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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:

21 February 3:36 pm

Obviously, Colorado is no stranger to snow, although it's been a bit sparce in the Denver metro area the past couple years. On Feb. 20-21, 2013 Commerce City received it's first decent snowfall since last October. So when I got to the stadium on Thursday I couldn't pass up the chance to take new photos of the new adidas Prime match ball on the field at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

 

04 February 11:50 am

The countdown for some started before last season ended. For others, it began after MLS Cup, the day of the SuperDraft, or when the schedule was announced.

We're now less than four weeks away from the opening match at FC Dallas on March 2. And, we're even closer to the 2013 home opener against Philadelphia on March 9.

When did you start looking forward to the 2013 season?

Get excited. It's coming up.

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:

07 January 12:11 pm

Well, Colorado fans, if you didn't realize it then, you know now that when you attended the U.S. Women's National Team match at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in September, you were in the presence of greatness.

On Monday, FIFA announced that former USWNT coach Pia Sundhage was named the FIFA Women's Coach of the Year, and USWNT forward Abby Wambach became the first U.S. women since 2002 to be named Best Female Soccer player in the world (pictured above celebrating her goal at DSGP in a 6-2 win over Australia). That capped off a tremondous year for the U.S. ladies, who had won the 2012 Olympic gold medal.

Fans of the women's 2012 know already knew that Pia was known to break out in song, as she did before her last game as coach on that night in Colorado. So it was fitting that she thanked her staff, and sang one last time to her players when she accepted the award:

07 January 11:38 am

A few months ago we told you about Rapids Academy midfielder Bryan Windsor's trip to Barcelona, where he got to train at Barcelona's La Masia facility and receive first-hand instructions from the same youth coaching system that developed the world-player of the year, Lionel Messi, among others.

On Sunday, CBS's famed-program, 60 Minutes, profiled the story of Barcelona FC, giving arguably the best club soccer team in the world - in this era - a huge platform to be seen by millions of people in the United States. There's a lot of good stuff here, give yourself 15 minutes and watch it:

04 January 10:06 am

Anyone that googled the name "Diego Calderon" over the past few weeks likely saw the rumors that he was coming to Colorado. On Thursday the paper work was finalized and the Rapids made his signing official.

By winning South America's Copa Libertadores (equivelant to the UEFA Champions League) with Liga, he also got to play in the FIFA Club World Cup, where his side lost in the final to Manchester United. I don't know how many Rapids fans follow the Ecuadorian league, but I think some may recognize the names on Man U's team from that game. (FIFA.COM)

Below are a few videos of Calderon that I found online. The first shows a diving header for a goal that he scored last year for Liga (Pid Army, BSG, Class VI will be impressed by crowd). Next is a sit-down interview with a sports outlet - in Spanish - where he discussed the lessons he's learned, especially from an error he committed in the Copa Suruga Bank final (which features the Copa Libertadores winner and Japan's J-League winner). And the last is the longest, a 13 minute 'highlight' reel of his defensive plays.

 

10 December 5:31 pm

It's nearly impossible to tune out the Denver Broncos buzz, especially when "PFM," as Broncos fans and covering media have appointed Peyton Manning, is leading the team to the playoffs. And I suspect many Colorado Rapids fans are also Broncos fans, or least enjoy the local sports teams' successes, and are also optimistic for the Broncos' playoff hopes.

But for many Rapids fans, "PFM" was already in town quite a few years before the future hall-of-fame quarterback came to the Rocky Mountains. That's our own Pablo 'Freaking' Mastroeni.

As I thought more about the two local pros and their impact on their respective teams, I came across a few more similarities than the PFM acronyms, their 36-years of age (Peyton is five months older than Pablo), or that both of their team's missed the playoffs in the same year the respective superstar was forced to sit out with head / neck injuries.

Here are some I came across...post in the comments if you think of others.

Mastroeni began his professional career in 1998.

Manning began his professional career in 1998.

Mastroeni has one League championship - the 2010 MLS Cup.

Manning has one League championsip - the 2007 NFL Superbowl

Mastroeni was the first overall pick in the 2001 MLS Allocation Draft

Manning was the first overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft.

Mastroeni was named an MLS All-Star in 9 consecutive years

Manning was named an NFL Pro Bowler (all-star) in 9 consecutive years

Mastroeni's last Final appearance was in 2010 (Nov)

Manning's last Final appearance was in 2010 (Feb)

Mastroeni was the 2012 Team Humanitarian of the Year, nominated for MLS award

Manning won the 2005 NFL Humanitarian Award

Mastroeni has played in at least 14 games for his team in 14 different seasons

Manning will play at least his 14th game for his team in his 14th different seasons (Dec. 16, 2012)

Mastroeni has 65 international caps and played in two FIFA World Cups

Manning has won four NFL MVP honors

Mastroeni missed nearly all of 2012 with concussion symptoms before announcing he's coming back for Major League Soccer's 18th season in 2013...

Manning, who brought back the retired #18, missed all of 2011 with a neck injury before returning this year to lead the Broncos back to the NFL playoffs...(and TBD)

Next month, Broncos fans will be pulling for Peyton to advance past the first round of the playoffs for the 5th time in his career. When Pablo advance past the first round for his fifth time, in 2010, he advanced all the way to the Cup...

10 December 2:00 pm

The debate of who is the best soccer player of all-time usually brings quite a few opinions. But for me, it's easy. It's Lionel Messi.

See, I never had a chance to watch Pele, Alfredo Di Stéfano, Franz Beckhenbaur, or Johan Cryuf play - at least not live or at an age where I could remember how good they were. Of course I've seen video highlights, and, like others, can't help but be impressed.

With today's technology we can watch pretty much watch every game in the world, club and international. I did watch Diego Maradona, Ronaldinho, Zinadine Zidane, and other stars the more modern era play, and until recently, Diego was the best I'd seen. I've also been lucky to watch Messi and Christian Ronaldo play in person. And while Cristiano is awesome, given one choice, I take Leo.

Last Sunday Messi scored his 86th goal of the calendar year to pass Gerd Mueller's 40-year-old record for most in a calendar year. Mueller scored 85 for Bayern Munich and West Germany. Leo scored 74 in 57 games for Barca (still has three games left in 2012) and 12 in 9 games for Argentina. Here are some more Messi stats and all 86 goals from 2012:

03 December 12:12 pm

It might not be quite fair to appoint 2012 as the "Year of the Soccer Bar" in Denver, but it's definitely a year in which these establishments have stood out. And now there's word of another bar about to open.

In the downtown Denver area, soccer fans have been regulars at The British Bulldog, The Three Lions, and the Celtic Tavern, and other locations like Fado or GB's have also welcomed fans of the beautiful game.

The latest soccer bar, The Armoury (Arsenal fans will like the background of the name), is shooting to open in the ballpark neightborhood on New Years Eve at 2048 Larimer Street. There's also already talk that they, too, hope to one day bus fans to Rapids games at Dick's Sporting Goods Park as the other pubs did this past year.

Here's the link to story on the new place, from The Westword.