS uniforms.

I enjoyed learning some new tricks from the guys at ASG Florida, discussing technical player evaluation software concepts with Demosphere, got a cool C-Firm scarf from, and got rare advice on a competing product from the folks at Front Rush (very classy group).

The Rapids Academy had reserved a booth to market Arsenal’s upcoming US Soccer Schools, as well as field rentals at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and the programs of the Colorado Rapids Soccer Academy. Some of the most interesting contacts we made were actually Colorado locals, and I’m looking forward to developing better relationships with all of them.

Outside of the convention, St. Louis was shockingly cold, very friendly, and very quiet (5pm on a Friday and almost no one downtown). I highly recommend the Broadway Oyster Bar; great local food and drinks, lots of character, and again, not crowded at all for a Friday night.

Final thoughts: This was my second convention in my short career in the soccer industry, and I left with the feeling that the companies and stakeholders in the industry have become a lot more efficient and effective. The companies that are in it to make money are clearly being successful, and the non-profits and service-based organizations have clearer messages and seem to reflect similar ideals.

This bodes well for soccer in America. The American soccer community has many challenges in its future, but the challenges seem more defined, and the path to success has become clearer.
-Tom Patton,
Coordinator, Rapids Academy


Friday, January 16, 2009

Playing for 'Keeps

Just taking a second to update everyone on the current Rapids 'keeper situation.

Yesterday the Rapids acquired the rights to Matt Pickens. We are happy to report that Matt has officially signed with MLS and is now officially added to the Rapids roster. He'll join us on Jan. 25, with the rest of the team on the first day of spring training.

Pickens is expected to battle Preston Burpo and the rest of the Rapids' young 'keeper cadre for the starting position between the pipes. Should make for an exciting preseason!

There's also been many misconceptions out there regarding the situation with Bouna's the real scoop!

Talks on a long-term contract extension with goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul and the Colorado Rapids have broken down, and the Rapids have withdrawn their most recent contract offer.

Over the past several months, the club has had a continuing dialogue with Bouna and his representative concerning Bouna’s contract and his future with the Rapids. Bouna was offered a very attractive offer from the Rapids and MLS that would have placed him among the top 5 paid goalkeepers in the league.

Bouna and his agent have rejected what the Rapids and MLS felt was a VERY generous offer, leaving him out of contract, and free to sign with any club outside of MLS. We certainly thank Bouna for all his contributions to our club and wish him all the best as he tries his luck overseas.

So what next? New catch-phrase is needed for the Rapids' newest keeper from Albany, Steward Ceus....his name's just begging for it. Fire away.

Hitting the Links

Looking for more information on yesterday's Draft Picks? Here is what some local papers are saying.

Kwame Adjeman-Pamboe (Potomac Soccer Wire)

Steward Ceus (The Journal News)

Henry Kalungi (Rock Hill Herald)

Michael Holody (Big Ten Network)


Thursday, January 15, 2009

What's the Deal With Matt Pickens?

In the midst of today's MLS SuperDraft madness, the Rapids also obtained the rights to goalkeeper Matt Pickens from the Chicago Fire.

What's Pickens' current situation? Here you go:

Pickens, who has been out of contract since June of 2008, was most recently with Queens Park Rangers.

He is planning on returning to MLS for 2009, and has returned to America. Chicago still held his MLS rights, and dealt them to the Rapids as part of today's trade.

So the Rapids now hold his rights, and Pickens can join the club after re-signing with the league for '09.

Pickens has also worked himself into serious consideration for the USMNT; he's been a part of the two most recent US Men's National Team Training Camps, including the one in Colorado at Dick's Sporting Goods Park last November, as well as the one taking place currently in Carson, CA.


Michael Holody Rounds Out Rapids' Draft Picks

Defender Michael Holody, the Rapids' final pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, is a 6-3, 199-pound defender from Michigan University.
Some of his stats at Michigan: NSCAA/adidas All-America third team (2008) ... NSCAA/adidas All-Great Lakes Region first team (2008) ... NSCAA/adidas NCAA Division I Men's College Scholar All-America first team (2008) ... College Soccer News All-America third team (2008) ... Three-time U-M Athletic Academic Achievement (2006-08) ... NSCAA National Player of the Week (10/29/08) ... All-Big Ten first team (2008) ... Three-time Big Ten All-Championship team (2006-08) ... two-time Academic All-Big Ten (2006, 2008) ... All-Big Ten second team (2007) ... Big Ten All-Freshman team (2005)... Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week (10/27/08).
That's it for the Rapids' team-specific live coverage from the 2009 MLS SuperDraft!
The Rapids' staff will travel back to Denver this evening, and we'll see all the new draft picks when the players report to camp on January 25 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
Thanks for following today's live coverage, and we'll see you back in Colorado.


Henry Kalungi

Henry Kalungi, the Rapids' pick at #52 in the draft is a native of Kampala, Uganda.
Some of his featured accomplishments at Winthrop:
Selected to First Team All-Big South in 2006, Second Team In 2007
• Named to Big South All-Tournament Team in 2007
• Named to NSCAA/adidas All-South Atlantic Region Team in 2006 and 2007
• Was voted the MVP of the Winthrop squad in 2006
• Scored first collegiate goal on Sept. 8, 2006 in a 1-0 victory over
Alabama A&M
• Named to Lancer Invitational All-Tournament Team
• Played for Hampton Roads Piranhas of the PDL in 2007 and
Fredericksburg in 2008


Picking Away

With two out of three picks, the Rapids selected forward Jordan Seabrook (University of South Florida) and defender Henry Kalungi (Winthrop University).

Smith: “Both of these players are quick, powerful and have an athletic build that I think we need to move forward with on our side.”


First of Four

With their first pick in the fourth round (#47 overall) the Rapids selected Ross Schunk from the University of Redlands.

Gary Smith on the 6'2, 190-pound Schunk: "He was terriffic at the combine, is big, strong, and has good feet. He has a great scoring record and will be a physical presence."


Rapids Add Goalkeeper from Albany

Sound familar?

With the 37th pick in the third round, Colorado selected Steward Ceus (6-6, 205). Ceus was NSCAA/adidas DI All-American team, All-Northeast Region first team and American East Goalkeeper of the Year, American East All-Conference team and National team of the Week member. He was also a three-time Amercian East All-Academic Team selection (2006, 2007, 2008) and two-time American East Player of the Week.

In Gary's words: "He fits the profile of the goalkeeper we are looking for: big, strong and athletic. He has plenty of potential and there is a lot to work with. He showed up well in the combine and I think it is a wonderful pick for the future of the club."


And the Rapids take...

With the 28th selection in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft the Colorado Rapids picked forward Kwame Adjeman-Pamboe (5-8, 155) from George Mason University.

"I saw him at the combine and was very impressed," said Head Coach Gary Smith. "He is a very explosive and creative individual. He will add some much needed energy and creativity to the team."

In two years at GMU, Kwame scored 11 goals and added 7 assists in 38 games with 20 starts. He was First-Team CAA, as well as First-Team All-Region.
Kwame orginally attended St. Francis (PA) where he was the school's Most Improved Player and won back-to-back NEC Rookie of the Week honors.



We’ve got action on the draft floor. Colorado has swapped second round picks with Chicago in a deal that nets the Rapids the rights to a player to be named later and gives allocation money to Chicago. Now Colorado will make their first pick of the day at #28.

On Red Bull #2

The first round of the SuperDraft has concluded here in St. Louis and the Rapids are now just five picks away from their first selection. Now that the ESPN2 coverage has ended, Exec. VP of Player Relations and Competiton Todd Durbin is now announcing the picks instead of Commissioner Don Garber.

As you may know in the past Ivan Gazidis handled these duties, but he is now with our partner club, Arsenal FC. Speaking of Arsenal, Jack Bell of the NY Times has posted Gary Smith's Ultimate Arsenal XI over on his Goal blog today. Here's the link:

Seattle is on the Clock

Well, we're here at the St. Louis Convention Center- America's Ballroom, site of today’s 2009 MLS SuperDraft to prepare for this year’s event. We still have well over an hour before all the "official" madness begins.

While the Rapids do not have a first round pick for the second time in the last three years, they do hold six selections this afternoon.

**NOTE OF THE DAY: Should Smith, Bravo and company pick four players in the fourth round, it would be an MLS Draft record (either SuperDraft, Supplemental or College) for the most players taken in a single round. Twice Colorado have taken three players in a single round, with the last time being the third round of the 2007 SuperDraft when the team got Cummings, LaBrocca and Hughes. Many clubs have had three picks including three straight, but no team has ever had four selections in the round.

We look forward to passing along more information as the afternoon unfolds, so keep checking back.


Rapids USA vs. Mexico Border War Flyaway Contest

Your Colorado Rapids are giving the club's season ticket holders the chance to win a free trip to Columbus on Feb. 11 for the USA vs. Mexico World Cup Qualifier!

One lucky season ticket holder and a guest will win the chance to receive free match tickets, airfare for 2, and hotel stay in Columbus for the Border War, one of the biggest sporting events of the year!

All you have to do to qualify is refer a new friend, client, acquaintance or neighbor to the Rapids and they become a new season ticket holder for 2009. That's it. So think about your buddies or co-workers or anyone else who may be interested in joining you at the stadium this year.

