Friday, November 27, 2009

Weekend Soccer TV Spotlight

Happy Thanksgiving Rapids Fans!!

If anyone is looking for the perfect two hour getaway this weekend or if you want to explain the finer things in life to your Cousin Eddie, our Weekend Soccer TV Spotlight is here for you this Thanksgiving weekend! So, instead of going to the movies or going shopping, you could take your out-of-town guests to any one of the Colorado Rapids Official Bar Partners for all the great soccer action this weekend!


Portsmouth v. Manchester United (LIVE on ESPN2 @ 8AM MT)

West Ham United v. Burnley (LIVE on Fox Soccer Channel @ 8AM MT)

Manchester City v. Hull City (LIVE on Setanta Sports @ 8AM MT)

Sporting Gijon v. Villarreal (LIVE on GolTV @ 10AM MT)

Carlisle United v. Norwich City - FA Cup (LIVE on Setanta Sports @ 10AM MT)

Aston Villa v. Tottenham Hotspur (LIVE on Fox Soccer Channel @ 10:30AM MT)

Genoa v. Sampdoria (LIVE on Fox Soccer Channel @ 12:45PM MT)

Lens v. Olympique Marseille (LIVE on Setanta Sports @ 1PM MT)

Cruz Azul v. Puebla (LIVE on Azteca America @ 4PM MT)

America v. Monterrey (LIVE on Telefutura @ 8PM MT)


Everton v. Liverpool (LIVE on Setanta Sports @ 6:30AM MT)

Inter Milan v. Fiorentina (LIVE on Fox Soccer Channel @ 7AM MT)

Arsenal v. Chelsea (LIVE on Fox Soccer Channel @ 9AM MT)

CD Toluca v. San Luis (LIVE on Telemundo @ 11AM MT)

Please have a safe and happy holiday weekend!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rapids Youth Teams Weekly Schedule

This week's training, meeting and match schedule for the Colorado Rapids youth teams, courtesy of the Rapids Academy:

November 23 – November 29, 2009

Monday: Rapids Youth Teams Off

Tuesday: Training, Rapids Youth U13-U14 Teams, 5:00pm, Fields 8 and 10 (U11 and U12 evaluations)
Training, Rapids Youth U15-U18 Teams, 6:30pm, Fields 8 and 10

Wednesday: Teams Off

Thursday: Thanksgiving Holiday

Friday: Nomads Thanksgiving Tournament – Rapids Youth U13, U14, U15

Saturday: Nomads Thanksgiving Tournament – Rapids Youth U13, U14, U15

Sunday: Nomads Thanksgiving Tournament – Rapids Youth U13, U14, U15
Training, Rapids Youth U16 and U18 Teams, 1:00pm, Fields 8 and 10

*all training times are at Dick's Sporting Goods Park unless otherwise noted.


Nomads Tournament – Rapids U13, U14 & U15 teams
Schedules have been posted on the Tournament Website

Sport Source Showcase – Rapids U17 team
Schedule has been posted on the Tournament Website

CONCACAF Throws Weight Behind US World Cup Bid

The executive board of CONCACAF yesterday voiced unanimous support for the United States' bid to host the World Cup in either 2018 or 2022. Executive Committee member and U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati outlined the major aspects of the bid in a video and slide-show presentation to the panel.

CONCACAF President Jack Warner congratulated the United States on their bid.

"The United States can count on the full support of CONCACAF, including Chuck Blazer, Rafael Salgueiro and myself," Warner said.

The 24-member FIFA Executive Committee will decide the final list of venues for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup in December 2010, of which Denver is still very much in the running for.

Full Story


Monday, November 23, 2009

Updates From the MLS Supporters Summit

Rapids Supporters Group leaders Patrick Quinn and Mark Bodmer represented the Colorado Rapids supporters' contingent at the 2009 MLS Supporters Summit this weekend in Seattle.

The Supporters Summit was held in conjunction with MLS Cup weekend's festivities, and the Centennial Firm and Class VI were there representing for Colorado.

Check out their updates from the weekend, including topics discussed in the supporters meetings, guest speakers, and even run-ins with other clubs' higher-ups on their official website.

Rapids MLS Cup Viewing Party Recap

Two hundred Rapids fans joined the club's players and coaches at The Oak Tavern in LoDo for the Colorado Rapids' Official MLS Cup Final viewing party last night and were witness to a surprising result as Real Salt Lake hoisted their first MLS Cup.

Supporters and the Rapids team jammed the place to the gills, and props to The Oak Tavern staff for pitching in and getting all hands on deck to service the hungry and thirsty capacity crowd!

For those that couldn't make it to the party, you missed out! Fans were greeted with the chance to win everything from Rapids team autographed items to schwag like hats and t-shirts. There were also Official MLS Cup koozies for the lucky fans that were there early!

The Tavern also dedicated all of their 12 HD TV screens to the match and pumped it out on their sound system.

At halftime, the Rapids gave away all the door prizes, and the Rapids Supporters Clubs handed out their annual player awards. The Centennial Firm recognized Matt Pickens as their C-Firm Defensive Player of the Year, while Class VI selected Omar Cummings as their Class VI Player of the Year in the trophy presentation in front of the audience. The supporters groups were also on hand selling scarves and passing out membership info all night long.

As for the match itself, it was tough to stomach the result of the match. Real Salt Lake overcame an early deficit to tie it up and then win on penalties 5-4 and brought home the first major sports championship to Utah.

