After an exciting debut season, the Colorado Rapids Unified Soccer Team began training for the start of the second year last night at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. A few players returned from last year's team and were met by new teammates as Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens and defender Chris Klute put the athletes through their first workout of the season.
The players also received their new uniforms which they'll debut on Sept. 14 when they host a Special Olympics team from Dallas.
CLICK HERE to check out the photos from the first day of training and come back for more updates before and after each match.
Friday night was movie night for the Colorado Rapids at Civic Center Park - the second year in which the team has participated in the summer event.
In partnership with the Civic Center Conservancy, the Rapids presented the movie 'Despicable Me' - on a 40-foot screen - as part of Denver's Movies in the Park Series .
But that wasn't all.
The Rapids Academy also hosted a clinic with children from the Big Brothers, Big Sister program.
Defenders Drew Moor, Shane O'Neill, and Brian Mullan all helped out with the clinic, which included 12 matches. The three then signed autographs and hopped on Rapids-branded bcycles at the park, while mascot, Edson the Eagle, played with the kids in the inflatable.
The club also donated 100 tickets to Big Brother, Big Sisters and the street team was handed out tickets, free bcycle ride cards, and Rapids-branded water bottles and scarves.
Pro athletes have a way of making impressions on youngsters that few others do. It's one of the fun parts of watching kids' reactions after a player appearance - even when it involves books and school.
On Tuesday, July 23, defender Chris Klute and forward Danny Mwanga helped host a soccer clinic for children for the Denver Public Library Summer Reading Program at the Montbello Library branch in Aurora, Colo. After each kid read a book, they were able to participate in the clinic where Klute and Mwanga taught the children different soccer skills. As a reward for completing their books and learning some soccer, the guys then handed out prizes and signed autographs at the end of the clinic.
Some of the best appearances Colorado Rapids players make in the community are the ones where the kids become the stars, not the pros. A little while back Colorado Rapids midfielder Nick LaBrocca and Edson the Eagle attended a unique event where kids in wheel chairs got an opportunity to play soccer. Local station, 9News, was there to capture and share the story of how the Colorado Adaptive Sports Foundation started Power Soccer (video above).
According to 9News' report, "power soccer is played with a bumper on the front of the power wheelchair that is used to move the soccer ball. The soccer ball is slightly larger than a standard ball."
"The sport has done so much in my life and become such a key part of my life, and I've seen how it touched so many other people's lives," J.C. Russo, a member of the Team USA power soccer team, told 9News.
Colorado Adaptive Sports Foundation (CASF) provides financial support, coaching and mentoring so athletes with disabilities have the opportunity to participate in organized team sports programs. More info here.
As part of the Rapids Recess program, Rapids player Drew Moor and Clint Irwin appeared at the AXL Academy in Aurora on Thursday, speaking and playing soccer with students at the college preparatory charter school for kids from preschool through 8th grade. Moor and Irwin helped run a soccer clinic with students, running drills and games, before telling the kids about their backgrounds and the importance of eating right and staying healthy. The afternoon ended with autographs for the students, who were also invited out to a future Rapids game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
For more information on the Rapids Recess program, click here.
Take a look at the photo above of a youngster in Haiti and see if you notice anything familiar.
Most see a kid or young man about to kick a soccer ball - looks like a corner kick. What you might not notice is that it's an adidas MLS match ball. And his cleats? They used to be worn by a Colorado Rapids player.
Here's how this came about.
The team's chaplain, Rev. Brad Kenney - who, by the way, used to be part of the Rapids Media Relations department back in the day - is part of the CrossTraining ministry. One of the functions of the ministry is to put organizations in touch with others that may be able to provide assistance through what they call the Timothy Project.
A couple of months ago Brad was contacted by a local church that was going to Haiti to work with children. So Brad casually mentioned it to a few of the Rapids players in their weekly chats. The players got together to donate some well-conditioned gear which included cleats, pinnies, shin guards, and soccer balls from previous seasons. Brad said that Stew Ceus, who has played for the Haiti national team (his parents are Haitian), also donated personal items.
Thought it was neat seeing these items put to use - and positively affecting a group so far from here. Here's more on the Timothy Project - Haiti for those interested.
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.
Rivalries in sports are fierce. Fans and teams from Boston and New York are pitted against one another across all major league sports (Revolution-Red Bulls, Celtics-Knicks, Bruins-Rangers and of course, Yankees-Red Sox). The teams don’t like each other; the fans don’t like each other; the rest of the country has an opinion on all of it.
But, in the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedy, the rivalry dissolved, revealing a deep amount of respect between the two cities. Fans laid down their differences, and the New England Revolution supporters and New York Red Bulls supporters marched together.
— NE Revolution (@NERevolution) April 22, 2013
Yankees-Red Sox is one of the most heated rivalries in all of sports. It makes for exciting baseball when the two storied franchises meet. But when faced with adversity, the teams laid down their differences and the Yankees stood in support of the Red Sox.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) April 16, 2013
New York isn’t the only city that stood up for Boston. Outpourings of support came from all over the United States, including Chicago.
Well done, Chicago. twitter.com/WayneBrant/sta…
— Wayne Brant (@WayneBrant) April 16, 2013
A number of teams played Sweet Caroline as a tribute to Boston, wore black armbands, held moments of silence and showed their support in creative ways, including a touching tifo from FC Dallas fans.
— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) April 21, 2013
— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) April 20, 2013
Local teams stood behind the city in a number of ways.
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) April 16, 2013
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 20, 2013
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 22, 2013
Coach said it's overwhelming to see how much teams have done to show support for city (FLA wore local police hats during warm-ups today)^CS
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) April 21, 2013
Author Golden, in Memoirs of a Geisha, said “Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.” With that in mind, the show of strength and togetherness is nothing less than inspiring.
Until a few weeks ago I had never heard of the group, Rabbit, nor of their song, "In My Blue Jeans." But now I can't get the song out of my head.
I first heard the song in video called Soccer Walking New York, then in Soccer Walking Philadelphia, and Soccer Walking Chicago, and, you can see where I'm going...all across America!
Former MLS player Jared Montz runs his own soccer drills website called OnlineSoccerAcademy.com. Jared is using his site to promote Soccer Walking America - a 45 day, 15 city video series tour he created to raise awareness of the fight against malaria and encourage soccer players worldwide to juggle to save lives in the OSA World Juggle-a-thon for Nothing But Nets on April 25, 2013; World Malaria Day.
Jared came to Colorado to shoot his video on April 8-9. He was able to get a lot of footage before one of our now weekly snow storms, and then went to the Sports Dome to get Clint Irwin, Drew Moor, Tony Cascio, and Edson Buddle to join in. Jared also juggles with Academy midfielder Bryan Windsor and his brother and dad.
You can participate, too. Join the "Juggle to Get Better, Juggle to Save Lives" World Juggle-a-thon for Nothing But Nets on April 25th at 6pm from anywhere in the world.
Then go watch the rest of the videos from each of the other MLS markets on the OnlineSoccerAcedmy YouTube page and get that song stuck in your head, too. Hey, oh, oh!
Colorado Rapids Team President, Tim Hinchey, alongside Rapids front office staff and fans, will be “Stepping Out” to stop diabetes.
The Walk to fight diabetes has been taking place for more than 20 years and has raised over $150,000,000. Last year, more than 150,000 participants across the country raised over $20 million to stop diabetes. Step Out participants are committed to walk and to raise money to change the future, and make a positive impact on the lives of those affected by diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association 5k walk and 10k run will take place on Saturday, October 20th at the Denver Aquarium at 9am. OFFICIAL SITE