Early in Friday's training session, assistant coach Paul Caffrey had the guys doing ladder exercises as part of warmups. As usual, they had a competive element to them, this time each row racing the others. All was going well until one guy gets caught in the ladder...and that was it was for warm ups.
Talking to Edu yesterday after he officially signed with the Rapids, he told me some stories of his time playing in Spain's La Liga. His best memory was the last time he played against Thierry Henry, when he was at Barcelona and Edu at Real Betis. Barca had taken a two-goal lead, but Real Betis mounted a historic comeback to win 3-2.
Edu told me about the two goals he scored, but not about the missed PK. Check out highlights of that match below (you might have to adjust the audio by moving Speaker icon at bottom of video player):
Tommy Newbold, 23, is a primary school teacher that lives in Kenilworth, a small town just outside of Coventry, which is north of London. Given his location, he is a Coventry City fan.
But Tom is also a Colorado Rapids fan and uses the twitter handle @MLS_Rapids_UK to communicated and interact with fellow burgundy-loving fans.
An active twitter user, on Tuesday Tom tweeted that his brother, a Chelsea season ticket holders, had gotten two tickets to the 2nd leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal between Chelsea and Barcelona. They flew to Spain in the morning and were at the Nou Camp to watch Chelsea eliminate the powerful Spanish side 3-2 on aggregate and advance to the Champions League final.
And, amidst the home Barcelona fans and traveling Chelsea supporters, Tom brought out the Colorado Rapids burgundy jersey!
— Colorado Rapids UK (@MLS_Rapids_UK) April 24, 2012
Tom has written a couple of articles on the Rapids for an MLS fan site across the pond called http://ukmajorleaguesoccer.com/.
Last month, he gave ColoradoRapidsFan.com a little more insight on how he became a Rapids fan, and the lengths he goes through to stay up on the team while in England. Give Tom a follow on twitter, and CLICK HERE FOR HIS STORY, IN HIS WORDS:
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.
Last Friday Scott Palguta and Davy Armstrong paid a visit to the Cole Arts & Science Academy to talk to 75 4th and 5th graders about the importance of healthy lifestyles and listening to their parents on making healthy eating and nutrition choices. The kids also received information from Major League Soccer's Greener Goals program. Scott and Davy then passed the ball around with the kids, signed autographs, and rewarded the attentive kids with tickets for the Rapids game versus Chivas USA.
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!
Those of you who have been following the Rapids since the early days will remember the name Ross Paule - the bleached blond Rapids midfielder that played for the club from 1997-2001. It was announced today that Ross will be recognized by his alma mater when he's inducted into the Creighton University Athletic Hall of Fame.
The Rapids selected Paule 11th overall in the 1997 MLS SuperDraft - the first pick the 2nd Round at the time. In just his second season, he was named the team's Most Valuable player after scoring 10 goals (behind Paul Bravo (11) and Wolde Harris (13)), and earned the first of back-to-back MLS All-Star invites.
He was traded to New York in August 2001 for defender Steve Shak and an exchange of draft picks. Although expectations were high for Shak, the previous year's overall top pick, history tells us that the trade did not benefit the Rapids as they'd hoped. Shak played five games for the Rapids that year, and only one in 2002, his last in MLS. Meanwhile, Paule was a regular for NY the next year and finished his career with two solid seasons in Columbus with the Crew before being forced to retire with ongoing concussion symptoms.
In nearly five full seasons, he played 111 regular season games and his 18 career goals still ranks him 10th all-time.
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