Despite the result of the match, a great time was had by all in attendance. Thanks to all the fans that made it out, we look forward to seeing you at all future Official Rapids Viewing Parties, where we will continue to give out great prizes and have awesome drink specials for fans to follow Rapids road matches and other big games.

Thanks again to The Oak Tavern for their hospitality; if you haven't swung by their new digs at 14th and Market in Lodo, definitely check them out, they're the newest soccer-friendly bar in D-town.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Weekend Soccer TV Spotlight

We're back with this weekend's TV soccer spotlight. With World Cup Qualification over (sorry Ireland), domestic leagues around the world resume play this weekend.

Here are a few highlighted matches on TV this weekend:


Liverpool v. Manchester City (LIVE on ESPN2 @ 5:30AM MT) - If you can wake up for this match it should be worth it. Both clubs are in desperate need of 3 points as they try to keep pace with Chelsea and Manchester United. If Liverpool fall again, Rafa Benitez may not make it to Boxing Day...

Deportivo Coruna v. Atletico Madrid (LIVE on ESPN Deportes @ 10:00AM MT) - The early match from Spain features soaring Deportivo and struggling Atletico Madrid. Atletico's star player Sergio Aquero stayed with the club during the international break to help solve their struggles. Winning this weekend would be a great start towards turning around their disappointing campaign thus far.

Fiorentina v. Parma (LIVE on Fox Soccer Channel @ 12:30PM MT) - This is the marquee match-up of the Italian fixtures this weekend. Both clubs have European aspirations, sitting at fourth and seventh in the Serie A respectively. Fiorentina finished fourth the last two seasons, while Parma was a surprise runner-up last year to Internazionale.


2009 MLS Cup Final (LIVE on ESPN @ 6:30PM MT) - The 2009 MLS Cup features the Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake live from Seattle, WA. Both clubs are playing their best soccer of the season at the right time. LA took care of rivals Chivas in the opening round, then dispatched Houston in the Western Conference Final last week. Real Salt Lake beat the defending champs Columbus in the opening round and then took care of the Chicago Fire on penalties in Chicago to win the East. This has the makings of a great Final! Be sure to join the entire team for the Rapids Official Rapids MLS Cup Viewing Party at the Oak Tavern located at 14th and Market in Downtown Denver.

Be sure to check out Rapids Bar Partners for all your soccer viewing options this weekend! We look forward to seeing you out and about this weekend.

Exploring the Geography of MLS MVP's

After the LA Galaxy's Landon Donovan was named 2009 MLS Most Valuable Player yesterday, we thought we'd explore the geographies behind where the players have come from who have won the title since the league's inception in 1996.

When analyzing the all-time winners of this award, some interesting geographical MLS MVP notes for your consideration:

-Donovan becomes only the 4th out of the 14 lifetime winners to have been born in the United States.

-Preki, the only player to have won the award twice, was born in Yugoslavia and later became a US citizen.

-Rank of countries producing total number of MVP Award winning players in descending order: USA (4), Argentina (2), Honduras (2), Brazil (1), Yugoslavia (1), Guatemala (1), Bolivia (1), Colombia (1)

-2 MVP's on the list have lived in Colorado, playing for the Rapids (Valderrama and Gomez)

-1999 and 2000 were the only years in MLS history when players won MVP awards in consecutive years from the same country of birth (USA)

-MLS MVP's have only been produced by less than half the continents on Earth. 3 continents have produced MVP's: North America, South America and Europe. There have yet to be MVPs hailing from Asia, Africa, Australasia or Antarctica (although we don't see that one happening any time soon).

-Total MLS MVP's produced by continent of birth in descending order: North America (7), South America (5), Europe (1)

-Only 1 country an MLS MVP was born in no longer exists: Preki's Yugoslavia, which was dissolved in 2003 as Serbia and Montenegro were forming.

Compiled here below are the all-time MLS MVP winners, with their year, club, and place of birth.

(Year, Player, Club, Place of Birth)
2009: Landon Donovan - LA Galaxy - California, USA
2008: Guillermo Barros Schelotto - Columbus Crew - La Plata, Argentina
2007: Luciano Emilio - D.C. United - Ilha Solteira, Brazil
2006: Christian Gomez - D.C. United - Buenos Aires, Argentina
2005: Taylor Twellman - New England Revolution - Minnesota, USA
2004: Amado Guevara - MetroStars - Tegucigalpa, Honduras
2003: Preki - Kansas City Wizards - Belgrade, Yugoslavia
2002: Carlos Ruiz - Los Angeles Galaxy - Guatemala City, Guatemala
2001: Alex Pineda Chacon - Miami Fusion - Santa Cruz, Honduras
2000: Tony Meola - Kansas City Wizards - New Jersey, USA
1999: Jason Kreis - Dallas Burn - Nebraska, USA
1998: Marco Etcheverry - D.C. United - Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia
1997: Preki - Kansas City Wizards - Belgrade, Yugoslavia
1996: Carlos Valderrama - Tampa Bay Mutiny - Santa Marta, Colombia

What can be divined from these geographical tidbits? Anything? Or is it just food for thought with no real earth-shattering theses to be produced? Post your thoughts below.........

Thursday, November 19, 2009

MLS Supporters Summit to Be Streamed Live Online Saturday

MLS announced that the league will stream online this Saturday the MLS Supporters Summit for the first time ever for club supporters around the league not in attendance to be able to tune in and watch the proceedings live this Saturday morning.

Commissioner Don Garber and Seattle owner Drew Carey will participate in the 11th annual Supporters Summit during MLS Cup weekend this Saturday, November 21. The live stream will begin at 8:00am MT this Saturday on the league website.

Attending the Supporters Summit in person on behalf of Colorado Rapids supporters will be representatives from the Class VI and Centennial Firm supporters groups. Rapids fans are encouraged to submit their questions or issues they would like the Rapids Supporters Delegation to address at the Summit ahead of time by clicking here.

At the Summit, Garber will deliver a special address and Carey will moderate a question and answer session. The summit will also include a formal discussion addressing the officiating and technical structure of MLS with top League stakeholders Joe Machnik and Alfonso Mondelo.

For more information on this year's MLS Supporters Summit weekend, click here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rules Set for Philly Expansion Draft on Nov. 25

The Philadelphia Union will take another step toward building their club as the 2010 expansion side will participate in the 2009 MLS Expansion Draft on Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 25.

Philadelphia will select the core of their inaugural squad in a 10-round draft next Wednesday. Teams can participate in a half-day trade window on Monday until Noon ET. All 15 MLS teams are required to submit their lists of protected players to the League by 3 p.m. ET on Monday, Nov. 23.

The League will distribute a list of the players available in the expansion draft to media that day. At the conclusion of the Expansion Draft, results will be posted on and teams may resume trading.

Philadelphia Union may not claim more than one player from any given team in MLS; therefore five teams will not have a player taken in the expansion draft.

2009 MLS Expansion Draft Rules

Senior Roster
• Teams may protect 11 players between their Senior and their Developmental Roster.
• If the Player’s contract expires at the end of 2009, he will still be considered part of the Team’s Senior Roster.
• If a Team protects a player, it is not obligated to exercise the player’s option. It may renegotiate a new budget number for the player as in previous years.
• If a player retires, he will not be a part of the Senior Roster, but his Team will lose its right of first refusal to him should he ultimately decide to play.

Developmental Roster
• Players on a Team’s Developmental Roster, other than Generation adidas players who have not been graduated at the end of the 2009 season and Home Grown Players, will be part of the expansion draft.
• Generation adidas players (who have not been graduated at the end of the 2009 season) and Home Grown players are automatically protected (teams do not have to use a protected slot on them)If Philadelphia selects a Developmental Player it must offer him a Senior Roster position and he must be on Philadelphia’s Senior Roster as of Roster Compliance Date.

International Players
• Teams are restricted in the number of International player(s) that they may make available per the table set forth below.
• For purposes of this expansion process, for US-based teams, any non-domestic US player would count as an International and for Toronto FC, any non-domestic US player or non-domestic Canadian player would count as an International.

Designated Players
• Designated Players do not have to be protected unless the player has a no trade clause in which case he must be protected.

Maximum Player Loss
• Once a player has been claimed from a Team’s non-protected roster, that team is eliminated from the expansion draft and may not lose any further players.

Right to Renegotiate
• Philadelphia will have the right to renegotiate a drafted player’s salary (either up or down) without having to place such player on waivers or giving his previous Team a right of first refusal.

• On the first day of the Discovery/Allocation Period, Philadelphia will have priority over players who played professionally in the USL First or Second Division in 2009, subject to another MLS team’s right of first refusal.

• The expansion draft will be 10 rounds.

• Teams may make available a number of international players equal to their total number of international players minus 3, provided that if a team has 3 or less international players it may make available not more than 1.

TV Info for Today's Huge International Matches

Television broadcast information for today's huge slate of World Cup Qualifying playoff matches (all times are MT):

10:30am- Algeria vs. Egypt WCQ Playoff - live free video on FIFA website. (15,000 security members to be in attendance!)

11am- Ukraine vs. Greece WCQ Playoff (0-0 tie in first leg in Greece)- live on ESPN2

12:30pm- USA vs. Denmark (Friendly) - live on ESPN Classic, joined in progress on ESPN2 after Ukraine v. Greece

12:45pm- Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Portugal WCQ Playoff (1-0 Portugal win in first leg)- live on Setanta USA

1pm- France vs. Ireland WCQ Playoff (1-0 France win in first leg) -live on Setanta Pay-per-view ($20 cover charge at Fado Irish Pub in Lodo)

3pm- Slovenia vs. Russia WCQ Playoff (2-1 Russia win in first leg - tape delayed on Setanta USA

4pm- Uruguay vs. Costa Rica WCQ Playoff (1-0 Uruguay win in first leg) - not televised in the USA

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

US Soccer Unveils Details for World Cup Tickets

US Soccer today announced initial details for U.S. Men’s National Team fans to apply for tickets for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Priority status for applying for tickets to the U.S. Men’s National Team matches in South Africa will be extended to members of the U.S. Soccer Supporters seeking priority status must join by Dec. 3, 2009, at 10am MT.

Beginning later this month, all registered U.S. Soccer SC members will be sent a request to submit pre-application data to U.S. Soccer. By completing this process, fans notify U.S. Soccer of their interest in FIFA World Cup tickets and provide the information that U.S. Soccer will in turn submit to FIFA for the online ticket application. A valid passport is required for each person who requests tickets.

