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18 June 9:00 am

(A selection of Colorado Rapids U-13s is in Costa Rica participating in the Saprissa Cup. The kids, ranging from 10-13 years-old, provide updates from their trip).

Cade, Triston, and Marko

On Monday morning we had woken up at 7:30 am to go eat breakfast. The bad part was that everyone was pretty tired; Tibbs even had bags under his eyes. When we arrived at breakfast there was a bowl of fruit waiting for us. And ten minutes later pancakes were in front us. Everyone was so excited that we had pancakes.

Paul had quoted, “this is the business.”

When we had finished up breakfast, we had a meeting at the pool. The meeting was about our trip so far. It was fun for us to hear each other’s thoughts. After that, we all headed to our hotel rooms to get ready to go for a walk around the hotel's courtyard. It was beautiful. We saw lizards and a bunch of amazing plants and flowers. Furthermore, that was Monday Morning.

Next - Monday’s lunch was one of the best we had. Our lunch was fried chicken with a side of fries, and let me tell you, it was really good after having a bunch of crazy things to eat and try. We also had desert! The desert didn’t exactly hit the spot. It was like cake/jello, it was weird but fun to play with. We still appreciated their effort, Cade remarked.

Finally it was the game. We arrived two hours early for warm-ups but another group of kids were taking the field for their practice! We only warmed up for 30 minutes. The outcome was 3-2 Belen.

When we got back to the hotel it was 8:45. For diner we had Heart of Palm( literally) and a side of salad. It was delicious.

17 June 9:00 am

(A selection of Colorado Rapids U-13s is in Costa Rica participating in the Saprissa Cup. The kids, ranging from 10-13 years-old, provide updates from their trip).

By Marco Rios, Dani Haddad, and Hayden

We had breakfast at 7:30, then got our gear and went to practice. Hank didn’t go to practice because he wasn’t feeling good.

After practice Gustavo took us around and showed us the Costa Rica national stadium with his wife.

Then we had a snack at the hotel, while we were eating coach Brian came. We went to the pool and we did races in the pool. After all that we all rested and then went to dinner.

Right after dinner we had a meeting with Brian, Gary, and Drew. The meeting was at the pool and we talked about many things like what’s different and what we liked about it. Finally we went to our rooms and rested. While we were resting there was a power outage and it was completely dark. But then the lights turned back on. Eventually we fell asleep and woke up ready for tomorrows game.

Sunday after practice
Max and Vincent

Today after practice, we went to go see the Costa Rican National soccer stadium in the city. When at the field, our host Gustavo tried to get us a tour of the stadium, but the guards did not let us in, so instead we went around the stadium.

We saw pro baseball games, animals, and people playing soccer. Baseball in Costa Rica isn’t popular and while we were there, we started to watch a professional game. Even though it was a championship game, you could watch for free and there were about 15 people in the crowd. It felt like watching a little league game.

In Costa Rica, there is about 90,000 different species of animals, but we only saw three. We saw ducks that didn’t look like ducks. They were black with a red face and looked more like chickens than ducks. We also saw horses that you can ride for about $2 U.S. There were kids riding horses at the age around 7, riding horses with no adult supervision right by the edge of the lake. The last animal we saw was dogs. We saw a vicious Labrador puppy, a British mop dog that was black and white, and a small beagle puppy. We also saw dogs at the practice fields. There was a dog barking at us loud and spinning all at once. Dogs in Costa Rica are scary.

While we were walking around, all we saw was soccer. There was street soccer, pick-up games, and adult leagues. Even though the fields weren’t the best, they just wanted to go out and play.

When we were walking, there were people staring at us and whispering to each other. Some people would even approach us and ask for autographs. While we were at the airport, there was a man who helped us with our luggage trying to make a few dollars. Costa Ricans are friendly and look up to us. They’re different than Americans. They´re different in a good way. After dinner, while we were writing this paper, the whole town´s power went out for about 10 seconds. It was even scarier than the dogs.

16 June 9:00 am

(A selection of Colorado Rapids U-13s is in Costa Rica participating in the Saprissa Cup. The kids, ranging from 10-13 years-old, provide updates from their trip).

By Win, Juan and Paul

In the morning we had interesting oatmeal and eggs. We also killed a huge spider with a remote. Then we met at the elevator so we could get on the bus to go to our game. We saw a crazy dog that marked and spun in circles. Finally we got back after an exhausting game. Then we had our best meal, it was a mushroom marinated steak and some potatoes.

Then we went to German´s presentation of biodiversity and soccer in Costa Rica. Then we found out that he was a goalkeeper. He takes all kinds of pictures in Costa Rica´s tropical rain forest. We had so much fun learning about the wide variety of wildlife and soccer.

Later that day we went to our own rooms and we went on the balcony and we were talking with our teammates from the other rooms. We were out there for a little while and then we went inside to go to sleep and wake up the next morning.

By Thibbs Jake and Toby

We woke up at 7 for a 10 o'clock game time. When we arrived, the whole team, and their parents were staring at us. Before the game, the starters from both teams as well as the referees, walked onto the field to shake hands. We didn’t get the kick-off, but Hank got to defend the goal he wanted.

With the extremely hot humidity making us all sweat like we never have before, about halfway through the first half, Marco sent a left-footed cross into the box for Paul to head in. Then the half ended.

We kicked off for the second half. One of Saprissas forwards took the ball down the right side and crossed it. We made a mistake in the defense which led to a goal for the other team. We kicked off again. A little while after that, one of their forwards dribbled down the left side. Then he took a left-footed shot and placed it in the back right corner. 2-1 them.

From this point we were getting frustrated, but with 4 minutes to go, Juan took a shot from outside the box and it hit the crossbar and went in. We got even and gained momentum for the rest of the game. At the end of the game we had a cool down which involved stretching and light jogging.

15 June 9:00 am

(A selection of Colorado Rapids U-13s is in Costa Rica participating in the Saprissa Cup. The kids, ranging from 10-13 years-old, provide updates from their trip).

By Cal, Connor, and Hank

We woke up in our dark room to the sound of Cal´s phone alarm and headed downstairs to the restaurant for breakfast. We had delicious pancakes and fruit with orange juice to drink. We then got our soccer stuff and headed out on the long bus ride to the fields.

On the bus ride we were able to get a glimpse of Costa Rica´s culture. There were farmers markets and joggers around every turn and there were so many plants and animals that we couldn´t figure out what to look at.

After we finally arrived at the fields the 'keepers went off to their training and the players went to do theirs. German was the goalkeeper coach and Gustavo was the players' coach.

Everyone was surprised by the humidity and it was taking its toll on everyone there because it was so much hotter than in Colorado. After the practice was over everyone was burning hot so we went to the pool for a cool down swim. Then we took the bus ride back to Bougainvillea.

We were able to take a quick break in our hotel rooms before heading down to the restaurant for a wonderful lunch of fresh fish and juca. We came back from lunch with our taste buds still tingling from the deliciousness of the meal and we figured out a way to talk to each other without getting in trouble by talking over our balconies.

After the long break in our rooms we went to eat. We had a barbeque with hamburgers, fries, and tea to drink. After the meal was over no one wanted to leave so the team sat and enjoyed the classical music being played and had some quality conversation before meeting the coach of Saprissa.

We then had a meeting in room 219 where Win, Juan, and Paul were staying. Everyone got there early and used the meeting as an excuse to party before the meeting. After Gary came in things settled down and he talked to us about how to be a professional when you´re on the road.

After the speech was over we all knew where we had to be the next day and we all dozed off immediately after our heads hit the pillow. We're so excited for this opportunity and can´t wait to see what kind of fun and activities await us during this trip. We love Costa Rica!

14 June 9:00 am

(A selection of Colorado Rapids U-13s is in Costa Rica participating in the Saprissa Cup. The kids, ranging from 10-13 years-old, provide updates from their trip).

By Marko, Triston and Cade

On Thursday morning we woke up bright ‘n early. Cars were arriving at DIA with moms and dad with coffees in hand. Excitement was in the air along with the emotions of saying goodbye. We were going to Costa Rica!!! WOOOOP WOOOP!

Then there was Security. It was a long walk past Caribou coffee at the start of our adventure. As we were making our first costumes check there was a problem. We got hung up by the security guard for a strange reason and it was all Jake's fault. He had unknowingly brought a filled up water bottle! The old security then said his sorries and we were off once again.

We had just arrived in Houston. We were in a rush to get to our plane but, when we got to the plane we were early. So, our coach “Gary Evans” said to go eat lunch. All of us then headed to lunch in our groups. The Houston airport was very different from DIA - it looked a lot like a mall. After lunch we headed into the plane to Coast Rica. WE WERE OFF!!!

When we arrived in Costa Rica it was awesome, the humidity was unbearable. Also the scenery was very lush and colorful. We knew right away that America was very blessed. BY CADE!!!

First was immigration forms and check in. Many of the officers speaked Español so, it was very difficult to finish it. Also when we left the airport, everybody stared at us, it was so scary. The bus ride to the hotel Bougainvillea showed how simple these people are living in this region that is foreign to us.

As we arrived at the hotel, it was beautiful. Everybody greeted us with respect and kindness and were very excited to have us. The pool in a dark clear blue and is so dazzling. Additionally the campus has so many plants and animals to look at and enjoy.

This is such a good experience.

