Blog

Preseason

22 February 9:13 am

Edson Buddle has only been with the Rapids a few weeks. But as a MLS and U.S. national team veteran, he's known some of his new teammates for some time, including Marvell Wynne. That has made the transition to the Rapids that much easier, as evidenced by the fact that Marvell trusted Edson to give him a new haircut.

On the right is what Marvell looked like at the start of preseason camp. On the left, a few weeks in when he saved his head before the group went to Vegas.

Apparently, he wasn't done with his new look. Here's the image Edson tweeted on Thursday:

01 February 5:04 pm

The past few days have been a little unnverving for Rapids midfielder Martin Rivero. The 23-year Argentinian suffered a broken bone in his right foot just before the end of the first half of the first preseason game on Tuesday. It was the first broken bone that he's suffered as a professional, and the ensuing surgery was also a first for the second-year playmaker.

But one thing that has kept him positive is the connection he's built with fans through his twitter handle. Rivero has chronicled and given fans - in Spanish and English - a unique behind the scenes perspective of his week, starting prior to the match, as he returned to Denver, on the surgery table, and afterwards. See below:

28 February 4:42 pm

Before the team departed for Hawaii, Oscar Pareja had invited fellow Colombian midfielder Andres Sarmiento as to train with the group. El Michi, as he's known in Colombia, has now returned to his former club in South America, with a positive experience of his week in Colorado and towards Pareja and assistant coach Wilmer Cabrera.

"Training with that club was a great pleasure for me in my career," he told Vanguardia.com. "(Pareja and Cabrera) were kind with me and made me feel like a compatriot. My relation with them is very good."

Sarmiento has already begun training with Atlético Bucaramanga. FULL STORY (SPANISH)

25 February 1:09 pm

One of the common conversations heard among the players after Friday's game was about seeing the Rapids colors in the stands at Aloha Stadium. It was a welcome surprise to the players, especially since these are preseason games being played so far away from Colorado.

We knew that Kosuke, Pablo, and Kohei had friends and family in the stands, and we also heard fans calling out players names from the stands both before and after the game. Unfortunately we didn't get to find out who these fans were.

But we did get to talk to eight Rapids season ticket holders that are here for the games. The photo above shows Brandi and Bruce Mahaffey, Pamela Houpts, and Art, Ana, and Joddy Shipley, who ended up moving over and sitting right behind the team bench.

I also met third-year season ticket Stephanie Adams, who timed her busines trip just right to catch Friday's game before flying back to Colorado that evening. And some of you may have followed the tweets from Richard Bamber, a member of the Bulldog Supporters Group that flew out and posted photos and videos on the Bulldogs twitter account (@BulldogSG).

Finally, we met this group (below) of fans from Hawaii that have taken the Colorado Rapids as their team, mostly because of their interaction via twitter with Drew Moor and Eddie Ababio. They brought signs for both players and got to meet them in person. They then helped keep fans in Colorado updated on the game by tweeting their thoughts from inside the stadium. On Friday they stopped by at the hotel and met and got autographs from a bunch of the players.

And finally, we also want to thank and recognize the fans that stayed up late throughout the country late Thursday / early Friday following our tweets.

22 February 12:39 pm

Yesterday we told you about the competition the guys are involved in this week. It's an off-shoot of a game that Oscar was part of during preseasons with Dallas. In those days they called it Survivor, because the teams of two would be eliminated at every challenge. There are no eliminations in this Rapids version - only point accumulations, with the team that wins the most challenges taking the prize. As such, there's no name for this yet. Maybe you can suggest some?

Anyway, we realized we hadn't told you how the teams are split:

Pablo's team: Tyrone, Jaime, Eddie, Tony, Stew, and Brian.

Jeff's team: Ross, Scott, Ian, Davy, Kohei, and Luis.

Matt's team: Omar, Kosuke, Andre, Josh, Dillon, and Joel.

Drew's team: Marvell, Wells, Joseph, Steven, Quincy, and George.

The coaching staff made the teams, but on the first day each team had to select one player to trade to another team. Jeff's team traded Brian to Pablo's team, with Pablo's team sending Kohei to Jeff's team. Matt's team traded Steven to Drew's team in exchange for Joel.

As you see in the post below, Drew's team won the Header's competition. The next challenge was trivia, which took place during the team dinner.

Myself and our PR Director David Lindholm were asked to come up with a mixture of trivia questions. We thought that we'd be asking the same questions to the group, and which ever team had the most correct would win. But the coaches wanted the guys to have to call out the answers, knowing that when they'd get one wrong the other teams would laugh, etc.

Well, this presented a challenge for us. Now we were tasked with deciding which questions to ask each team - and of course, some teams felt cheated when they got questions they didn't know and others got easier one. We tried to make it even, asking each team a question about players from the Deep Thoughts videos, or Hawaii fun facts, or general sports trivia. But inevitably, even when we tried to throw a team a bone, they'd get the question wrong.

At the end, Jeff's team won it, answering correctly on all but one. Pablo's team took second place, followed by Drew's, and then Matt's.

21 February 7:05 pm

Amidst the training and preparation, the players will also be involved in a friendly competition that will happen throughout the stay in Hawaii. The coaches split the 28 players into four teams of seven - led by Pablo Mastroeni, Matt Pickens, Drew Moor, and Jeff Larentowicz, respectively. We don't yet know all the rules, but we know they'll be challenged on and off the field in fun exercises and activities, with the winners of each event gaining points.

After today's scrimmage and practice, the coached came up with this race: each team member had to head a ball backwards to a teammate, and so on. The team that made it to the end of the field without the ball hitting the ground was the winner. They had a few minutes to figure out their strategy, which for some was a matter of order.

Drew's team made it down on the first try, Pablo's team finished second. And after a number of re-starts (when the ball hit the ground), Jeff's team came in third. Unfortunately for Matt, they didn't even need to continue trying to finish.

With one camera we had to choose which team to follow. I liked Pablo's team's strategy, so I chose them and missed the winning race. So even though we missed it, we figured we might as well show the footage we got:

20 February 8:22 pm

After the team completed their first training session in Hawaii, the schedule showed the afternoon was off - no training. But at lunch, the learned it was only off from a full training session. The guys that are playing in the scrimmage on Tuesday had a video session with the coaching staff, and the rest of the guys went for a gym workout. Still, they were all done by around 4:30, which gave them plenty of time to have some fun on the beach right in front of the hotel.

It started out just laying on the beach, but soon they got to digging. Davy Armstrong (above), Quincy Amarikwa, and Joel Helmick used their sandals to made the pit, then Davy volunteered to be the first one in. Soon, Ross LaBauex and Andre Akpan began pushing the sand on top, then Tony Cascio and Steven Emery. In no time, Davy was covered by 2-3 feet of sand, but he was easily able to get out.

So now the challenge was making it more difficult for the next person. Quincy begins digging closer to the ocean, where the water would weigh the sand down.

Now is was Tony's turn, sitting in the pit as the guys used their legs, arms, and sandals to cover him up. It worked, Tony couldn't move, needing their help to get out. CLICK HERE FOR MORE PICS

13 February 7:13 pm

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