U.S. Soccer fans’ FIFA World Cup Ticketing Timeline
Ongoing: Fans join the U.S. Soccer Supporters Club
Late November: USSSC members submit pre-application data to U.S. Soccer
Dec. 3: Deadline to join USSSC and receive priority World Cup ticketing status
Dec. 4: First-round opponents and venues determined via Final Draw
Dec. 6: FIFA ticket application begins for USSSC members
Jan. 13: Close of FIFA ticket application for USSSC members
Late January: FIFA contacts applicants to confirm whether or not application was successful, successful applicants are charged for tickets

For full details, visit US Soccer's website.

Casey Reacts to Best XI Recognition

The announcement of the 2009 MLS Best XI reached Aarhus late last night, where three members of the U.S. squad that will face Denmark learned of their inclusion as part of the top class in the league this year.

Conor Casey, Jeff Cunningham and Stuart Holden have all had different experiences in the league, each contributing to their inclusion - and successes - with the national team.

Conor Casey - The striker earned his first nomination to the league Best XI in this third season in Colorado, finishing in second place in the MLS Golden Boot race after potting 16 goals. His form with the Rapids earned him time with the national team, and he made the most of the opportunity, scoring his first two international goals in helping the U.S. to an historic 3-2 qualifying victory in Honduras that clinched the USA's spot in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

"Obviously I'm very excited to be given this recognition. It is great to be included amongst such talented players," said Casey.

"We had a good year in Colorado, but it is certainly disappointing not to make the playoffs. I'm glad that I was able to make it through the season healthy and help contribute. Hopefully we'll be able to put together a complete season next year and make a push for the playoffs."

USA at Denmark TV Update

For clarification for fans trying to tune in to watch Conor Casey and the rest of the USMNT as they take on Denmark tomorrow:

The game will air in its entirety on ESPN Classic, beginning at 12:25pm MT. ESPN2 will join the game in progress following the conclusion of the Ukraine-Greece WC Qualifying playoff game, which kicks off at 11am MT.

Assuming there is no overtime or delay in the Ukraine-Greece match, coverage of Denmark vs. USA should start on ESPN2 a half hour or so into the match, around 1pm MT.

Check out's Game Notes for the match tomorrow.

Don Garber's State of the League Address

Yesterday MLS Commissioner Don Garber delivered his annual State of the League Address to national members of the media via conference call.

Among the subjects Commissioner Garber touched on:

-revealing Rapids striker Conor Casey had been voted to the 2009 MLS Best XI

-the gains made this year by expansion club Seattle Sounders FC

-the importance of MLS clubs winning the Champions League

-the impact this year's rookie class had on the league

-expansion clubs for next year and the future

-the ongoing collective bargaining agreement negotiations with the MLS Players Union.

Listen to Garber's entire speech online by clicking here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Rapids Youth Teams Weekly Schedule

This week's training, meeting and match schedule for the Colorado Rapids youth teams, courtesy of the Rapids Academy:

November 16 – November 22, 2009

Monday: Rapids U10 Center of Excellence, 6:00pm, Field 10

Tuesday: Training, Rapids U11-U14 CYS Teams, 5:00pm, Fields 8 and 10
Training, Rapids U15-U18 Teams, 6:30pm, Fields 8 and 10

Wednesday: Training, Rapids U12-U14 CYS Teams, 5:00pm, Fields 8 and 10
Training, Rapids U15-U18 Teams, 6:30pm, Fields 8 and 10

Thursday: Training, Rapids U11-U14 CYS Teams, 5:00pm, Fields 8 and 10
Training, Rapids U15-U18 Teams, 6:30pm, Fields 8 and 10

Friday: Teams Off

Saturday: Training, Rapids U15-U18 Teams, 1:00pm, Fields 8 and 10

Sunday: Training, Rapids U13 CYS Team, 10:00am, Field 8
Training, Rapids U15-U18 Teams, 1:00pm, Fields 8 and 10

*All practices and matches take place at Dick's Sporting Goods Park unless otherwise noted.

*Rapids U11 rescheduled match: we will provide information on the rescheduled game when it becomes available.


Nomads Tournament – Rapids U13, U14 & U15 teams
Schedules have been posted on the Tournament Website

Sport Source Showcase – Rapids U17 team
Schedule has been posted on the Tournament Website

Commissioner Garber to Unveil 2009 MLS Best XI at 1pm MT Today

In a little less than an hour, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber will give his annual State of the League address via media teleconference call, at 1pm MT.

During this address, Commissioner Garber will also announce the 2009 MLS Best XI, the League’s top 11 players as voted on by players, coaches and general managers, and members of the media.

What do you think? Will there be a Rapids player to make the list this season of the top 11 players in MLS in 2009? Post your opinions below.....

Omar's South African Travel Tribulations

Rapids striker Omar Cummings had a scare at South African immigration over the weekend, reports the Jamaica Observer.

Cummings, in South Africa with the Jamaican National Team to face the World Cup hosts tomorrow, was detained by immigration officials for a ripped passport. Cummings had his passport damaged by a US official when starting his long trip to South Africa.

Concerns about Omar's return to the USA appear to have been sorted out, as after the entire ordeal, the Rapids' forward was issued new travelling papers.

Read the entire story here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

ESPN Creates New "Soccer Power Index"

In case you've missed it, ESPN have commissioned Nate Silver to create a a brand new international soccer rankings system specifically designed to appeal to American fans.

