Representatives from adidas headquarters in Portland, Oregon and Germany were at Rapids training today, having brought a new adidas ball for the team to train with for the day.
The Colorado Rapids, along with the Portland Timbers and Houston Dynamo, are the three MLS sides from which adidas is gathering feedback on the ball. They told us that they've also already tested the ball with players at AC Milan, Chelsea, and Ajax, and said they'll be visiting more teams around the world in the coming months.
This is not uncommon. Last summer, the Rapids tested the current adidas Prime match balls over a week's time.
That said, there's not much more info that can be public on the ball the team used today. But we are thankful that these reps at least allowed us to inform fans that this occured, even if we can't provide a better picture of the ball than this.
Had a few guests at practice today as these geese decided the training field would be a great spot to land just towards the end of training. We posted a couple of pics on the team's facebook and asked you to provide captions. Below are some suggestions. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
On Monday U.S. Soccer unveiled the new jerseys for both the men's and women's national teams. What do you think - do you like that it seems that a new design comes out regularly, or would you prefer U.S. Soccer tries to establish some kind of consistancy, like Brazil, Argentina, England, Italy, etc. have? CLICK HERE for more images.
It's become the norm in recent years, being on the bench side of Rio Tinto Stadium in Utah and hearing the loud Colorado Rapids supporters across the field. Ask the RSL fans - many spend a good portion of the game looking up at the Rapids fans. Some have even tried to go up to the section before being stopped by security.
Many of these Rapids supporters drove the 8+ hours to Salt Lake City, though I did talk to some that flew, including one Rapids fan that came in from St. Louis. And it wasn't his first time attending a game - he does it often.
A portion start their tailgate north of the stadium hours before kickoff, and wait for the rest of the traveling fans to arrive. Then they march into Rio Tinto Stadium together, holding scarves and flags high up as they chant through the gate. They take their place in the top corner, and immediately make their presence known.
They do think the team played well? When talking to some individually, it didn't sound like many did. But collectively, they only wanted to show their support - which is why they don't stop chanting, banging the drums, waving the flags, and reacting to every play.
Here's a tip of the hat to all those that could make it, and all those that tuned in and otherwise supported the team from afar.
We look forward to seeing many of you here on April 21!
The editor's at Westword have picked midfielder Jeff Larentowicz as 'Best Rapid' in the annual Best of Denver 2012 that came out today. If you've seen it online or picked up a copy, you'll see that the medium selects their 'Best of' in a wide range of categories. You can pick up the free copy of Denver's weekly magazine/newspaper at a variety of corner newsstand throughout the city, as well as see their picks HERE.
2012: Best Rapid: Jeff Larentowicz
(By the way, Conor Casey was the reader's choice for Best Rapid for the third straight year after Pablo Mastroeni had a grip on that honor for the past 6-7 years).
Previous Rapids Westword 'Best of' Editor's Picks:
2010: Best Rapid - Conor Casey
2009: Best Rapid - Conor Casey
2008: Best Rapid - Christian Gomez
2007: Best Rapid: Kyle Beckerman
2006: Best Rapid: Joe Cannon
2005: Best Rapid: Pablo Mastroeni
2004: Best Rapid: Pablo Mastroeni
2003: Best Rapid: Pablo Mastroeni
2002: Best Rapid: John Spencer
2001: Best Rapid: Marcelo Balboa
2000: Best Rapid: Junior Agogo
I stared in disbelief at my TV last night at the end of the USA's 3-3 tie with El Salvador in the CONCACAF U-20 Championships. The Central American's had just eliminated the Americans from the Olympic Qualifying tournament by scoring a goal after four minutes of stoppage time, claiming the tie-breaker and advancing to the semifinals over the hosts.
The disbelief was not so much because El Salvador advanced, after all they created the opportunities and showed to be a good team, or that the U.S. was eliminated, since their problems began when they lost to Canada in the second game. But it was so because it was a reminder of how sports can have two sides: joy for one, and pain for another.
Here's MLSsoccer.com's RECAP
Not sure what to say about this...From RealMadrid.com
TIME has this story: Why Real Madrid Can’t Beat Barca on the Field, But Leads Comfortably in the Market
Jamie Smith is ahead of schedule on his recovery from the torn ACL he suffered last fall. He told me that he's hoping to be cleared to train in 3-4 weeks. While he continues strengthening his leg, he's allowed to work on other stuff, such as free kicks. We caught a few of his attempts on Stew Ceus today on camera...
Most of the guys that played in yesterday's reserve league game had today off, so head coach Oscar Pareja and assistant Wilmer Cabrera became extra players in the first-team training session this morning. We caught this pass from Davy Armstrong to Pareja on camera: