Like soccer fans around the world, our offices have been buzzing in the mornings with the sounds of the EURO 2012 Championship on various TVs. Friday afternoon, shortly after England defeated Sweden 3-2, there was another round of excitement in the air when we learned that the Colorado Rapids were represented at that match.
Emily Kilcoyne, our Manager of Group Sales, received the photo above from Rapids season ticket holder Haim Lensky. From left to right: Mike, Vicky, and Haim hold up the Rapids' MLS Champion flag at Olympic Stadium in Kyiv (Ukraine), with the Sweden-England scarf above.
"It's been a great experience," Haim wrote via email. "We met people from all over Europe and we have loved being at every game screaming and cheering for the teams."
Haim is from Russia and won the ticket lottery last year to attend the tournament. The family is of course supporting Russia, but also England, Spain, and Ukraine. And if you're ready to be jealous, read on...
So far, they've attended the England-France (T 1-1), Netherlands-Germany (GER 2-1), and today's England-Sweden matches.
"The games have been crazy and the fans have definitely been dedicated to their respective teams" he wrote.
The Lensky's will also be attending: Sweden-France, and the Quarterfinal matches in Donetsk and Kiev, the Semifinal in Kiev, and the 2012 Final in Donetsk.
"We are definitely having fun," he concludes.
Glad to hear, and thanks for bringing a little bit of Colorado and the Rapids with you!
It's been a while since the last League match, that being the 3-2 home win over Montreal back on May 26. But the break is over, and the team began the week preparing for Saturday's match at Vancouver (5 pm MT, Altitude).
Tuesday's training ended with a crossing / finishing drill. We captured some of it on video and decided to compile the clips into a raw two-minute clip below.
Give yourself a couple of minutes and stand on the edge of the training field. Watch how guys like Omar, Conor, Jamie, and Brian look after their injuries. Listen to reactions, encouragement, and feedback from the players and coaches. Get a feel for how the players approach a drill, with attention and sharpness, and enjoyment. And check out some pretty sharp crosses, neat diving headers, one-time finishes, and quick reaction saves.
The 2012 European Championship starts on Friday and long-time MLS partner ESPN will broadcast all the matches through their various outlets. We've set up a EURO Predictor Challenge Bracket through ESPN.com so that fans, staff, and players can go head-to-head in a just-for-fun contest.
Drew Moor, Andre Akpan, Tony Cascio, and Chris Sharpe have signed up, as has some members of the staff.
All are invited to join our group. Here's how:
Click on this link: http://games.espn.go.com/euro-bracket-predictor/en/group?groupID=3845
Set up an account if you don't have one.
Join our team / private group: Rapids EURO Challenge
Pick which teams will finish first and second from each of the four groups, the winners of the Quarterfinals, the Semifinal winners, and who will win the Final.
You have until the Friday's first game between Poland and Greece to submit your picks!
(Note that all rules for participation are governed by ESPN.com).
If you've been to a Rapids home game this year, you've likely looked up at the scoreboard and watched some of the videos the Game Entertainment crew produces. We'll be posting some of these on here throughout the summer - after they've aired in the stadium.
Here's the first video: "This or That with Marvell Wynne:" (WATCH ON YOUTUBE)
We finally got our hands on the video of the goal that was talked about often last week within the Rapids office. Youngster Ricardo Perez has played a handful of Reserve League games for the Rapids, but his first priority is helping the Rapids Development Academy's U-16s. Last week, he scored three goals in a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Thunder. Watch his second goal below (CLICK HERE TO WATCH ON YOUTUBE):
This video has been making the internet rounds the past couple of days. As various web reports mention, former Russian international defender Vadim Evseev retired as a professional from the Belarus league in December. And in a touching moment, in his testimonial match earlier this month, he was replaced by five-year-old Khrisan Dzeus. I've found multiple stories that say Khristan is Vadim's son, and others that say he's the son of a CEO of a children's charity organization, and that Vadim wanted to recognize the CEO's efforts by showcasing Vadim.
In either case, watch how both teams helped the little fella become the star of the game...
Last month the League's board of governors held a meeting in Colorado. MLS Commissioner then stopped over for a lunch Q&A with the Denver-area media at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Altitude TV was able to get a one-on-one with the Commish for a pre-game feature. Watch below:
The 2012 UEFA Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Chelsea is likely to be one of the most watched sporting events in the world. The game will be broadcast live Saturday, May 19 on Fox at 12:45 pm MT from the home of Bayern, Allianz Arean in Munich, Germany. Here's who some of the players and technical staff picked:
Edu - Bayern Munich
Drew Moor - Bayern Munich
Martin Rivero - Bayern Munich
Tony Cascio - Chelsea
Omar Cummings - Bayern Munich
Ian Joyce - Chelsea
Kosuke Kimura - Bayern Munich
Matt Pickens - Bayern Munich
Kohei Yamada - Bayern Munich
Tyrone Marshall - Bayern Munich
Kamani Hill - Bayern Munich
Davy Armstrong - Chelsea
Pablo Mastroeni - Bayern Munich
Joseph Nane - Chelsea
Hunter Freeman - Bayern Munich
Luis Zapata - Bayern Munich
Stew Ceus - Bayern Munich
Harrison Henao - Chelsea
Scott Palguta - Bayern Munich
Conor Casey - Bayern Munich
Ross LaBauex - Chelsea
Eddie Ababio - Chelsea
Jaime Castrillon - Chelsea
Wells Thompson - Bayern Munich
Oscar Pareja - Bayern Munich
Wilmer Cabrera - Bayern Munich
Paul Caffrey - Bayern Munich
David Kramer - Bayern Munich
Paul Bravo - Bayern Munich
MLSsoccer.com is celebrating Supporters Week, with a wide array of articles and videos honoring fans. Not lost among that is that players themselves are fans.
Pablo Mastroeni, New England's Benny Feilhaber, and Philadelphia's Zac MacMath list former Rapids midfielder Carlos Valderrama as their favorite MLS player of all-time. Other's list Brian McBride as their favorite. Who is your all-time favorite MLS player - tell us in the comments?
A collection of Colorado Rapids players with their moms and grandmas. Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there!