How does it work? In ESPN's own words:

"The basic concept is that the SPI rating represents a team's overall skill level. The SPI ratings are intended to be forward-looking. They measure a team's relative likelihood of victory if a competitive match were to be held tomorrow. This concept may differ slightly from a retrospective or backward-looking ratings system. We aren't trying to reward or punish teams based on past results so much as we are trying to predict which teams will have the most success in the immediate future."

View the complicated system which give the rankings their score, as well as the current world rankings. (The US are ranked #14 in the world on the SPI).

What are your thoughts on the new ESPN SPI vs. the more traditional rankings, such as the FIFA system? Share your thoughts below.

Paul Bravo Answers 6 Questions With Class VI

Class VI has posted their latest "6 Questions" interview....this week it's Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo who takes time off from his scouting trip to answer 6 questions from supporters.

Bravo talks to Craig de Aragon about several subjects that fans request answers on!

To listen to the entire interview on Class VI's website, click here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Weekend Soccer TV Spotlight

This weekend's major soccer events on TV fall into three distinct categories: MLS Cup Playoffs, World Cup Qualifiers and International Friendlies. Depending on what your cup of tea (or pint) is, we have a cheat sheet for all the great action to come this weekend.


LA Galaxy v. Houston Dynamo (Friday, LIVE on ESPN2 @ 9PM MT) - The Western Conference Final of the MLS Cup playoffs kicks off this (mostly) international weekend of great soccer coverage on TV. We encourage all fans to come down to any one of the Rapids Partner Bars for this great playoff contest to watch it live.

Real Salt Lake v. Chicago Fire (Saturday, LIVE on Fox Soccer Channel @ 6PM MT) - The Eastern Conference Final features a Real Salt Lake side trying to make their first ever MLS Cup Final. Please join us in rooting for Chicago at any of the Rapids Partner Bars. You should know why...


If you are looking to watch your respective national teams as they begin figuring out which players they will take to the World Cup this summer, then maybe these games are more your style:

USA v. Slovakia (Saturday, LIVE on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision @ 8AM MT) - A solid test for the Red, White and Blue as they take on fellow World Cup 2010 participants Slovakia in a friendly. Bob Bradley has many questions about his squad due to the rash of injuries to key players as of late. Be sure to cheer on Colorado's own Conor Casey as he will be suiting up in Bratislava!

Brazil v. England (Saturday, LIVE on Fox Soccer Channel @ 10AM MT) - One of the marquee friendlies of the weekend features perennial World Cup favorites Brazil and the always hopeful Three Lions. England will be without David Beckham as he will be either celebrating a trip to his first MLS Cup Final or he will be already on his way to Milan. Either way he won't be playing against Brazil.

Italy v. Netherlands (Saturday, LIVE on GolTV @ 12:45PM MT) - Another excellent friendly with the reigning World Cup Champions, The Azzurri, taking on a highly talented Dutch team. You know that both sides will want to have a say in who lifts the World Cup this year and both sides have the talent to be there.

Spain v. Argentina (Saturday, LIVE on ESPN Deportes @ 2PM MT) - In the third of our marquee friendlies, we have reigning European Champions Spain facing the nearly-didn't-qualify Argentina side coached by legendary midfielder Diego Maradona. Everyone thinks Argentina was just "playing dead" in qualification, but they will want to prove themselves when they take on Spain this weekend.


Now, for those of us that want some seriously intense soccer this weekend, there are a few massive WC Qualifier Playoffs going on as well.

Russia v. Slovenia (Saturday, LIVE on Setanta Sports @ 9AM MT) - Russia finished third in Euro 2008, but now they are struggling to qualify for their third World Cup. Slovenia are hoping to make their second World Cup, having qualified previously in 2002.

Greece v. Ukraine (Saturday, LIVE on Setanta Sports @ 11AM MT) - Greece are looking to book their second World Cup appearance, while Ukraine are hoping to reach their second World Cup. Both teams have done surprisingly well in the few major tournaments they have appeared in. Greece won the 2004 Euro Cup as massive long shots, while Ukraine made the quarterfinals of their only World Cup in 2006.

France v. Ireland (Saturday, LIVE on Setanta Sports @ 1PM MT)- If you want to know how important this is for the Irish, just check out this excerpt from the Fado Irish Pub website:
"It has been nearly 20 years since the glory days of Jack Charlton and Italia '90. The country went soccer mad for the World Cup in Italy. Now it is time for that passion to return to the spirits and voices of the Irish soccer fans. Be part of the come back at Fado this Saturday as the Boys In Green take on Les Bleus at the mighty Croke Park."
Fado is the spot for this one, and unless you're French, be sure to wear your green!


U-17 World Cup Final (Sunday, LIVE on ESPN2 and Galavision @ 11AM MT) - Watch the future stars of world football compete for the coveted U-17 World Cup Championship. Nigeria beat Spain 3-1, while Switzerland defeated Colombia 4-0 on Thursday to reach the Final. Host country Nigeria have won this competition a record three times (tied with Brazil) and look for their fourth title this weekend in Abuja, Nigeria.

If you are looking for a great place to watch any of these games live in a great atmosphere with other soccer fans, please check out the Rapids Partner Bars for your weekend soccer viewing party planning schedule!

Where/what matches will you be watching? Post your comments below........

Rapids Youth Team Players Contribute to Boys High School Championships

The Colorado Rapids youth teams lent some star power to the Colorado boys high school state championships held the last 2 nights at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

All 6 of the Rapids Academy players who participated in the 2009 Boys Soccer High School Finals came home with a State Championship.