06 June 12:11 pm

Colorado Rapids goalkeeper has been itching to get back on the practice field since breaking his arm in March. However this week he was happy to miss the first few days of training and rehab.

On Monday, June 3, Matt's wife, Loubna, gave birth to the couple's first son, Sofyan. Mom, Sofyan, and his 17-month-old sister Kameliah are all doing well!

Matt, who was back at the complex on Thursday, told me that his broken bones are now fully healed and doctors told him it's possible he could be cleared to resume full training in a couple of week after building up more arm strength.

Congrats to Matt and his family!

Here's a segment from a recent Rapids Report on Pickens' recovery:

04 June 12:05 pm

We've told you before about the three fans that come to just about every Colorado Rapids training. Allan, Mark, and Joan were obviously at the Rapids match against FC Dallas on Saturday. They, like I'm sure many Rapids fans, also felt that the FC Dallas players..um..maybe milked some of their falls in the match last weekend at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

So today they brought out this red flag with a white diagonal sash to training. As they explained to Oscar Pareja afterwards, much to Oscar's enjoyment, the flag is a Diving Flag which is used on boats to indicate that a diver is in the water. They brought it to present a bit of humor to the group following the recent draw.

The game saw 27 fouls, 14 called on Colorado and 13 on Dallas. But it appeared that, often, the Dallas players took much longer to get up from fouls (and sometimes were on the ground without a call). Well, clearly these fans didn't think there was contact on many of the plays.

10 May 1:56 pm

We love Colorado. It's not a secret.

We've included something about Colorado into nearly everyone we've done from a branding and marketing side this season. From the Colorado-themed jerseys, to the $52.80 ticket packages, to the billboards we've promoted on throughout the city.

Another piece we've put out there is probably our largest. We've fully wrapped one RTD light rail train in Colorado Rapids colors, using the Colorado for Life imagery which includes the Rapids logo, Colorado state flag 'C," and, of course, a lot of burgundy. Here's a couple photos - keep an eye out for it and share your pics if you ride it on our twitter (@ColoradoRapids) or Facebook pages. The train will be around until September.

 

07 May 1:23 pm

I am new to the soccer world. This is my first season with the Rapids and I showed up in Colorado with minimal knowledge of the sport. I credit a friend in Houston for introducing me to English Premier League soccer and carving a space in my heart for Everton (I have an unnatural attachment to underdogs) - but a lot of this MLS experience is completely new to me.

One of the most intriguing elements of a soccer game is Man of the Match. Following each home game, the Rapids Man of the Match visits the Summit Club Powered by 2lemetry where he answers questions regarding the match and greets fans. He then heads to Eighteen76 (formerly known as the Cantina) to sign autographs and chat with fans. As a fan, it’s a great opportunity to meet one of your favorite players. Everyone, including me, wants to know how the decision is made.

Here's what I found out: Each game, a small panel of Rapids staff votes on Man of the Match. The decision takes into account much more than goal scoring or saves, in the case of the keepers. The panel looks at a player’s overall impact on the match. In that sense, it has been described as a very subjective decision. There’s no formula, no science. It’s all art, and as such, it is always open to debate.

The Man of the Match in the win over Toronto was goalkeeper Clint Irwin (see above). Let me know who you would have picked as Man of the Match on Saturday in the comments below or on twitter @TamaraCG.

01 May 4:22 pm

It was a story that went viral early in the week, and then spread like wildfire through twitter on Wednesday. You'll quickly realize why when you watch the video above (warning, might need tissues), but I wanted to give another shout out to the Portland Timbers and their fans for this amazing show of compassion towards a young fan. If you're hearing/seeing this for the first time, here's how Portland described the day though a press release:

In front of more than 3,000 Portland Timbers faithful – converted for a day to support a special wish made possible by the club, the Timbers Army and Make-A-Wish® Oregon – eight-year-old Atticus Lane-Dupre netted four goals, including the game-winner in the waning moments of the match, to power The Green Machine to a 10-9 victory over the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field Wednesday afternoon in Portland, Ore.

The Timbers teamed up with Make-A-Wish® Oregon to grant the wish to Atticus, who learned he had cancer last fall and missed his last soccer game of the season with his teammates on The Green Machine. Guided to victory by Timbers head coach Caleb Porter, The Green Machine faced a formidable Timbers side that included a Starting IV.

When Atticus had the chance to make a wish, he chose to scrimmage the Timbers at JELD-WEN Field, home of the Timbers. Prior to Wednesday’s game, Atticus was outfitted with his own locker next to Timbers captain Will Johnson, while he and his family were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the Timbers locker room and workout facilities.

After the game Atticus exchanged jerseys with Johnson, and then, in keeping with Timber's tradition, he held up a slice off the victory log for his four goals.

CHECK OUT THE PHOTO GALLERY HERE