This offer is only open to current Colorado Rapids season ticket holders. Full details on the contest will be emailed directly to season accounts, so check your inbox.

Not currently a Rapids season ticket holder? Purchase season tickets for the '09 season in the next week or two and you can still get in on the contest; call the Rapids at (303) 825-GOAL for full details.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rapids & Colin Clark to Help Out St. Baldrick's Foundation

The Rapids have partnered with Fado Irish Pub to join in on an event to benefit the St. Baldrick's Foundation taking place on March 13, 2009.

Rapids midfielder Colin Clark will have his head shaved at the event to benefit the charity, which aids children stricken with cancer.
St. Baldrick’s is the world’s largest volunteer-driven fundraising event for childhood cancer research. Thousands of volunteers shave their heads in solidarity of children with cancer, while requesting donations of support from friends and family.

Fans are welcome to attend the event as well. For full details, and to make a donation online to St. Baldrick's, click here.


SuperDraft Anticipation

Day II here in St. Louis and more league meetings for all Rapids parties in attendence. From a PR side of things today's discussions included some highly informative interactions with the Commissioner, Exec. VP of Player Relations and Competiton Todd Durbin, to ESPN and Fox Soccer Channel.

The Commissioner was very frank and honest in his views and vision on where the league is currently to where the league is headed. As MLS fans, you should be very encouraged that MLS is in a good place with the right people from the top down doing what they can to see this league grow and succeed on a daily basis. It sounds like news on the expansion front for 2011 could come down before this year's First Kick.

Hopefully everyone will be checking back throughout tomorrow afternoon for SuperDraft insight. This will be the first year ever the Rapids have given fans a chance to hear directly from the head coach and technical director exactly what they were looking at with each selection. With roster sizes being narrowed to 24 players for this season, every roster spot is going to be a highly competitve battle when training camp opens at the end of the this month.

So will any of tomorrow's additions make the kind of impact that former SuperDraft picks Jacob Peterson, Nick LaBrocca or Omar Cummings have? Let the competition begin.....


Rapids Adult League Set to Start Up March 29

The Colorado Rapids Adult Soccer League has set a date for the start of the 2009 Rapids Adult League Spring Season: Sunday, March 29, 2009 (the day after the Rapids' Home Opener).

All Rapids Adult League matches are played on the fields complex at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The league format will be eight 90-minute matches, full 11 v 11, with the league final being played on the professional pitch inside the stadium. League entry cost for 2009 will be $1,050 per team.

Look for an official announcement and league registration information in the coming days on the Rapids' website.


Meet the Rapids' New Ticketing Guru

The Rapids have a brand new Director of Ticket Sales & Service, Ricardo Ramos. Ricardo started the week before the holidays, and is now going full speed leading the Rapids' ticket sales team into the new season.

Ricardo was previously the Director of Group Sales for the NBA, and has acted as a consultant to various teams in regards to season and group ticket sales and sales management.

Ricardo comes to the Rapids from New York, although he is originally from New Mexico, where he grew up playing soccer. As a kid, Ricardo grew up playing soccer through high school, often coming up to Colorado for tournaments. His dad was a soccer coach as well.

The Rapids are excited about Ricardo’s addition and are looking forward to the new ideas he will bring to Rapids Ticket Sales and Service.....stop by to say hello next time you're at the stadium!


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Gateway City Greetings

Hello from St. Louis. The Rapids media relations staff was the first to arrive in StL coming in Monday night for two days of league meetings ahead of the SuperDraft. The rest of the Colorado contingent (technical staff and other key FO members) arrived today either from Commerce City or the recently concluded combine in Florida.

Despite their travel plans today, new Technical Director Paul Bravo and Gary Smith wasted no time in pulling off their first transaction together as the Rapids traded one of this year's third round picks for the rights to former Galaxy defender Ty Harden. It was funny to watch a room full of 50+ MLS PR people try to discuss league matters and plans for 2009 two days before the draft. You could always tell what was about to happen trade-wise as 2-3 members of one team would leave the room followed by another team minutes later (since we were not allowed to use computers in the meeting room). You could expect a press release announcing a trade shortly thereafter.

The hotel the league has everyone in is extemely nice (the Westin), just yards away from new Busch stadium...and the international professional bowling hall of fame/cardinals hall of fame. Interesting combination, but hey I don't understand Bud Light and Clamato either.

Well, let me welcome everyone again to our new blog. Hopefully this outlet will allow us to give fans a new source of information on the club from a different perspective and also be a good interactive vechical to get your feedback on the kinds of information you (the fans) want.

We'll check back in tomorrow- as meetings permit- and give you another look at what's happening in-and-around the arch as we prep for the draft.