Here is some info on the Rapids youth team players who are all now state champs:

-In Tuesday's 3A final, freshman defender Austin Seifert started for Colorado Springs Christian in their win over Denver Christian. Austin plays for the Rapids U-17 team.

-In Wednesday's 4A final, junior midfielder Chris Gurule represented for Niwot in their 1-0 victory. Chris plays for the Rapids U-16 Development Academy team.

-Also in Wednesday's 4A final, freshman twins Alex and Ben Braman also starred for Niwot in their championship victory. The twins play for the Rapids U-15s, who finished 2nd in the US Club National Championships in July.

-In Wednesday's 5A final, sophomore Sam Deitz scored the first (and game-winning) goal in Ft. Collins' 3-0 victory over Lincoln. Deitz is a forward for the Rapids U-16 development academy.

-Also starring for Ft. Collins in the 5A final was senior goalkeeper Chris Couperus, who played the entire game and earned the shutout. Chris is the Rapids Development Academy U-18 goalkeeper.

-Also a member of that Ft. Collins championship team was freshman Jairo Cerna, who is also on the same Rapids U-15 team as the Braman twins.

Congratulations to all our Rapids youth team members for their victories and for going 6-0 in state high school championship matches this year!

For full details on the Rapids Academy, visit their website.

HS Boys Finals: Niwot Take 4A, Ft. Collins Take 5A Crowns

In the second of 2 consecutive days of boys high school championship matches at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, last night Niwot defeated Rock Canyon 1-0 to take the boys 4A championship crown, and Fort Collins topped Abraham Lincoln 3-0 to win the 5A championship.

4A championship:
Rock Canyon 0 0 — 0
Niwot 0 1 — 1
Niwot — Velez (Stecyk), 89'

5A championship:
Abraham Lincoln 0 0 — 0
Fort Collins 2 1 — 3
Ft. Collins - Deitz (Gustafson) 2'
Ft. Collins - Seville (unassisted) 21'
Ft. Collins - Seville (unassisted) 61'

The Denver Post has the 4A match recap and the 5A match recap from last night.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Burpo Makes Final 10 Cut For MLS Save of the Year; Vote Now!

Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Preston Burpo has made the cut to the final 10 plays still in contention to win the MLS Save of the Year.

Rapids fans have until next Tursday, Nov. 17 to cast their votes for Burpo to win the league honor for top save in the league this season.

Vote for Colorado's Preston Burpo to win the 2009 MLS Save of the Year online by clicking here!

Burpo is currrently in 3rd place in fan voting.......cast your votes now!

The voting breakdown is as follows:

1. Nov. 3 – Nov. 10 – Voting to select top 10 saves from original 40 nominees

2. Nov. 11 – Nov. 17 – Voting to select the 2009 Degree Men MLS Save of the Year from the top 10 nominees

The 2009 MLS Save of the Year will be announced on Nov. 18, 2009. This year marks the inaugural season for the Degree Men MLS Save of the Year Award.

Conor Casey Checks in From Bratislava

Rapids striker Conor Casey, currently in Bratislava with US Men's National Team, took time out to catch up with US Soccer's Studio 90 about the full schedule of US games this season, qualifying for the World Cup, and what the future looks like for the USMNT.

The USA are set to battle Slovakia this Saturday, Nov. 14 (live at 8:00am MT on Fox Soccer Channel) in their friendly against the hosts, who just clinched their first World Cup berth since becoming an independent nation.

Check out more videos on US Soccer's Studio 90multimedia page.

Co. Springs Christian Take 3A Boys HS Title

In the first of 2 consecutive days of boys high school championship matches at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, last night Colorado Springs Christian defeated Denver Christian 3-1 to take the Colorado High School Boys 3A state championship.

Goals —
CSC: Edmundson (Gills) 3'
CSC: Edmundson (free kick) 10'
CSC: Schuler (Prabhudas) 40'
DC: Montavon (Monsma)50'

In tonight's doubleheader on the stadium pitch, the state 4A and 5A champs will be crowned.

The Denver Post has the full match recap from last night.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rapids Youth Teams Schedule For This Week

This week's training, meeting and match schedule for the Colorado Rapids youth teams, courtesy of the Rapids Academy:

Rapids Academy Schedule: November 9-15, 2009
(all Rapids youth teams training and matches at Dick's Sporting Goods Park unless otherwise noted)

Monday: Rapids U10 Center of Excellence, 6:00pm, Field 10

Tuesday: Training, Rapids U11, U13, U14 CYS Teams, 5:00pm, Fields 8 and 10
Training, Rapids U15-U18 Teams, 6:30pm, Fields 8 and 10
Match: Rapids U12 vs. Colorado Storm Black, 6:00pm, Sandstone Ranch Field #3

Wednesday: Training, Rapids U13-U14 CYS Teams, 5:00pm, Fields 8 and 10
Training, Rapids U15-U18 Teams, 6:30pm, Fields 8 and 10

Thursday: Training, Rapids U11-U14 CYS Teams, 5:00pm, Fields 8 and 10
Training, Rapids U15-U18 Teams, 6:30pm, Fields 8 and 10

Friday: Rapids Youth Teams Day Off

Saturday: Match: Rapids U11 vs. Colorado Fusion Mundial, 12:00pm, Aurora Sports Park Field #5
Match: Rapids U14 vs. Real Colorado White, 11:00am, Field 8
Training, Rapids U15-U18 Teams, 1:00pm, Fields 8 and 10

Sunday: Training, Rapids U15-U18 Teams, 1:00pm, Fields 8 and 10

For more info on the Rapids youth teams and the Rapids Academy, click here.

