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.
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.
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.
We love Colorado. It's not a secret.
We've included something about Colorado into nearly everyone we've done from a branding and marketing side this season. From the Colorado-themed jerseys, to the $52.80 ticket packages, to the billboards we've promoted on throughout the city.
Another piece we've put out there is probably our largest. We've fully wrapped one RTD light rail train in Colorado Rapids colors, using the Colorado for Life imagery which includes the Rapids logo, Colorado state flag 'C," and, of course, a lot of burgundy. Here's a couple photos - keep an eye out for it and share your pics if you ride it on our twitter (@ColoradoRapids) or Facebook pages. The train will be around until September.
There were a bunch of games on Wednesday (watch all the goals here), but none had as impressive of a highlight as the NYRB vs Montreal match - in which New York's Thierry Henry almost casually scored on a bicycle / over head kick.
Here's what Henry said after NY's 2-1 win: "It was a good goal, don't get me wrong, but at the end of the day we had to score a goal," said Henry. "I've had the opportunity to score some good goals in my career but you kind of think about it at the end of you career, not right now."
I don't agree with announcer Shep Messing's call. It was an awesome goal, and he made it look way too easy. It also became the Top Play on ESPN's SportsCenter. But goal of the decade? Really? What do you think?
We had some memorable plays in April - from Clint Irwin's penalty kick save versus RSL, to Deshorn Brown's game-winning PK at Chivas, and Drew Moor's first goal securing a road draw at Houston. But there were many more around the League during the month. Check them out here:
I am new to the soccer world. This is my first season with the Rapids and I showed up in Colorado with minimal knowledge of the sport. I credit a friend in Houston for introducing me to English Premier League soccer and carving a space in my heart for Everton (I have an unnatural attachment to underdogs) - but a lot of this MLS experience is completely new to me.
One of the most intriguing elements of a soccer game is Man of the Match. Following each home game, the Rapids Man of the Match visits the Summit Club Powered by 2lemetry where he answers questions regarding the match and greets fans. He then heads to Eighteen76 (formerly known as the Cantina) to sign autographs and chat with fans. As a fan, it’s a great opportunity to meet one of your favorite players. Everyone, including me, wants to know how the decision is made.
Here's what I found out: Each game, a small panel of Rapids staff votes on Man of the Match. The decision takes into account much more than goal scoring or saves, in the case of the keepers. The panel looks at a player’s overall impact on the match. In that sense, it has been described as a very subjective decision. There’s no formula, no science. It’s all art, and as such, it is always open to debate.
The Man of the Match in the win over Toronto was goalkeeper Clint Irwin (see above). Let me know who you would have picked as Man of the Match on Saturday in the comments below or on twitter @TamaraCG.
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.
As the Colorado weather jumps rapidly from winter to summer, back to winter for two days, then summer again, spring for three days and so forth, so do Coloradans in enjoying all of the outdoor activities that one of the sunshiniest states has to offer.
This past weekend, members of the Rapids front office kicked off another busy summer tradition of races and relays with the Cherry Creek Sneak, where the organization was a sponsor with activation in the finish line village. The staff participants in the 5k consisted of Marketing Director, Wayne Brant, Premium Sales and Service Manager, Kenzie Crow, Group Ticket Sales Manager Emily Kilcoyne, and myself representing Media Relations.
As the last place finisher of the group, I’m going to exercise my author's discretion and omit the individual times - if only for self-preservation. But for the competitive sake of the others who participated, the finishing order went as follows:
Shortly after crossing the finish line, Crow then split from the group to run another 5k with friends at the Graffiti Run. The event, a colorful tromp around Elitch Gardens, boasts a less competitive nature and a more festive one to get people outdoors and active.
With the first weekend of races gone, the upcoming schedule of ONECLUB participation includes the Bolder Boulder, the Tough Mudder, the Lookout Mountain Triathlon, the Evergreen Triathlon, and the Crescent Moon Triathlon. Rapids fans at each event should keep an eye out for friendly Rapids staff and in some cases our tent and inflatable soccer field.
It’s been a few days since this article came out, but I’ve read it a couple times and think it’s worth giving a longer look. Jonathan Tannenwald of Philly.com (@thegoalkeeper on Twitter) goes in-depth on the new agreement between NBC and the English Premier League, and what it means for both MLS and American soccer as a whole. I think it’s a fascinating take, and gives an accurate, in-depth look at some of the challenges that all of us who work in MLS face when we think about how to grow our league.
The popularity of the Premier League is daunting, but like Tannenwald, I care far more about MLS. It’s my job (and everyone else’s here in our company and across the league) to get more people to feel that way as well.
The NBC/EPL deal raises a lot of questions, the primary one being whether or not it’s good for MLS. What do you think? Does having NBC invest so much in English soccer help or hurt MLS? What should MLS do to raise ratings? What should MLS do once its TV deals expire after 2014? Let us know in the comments, or find me directly on Twitter: @Lindholm.