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.
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 Chicago-Fire.com 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
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
Touchdown in Chicago. The race to South Bend is on. #Graduation
— Dillon Powers (@powerhour5) May 19, 2013
Well, on Monday he tweeted that he had made it. Here's Dillon in cap and gown in front of touchdown Jesus.
— Dillon Powers (@powerhour5) May 20, 2013
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.
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.
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?