Seven Rapids Alumni Players on Soccer Hall of Fame Ballot

The National Soccer Hall of Fame released its final ballot for the Class of 2010 and 7 fomer Colorado Rapids players are on the list of the 24 candidates.

Here is the full list of candidates (Rapids Alumni Players and the years they played for Colorado are highlighted in bold):

Mike Burns, Mauricio Cienfuegos, Raul Diaz Arce (2001), Thomas Dooley, John Doyle, Marco Etcheverry, Robin Fraser (2001-03), Chris Henderson (1996-98 & 2002-05), Eduardo Hurtado, Dominic Kinnear (1996), Roy Lassiter, Shannon MacMillan, Joe-Max Moore, Victor Nogueira, Peter Nowak, John O’Brien, Cindy Parlow, Preki Radosavljevic, Mike Sorber, Earnie Stewart, Steve Trittschuh (1996-98), Carlos Valderrama (2001-02), Tisha Venturini-Hoch, Peter Vermes (1997-99).

Appearing on the ballot for the first time are Chris Henderson, Eduardo Hurtado, and John O’Brien.

Those in the final year of eligibility on the Player Ballot are Thomas Dooley, John Doyle, Dominic Kinnear and Mike Sorber. If not elected, these players will be on the Veteran Player Preliminary Ballot in 2011.

Voters in the player election include selected members of the media, Hall of Famers, past and present U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team coaches, MLS and WPS coaches of four or more years tenure, and a select group of soccer administrators. The ballot deadline is November 19. The results will be announced in early 2010.

Voters will be able to select up to 10 candidates for entry, with all candidates that appear on 66.7 percent of ballots being inducted.

For full details, visit the National Soccer Hall of Fame website.


Monday, November 9, 2009

High School Boys State Championship Matches Set for Tomorrow & Wednesday

The matchups are set for this week's High School Boys Soccer state championships taking place this Tuesday and Wednesday on the Rapids' stadium pitch at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

CHSAA will host the championship matches for 3A, 4A and 5A boys soccer in the Rapids' home stadium for the first time ever this year.

(Wednesday's event is a doubleheader).

Date, time, opponent:

Tuesday, November 10 – 7:00 p.m.
Colorado Springs Christian vs. Denver Christian (CSCS is home team)

Wednesday, November 11 – 5:00 p.m.
Niwot vs. Rock Canyon (Niwot is home team)

Wednesday, November 11 – 7:00 p.m.
Fort Collins vs. Abraham Lincoln (Fort Collins is home team)

For full details on the games, visit the Dick's Sporting Goods Park website.

Tickets are still on sale for both days' matches, are $10 for students and $12 for adults, and can be purchased in person at the Dick's Sporting Goods Park box office either day or online at

Friday, November 6, 2009

Omar Gets the Call

Colorado Rapids forward Omar Cummings has been called up by the Jamaican National Team for their international friendly against World Cup hosts South Africa in Bloemfontein on November 17.

Omar will join the team in Jamaica this weekend, ahead of a few days of training before traveling to South Africa for the match.

Roundtrip, he should travel over 19,000 miles for this one game.

The Bodles Crescent, Jamaica native has nine career caps with the Reggae Boyz after making his international debut in July of 2008.

Omar has scored two goals in international competition, including Jamaica'a only goal in a 1-0 win over El Salvador on July 10, 2009 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Paul Bravo's Off-Season Scouting Update

Hi everyone, just wanted to check in with everyone. Now that the Rapids’ season is over, we can turn our full attention toward concentrating 100% on our 2010 preparations.

As we do every season around this time, our technical staff is hard at work splitting up scouting responsibilities.

While we’ve been working on 2010 for a while now, suddenly there’s a lot of big events coming up in the next few weeks that the Rapids’ technical and coaching staff will be dividing up making appearances at. Some of the big collegiate events coming up this month that we have on our agenda include tournaments like:

-the Big 10 Quarterfinals from Nov. 11-13 in Bloomington, Indiana
-the ACC Play-in and Quarterfinals, Nov. 10—22 in Raleigh-Durham
-the Big East Semifinals Nov. 12 in Pittsburgh
-the Missouri Valley Semifinals Nov. 21 in Des Moines
-and closer to home, the Mountain Pacific Tournament Nov. 12-14 here in Denver.

The Rapids have a long history of aggressively scouting NCAA players and talent, and this year will be no exception. While other MLS clubs may be in attendance at some of these events as well, we are making a concerted effort to have the best and most comprehensive grasp of America’s college age players ahead of the Super Draft.

Also, we’ll be right here at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for next week’s Colorado High School Boys 3A, 4A and 5A soccer championships to keep an eye on some of our homegrown local talent.

November’s a big month for our 2010 preparations; while the Rapids are still training out here every day at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the technical staff are trying to finish out our postseason training whilst also making our final preparations for 2010 Spring Training and covering all of our scouting initiatives.

It’s a lot to keep us all going, and we’re keeping very busy, but I wanted to take the time to let all the fans out there know how hard we are working toward strengthening our team and building toward a better 2010 season.


