06 June 1:11 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 1:05 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 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.

24 May 2:25 pm

One of the best things about our team is that they really know how to make you feel appreciated. Today at training, the team invited our ticket sales staff to join the post-practice huddle and thank them for a job well done so far this season, and for packing the stadium this weekend. Even though I’m not in ticket sales, I snuck over to get some footage of the huddle so that you all can join us in thanking them.

23 May 3:00 pm

BREAKING: It may be difficult for Colorado Rapids fans (and perhaps some staff or players) to believe, but we have good reason to believe that the coin used by U.S. Soccer to determine the home team is not double-sided.

Earlier this week U.S. Soccer announced that the Rapids - should they win their Third Round U.S. Open Cup match at Orlando City on May 28 - would face the winner of the Sporting KC vs Des Moines Menace match in the Fourth Round on June 12. Of course, if Sporting KC defeats Des Moines, Colorado would travel to KC - marking the Rapids' 12th consecutive road match in the Open Cup for Colorado.

U.S. Soccer - which is based in Chicago - invited editor Jeff Crandall to attend the flip for both the Third and Fourth Rounds, and gave Crandall the opportunity to report what he observed. Crandall was admittedly skeptical of the process, but he provides a thorough description of both draws (READ HIS DESCRIPTION OF THE THIRD ROUND DRAW).

After going into greater detail for the bigger Third Round draw, Crandall today shares details of the much smaller Fourth Round draw, stating it was "a bit more straight forward and regional compared to last week’s. In fact, the fourth round draw didn’t utilize envelopes or slips of paper, just as much geographic sense as possible and the bicentennial silver dollar."

What we know is that U.S. Soccer Competition Secretary Paul Marstaller overseas the draw. He placed the Fourth Round matchups into geographical pairing. From the Rapids-Orlando and Sporting KC-Des Moines pairing, all but Des Moines applied to host the fourth round game. In other words, the flip was won by the Sporting KC-Des Moines pairing - so the Rapids didn't win the flip with Des Moines,but rather would host the game by default since the Menace didn't apply. READ THE DETAILS HERE

21 May 3:37 pm

On Saturday I wrote how Colorado Rapids rookie Dillon Powers was hoping to get from San Jose to Indiana in time to make it to his graduation ceremony at Notre Dame on Sunday morning. It was a trip that afforded no room for error or delays. Powers was held out of the match at San Jose - which probably helped him the pursuit. He didn't need to clean up and was able to get a ride to San Francisco Airport in time.

From his twitter handle we knew he made it to Chicago on time, but we didn't know if he made it to the Commencement in time

Well, on Monday he tweeted that he had made it. Here's Dillon in cap and gown in front of touchdown Jesus.

20 May 3:05 pm

This year’s marketing campaign emphasizes our relationship with the state of Colorado. In addition to our new alternate uniforms, which feature the distinctive blue, red and yellow of the Colorado flag, our 2013 marketing campaign is centered on the pride people have in this state. The taglines “State of Mind” and “Colorado For Life” can be seen on billboards and advertisements in the area, and the Colorado flag can be seen on all our uniforms, on our field before the game, and in virtually everything we do.

Earlier this year we took our jerseys on a mini-caravan to some iconic Colorado locations to kick off the marketing campaign as well as #RapidsJersey week.  Now that the weather has changed, we took to the road again for another shoot and also to show the jerseys in a new light.   Here’s a sneak peek. Be on the lookout for more visuals and as usual #Colorado4Life.

16 May 4:23 pm

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.

16 May 12:51 pm

Many sports fans have heard of the Boston Bruin’s 5-4 comeback victory on Monday over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs (click here for a recap if needed, watch highlights below). Regrettably, I did not see the game live but even the highlights are chill-inducing. There’s something about comebacks, and it’s not hard to figure out, that make the win so much juicier.

It’s arguable that an outright whomping, like, say, the four goals to none that the Sounders gave the Earthquakes last weekend, that could be determined a better win. But having played soccer my entire life, and having experienced a few comebacks of my own, it’s the feeling of a lost battle, the resurgence of hope, and the late-game victory that really embeds itself into the memories of players and fans.

I asked a few of our Rapids players what their most memorable comeback has been, and the obvious standout was Brian Mullan who was part of the San Jose Earthquakes squad that was down 4-0 on aggregate to the LA Galaxy 13 minutes into the second game of the 2003 Western Conference Semifinals. The Quakes then scored five unanswered goals to win and ultimately claim their second MLS Cup. Made even sweeter, Mullan had been traded to San Jose by the Galaxy at the start of the season. Comeback and payback.

For me, my favorite soccer memory was my High School Regional finals in 2002, where I scored the game tying goal in the final minutes of regulation and the winning PK to claim the title. My mom still recounts nearly passing out in the stands from the excitement. And while the deficit in my game may not have been the as drastic as Brian’s or the Bruins’, I bet it still felt the same to come out on top.

14 May 10:54 am

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.

13 May 11:09 am

You might have seen the other article on how Denver's Roger Espinoza helped Wigan Athletic win the FA Cup on Saturday. Here are some additional highlights of the big upset as posted by the FA.

Extended highlights...

Pitchside highlights...