-Paul Bravo

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Weekend Soccer Spotlight

Today we are introducing a new weekly "Weekend Soccer Spotlight" highlighting the upcoming weekend's high profile matches across the soccer world. We hope you enjoy our new weekly installment!


Hearts v. Hibernian (LIVE on Setanta Sports USA @ 5:30AM MT) - This fixture is known as the Edinburgh Derby. It is one of the oldest derby matches in the world dating back to the 1875! Hearts and Hibs have faced each other 300 times with Hearts holding the edge with 130 wins to Hibs 85 wins. There have been 85 draws in the series. A great way to spend breakfast on a Saturday down at the pub!

Tottenham Hotspur v. Sunderland (LIVE on ESPN2 @ 8AM MT) - The first televised EPL game of the weekend, features two top 10 sides. Both clubs have struggled the last two weeks, tallying 1 point from those 4 games. Look for a highly competitive game as both clubs need 3 points.

Wolves v. Arsenal (LIVE on Fox Soccer Channel @ 10:30AM MT) - Anyone who appreciates beautiful soccer must tune in to any Arsenal match, they just play the right way. (Okay, maybe not Spurs fans...) Arsenal look to close in on the top 2 with Manchester United and Chelsea facing each other this weekend.

Atletico Madrid v. Real Madrid (LIVE on ESPN Deportes @ 2PM MT) - El Derbi madrileno! Another great derby featruing one of the biggest clubs in the world, Real Madrid, and their cross-city rival Atletico Madrid. Both teams are featured in the Champions League this season, but Atletico has had poor results in La Liga so far this year. A win this weekend would go a long way towards turning their season around, as they currently sit in 18th place in La Liga. Real Madrid would love nothing more than to keep their rivals down.

Chicago Fire v. New England Revolution (LIVE on Fox Soccer Channel @ 6PM MT) - Catch the only MLS Cup Playoff match of the day as Chicago looks to rebound at home against New England and MLS MVP finalist Shalrie Joseph. New England carries the 2-1 advantage coming into the game.

Atlas v. Chivas Guadalajara (LIVE on Telemundo @ 7:45PM MT) - The oldest Mexican "Classic," known simply as Clasico Tapatio, this local derby features Mexican super-club Chivas and their cross town rivals Atlas. Dating back to 1916, this match is played in their shared stadium Estadio Jalisco which is sure to be a raucous atmosphere this weekend.


Lazio v. AC Milan (LIVE on Fox Soccer Channel @ 7AM MT) - Before you start your honey-do list, watch the Rossoneri take on struggling Lazio. Why? Think of it as an appetizer for...

Chelsea v. Manchester United (LIVE on Fox Soccer Channel @ 9AM MT) - This is the marquee match-up in the EPL this year. Top two teams. Winners of the last five English Premier League championships (Man Utd 3, Chelsea 2). Two of the biggest clubs in the world. Each team boasts some of the best players in the world including: Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, Ryan Giggs, Deco, Rio Ferdinand, and Michael Essien just to name a few. Do you really need to be told why you should watch?

CD Toluca v. Pachuca CF (LIVE on Telemundo @ 11AM MT) - A match featuring 1st place Toluca against Rapids partner club Pachuca CF. Both teams are in contention for the Apertura championship, with Pachuca looking to make up ground in this pivotal match.

Olympique Lyon v. Olympique Marseille (LIVE on Setanta Sports USA @ 1PM MT) - The Choc des Olympiques (Clash of the Olympics) features two of the biggest clubs in France. Both Lyon and Marseille are perennial participants in European competition. Expect this match to be both spirited and attractive as both teams are in the top half of the league again this season.

Los Angeles Galaxy v. Chivas USA (LIVE on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes @ 5:30PM MT) - In the second leg of the playoff version of the Honda SuperClasico, both teams will be playing in front of "home crowds" at the Home Depot Center. The first leg was a thrilling 2-2 draw, so expect a wide open game featuring these passionate rivals.

You can check out any of these games at any one of the Colorado Rapids local bar partners. We hope to see you out there this weekend!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Rapids Academy Weekly Schedule

This week's training, meeting and match schedule for the Colorado Rapids youth teams, courtesy of the Rapids Academy:

Rapids Academy November 2-8, 2009

Monday: U10 Center of Excellence, 6:00pm, Field 10

Tuesday: Training, Rapids U11-U14 CYS Teams, 6:00pm, Fields 8 and 10

Wednesday: Training, Rapids U12-U14 CYS Teams, 6:00pm, Fields 8 and 10

Thursday: Training, Rapids U11-U13 CYS Teams, 6:00pm, Fields 8 and 10
Rapids U14s vs. Colorado Elite FC, 7:00pm, Douglas County Fairgrounds #6

Friday: Rapids Youth Teams Off

Saturday: Rapids U12s vs. Boulder Force Milan, 10:30am, DSGP #TBD
Rapids U13s vs. Westminster Cosmos, 9:30am, Westminster City Park #2
Rapids U14s vs. Colorado Storm Blue, 10:00am, Dove Valley #3

Sunday: Training, Rapids U15-U18 Teams, 1:00pm, Fields 13 and 14
High School Age Group Orientation, 4:00pm, Press Level
Rapids U13s vs. Arsenal Colorado Royal, 3:00pm, FCSC #8

For more info on the Rapids Academy, click here.