Every few months the community relations department organizes an 'signing' day, where they collect each department's need's for autographs and set them out for the players to autograph.
The most common use for all the autographed gear is for donations, which we get a lot of, especially for functions where they are used as fundraising items.
The remainder is often used for gifts, sometimes for partners and / or sponsors, and sometimes for prizes or giveaways at various club functions.
That's Andre Akpan in the distance in the hallway right outside the locker room. He was one of the first to tackle the 300-400 items after today's practice. The rest of the guys then slowly tickled out, each individually signing each piece.
After finishing his drills at Wednesday's training, which took place inside the stadium, Drew Moor went up to the locker room. A few minutes later he walked back out and approached three fans that were watching the session from the first row. Holding a match ball under his right arm, Drew told these fans how the players had come across this autographed ball sitting in Wells Thompson's locker. Collectively, they wanted to give it to Allan.
Joan, Mark, and Allan are season ticket holders that have been to every open practice so far this season. The only sessions they have not attended are the ones on the day before home games, which are closed to the public. They have become such a staple at training that the players even know their birthdays.
So, having given Joan and Mark a jersey and ball earlier this summer, Drew today presented Allan his birthday gift on behalf of the team!
This past Saturday, July 28 the Special Olympics Rapids took on the Special Olympics Sounders at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Despite a 2-0 loss, the SO Rapids enjoyed playing in the stadium, under the big lights with family and fans on the sidelines.
(L-R: Judo Olympic team manager Chris Skelly, Marti Malloy, Kyle Vashkulat, Kayla Harrison, Travis Stevens, Judo Olympic Coach Jimmy Pedro)
The 2012 London Summer Olympics got underway this week with men and women's soccer. The 'official' Opening Ceremonies take place on Friday.
The athletes have been preparing for years, and we recently received word the the U.S. Judo team has been preparing for Gold, in Burgundy.
Colorado Rapids chiropracter Dr. Joseph Arvay and Maximize Living are also the chiropractors of the judo team (as well as many other teams). Dr. Avay shared these photos of the judo team donning our gear while they prepared for the Games in Colorado Springs.
Kayla Harrison (above left) is currently among the top five in the world at the 78-kilo division and consider a medal contender when she begins her first Olympics on August 2. Travis Stevens (above right), also ranked in the top 10, begins his quest on July 31 in the 81 kg division. Marti Malloy will compete at the 57 kg and Kyle Vashkula at 100 kg. The other team member not pictured is Nick Delpopolo, who will challenge at 73 kg.
From everyone at the Colorado Rapids, Good Luck in London!
(Below: Skelly, Dr. Arvay, Pedro)
Tonight's match is the club's first international friendly in a few years, as they take on English Premier League side Swansea City. Scarf collectors won't want to pass this one up. A limited number of these Rapids-Swansea scarves - without today's date - will be on sale at the Dick's Sporting Goods Park team store for only $20. Get there early to get one!
On Sunday morning, members of the Colorado Rapids front office staff participated in the Evergreen Sprint Triathlon, where the Rapids also had a tent and street team present at the finish line village. The Rapids formed four relay teams of three people each to participate in the Sprint Triathlon, which consisted of a 750 meter swim in the Evergreen Lake, a 12 mile bike ride that ran alongside Bear Creek, and a three mile run through a mix of dirt roads and trails around the lake.
Rapids 1, made up of President Tim Hinchey (swim), Director of Media Relations David Lindholm (bike) and Marketing Manager Wayne Brant (run), finished first among the relay teams with an overall time of 1:21:06. Hinchey’s swim time of 10:06 was just a under minute shy of the triathlon champion, who finished the leg in 9:15.
Surrounded by beautiful scenery and perfect weather, the Rapids teams demonstrated their best ONECLUB spirit and cheered on the rest of the finishers before celebrating with lunch at a nearby restaurant. Looking forward to the next challenge!
The Rapids relay teams finished in the following order:
Rapids 1 – 1:21:06
Tim Hinchey (swim), David Lindholm (bike) and Wayne Brant (run)
Rapids 2 - 1:43:24
Chelsea Hedrick (swim), Kristen Sonsma (bike) and Emily Kilcoyne (run)
Rapids 3 – 1:43:24
Ryan Truxel (swim), Gordon Smith (bike) and Christa Dellebovi (run)
Rapids 4 – 1:55:54
Owain Hickey (swim), Rachel Sweeney (bike) and Makenzie Crow (run)
Denver-based DJ Tatiana will be performing this Saturday at the Colorado Rapids Hispanic Heritage Night at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
Tatiana will be spinning in the Cantina on the south end of the stadium leading up to the Colorado Rapids vs FC Dallas game, and also after the match. Avoid sitting in traffic in the parking lots and enjoy some the entertainment of DJ Tatiana!
On Sunday, the players arrived at Starfire Complex around 10:30 for the 12 pm match. After getting ready they took part in the Opening Ceremony, which included a welcome message from Sounders VP Gary Wright and a Washington Olympian reciting the Special Olympics oath:
“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
Rapids Olympian Andie Zitek then sang the national anthem and we were ready to kick off.
Our captain Mackenzie Beauvias-Niki scored for us, and Dominic Sisneros played a great game in goal, taking a couple hard shots off the chest and hands. But in the end it was the Washington Olympians that came away with the 5-1 win.
However the score seemed almost secondary to the amount of fun these athletes had. It was a special event, complete with the Soundwave band which showed up at halftime and played most of the second half and post-game
They then had former U.S. National Team and Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller lead awards ceremony, and he was joined by Sounders players Cato and Roger Levesque.
Conor Coleman - who if you've kept up on these post, you realize is a ham - was infatuated with the big horns of the Soundwave, and he made a new friend that let him try it out.
And what has been perhaps the most hilarious moment of the entire trip, Colorado's Ipsen Ayala photo-bombed the Sounders team picture with the team, Southwave, Keller, etc. Check out photo and his pose below – it explains it all. It was all in good humor and everyone got a good laugh.
A lot has happened since I last post, so let's catch up.
After Saturday water fights / scrimmage / practice, we had some down time before heading to Century Link Field to watch our Rapids take on the Seattle Sounders, so we did a Duck tTour together with the Washington Special Olympians, checking out the sites of Seattle.
Here's the surprise we held from telling the players: just a few minutes before we left the hotel, we told them they'd be getting the first-class treatment at the game by sitting in a private suite. To say they were excited is an understatement - they were screaming with joy from the hotel lobby and until they entered the suite!
We watched the game and afterwards brought everyone down to the field, where the players received words of encouragement from Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid (right). Seattle's Roger Levesque gave each player a gift bag and Marvell Wynne also came back out to greet them (below).
That's Conor Coleman raising his hand in the photo on the right. He and Sigi were on a first name basis after all his questions, the last being: "Did you like coaching or playing better?" Sigi told him playing was his #1, and coaching #2.
From then, it was time to go back to the hotel to rest for Sunday's match.
So, now to a few notes about this morning's practice, which took place at Seattle Washington University's Championship field from about 11 to 12:30 or so. Just before practice, our Olympians met the Special Olympics Washington team for the first time, then practices along side them.
You see that guy in the photo to the right, that's Ibsen Ayala (FULL BIO). He was getting a little help with his shoes from the coaching staff. Though that smile has me believing he thinks he's some kind of superstar receiving superstar treatment, just leaning back while two coaching work on both shoes. I think I even saw a little wink after I took the photo.
Once ready and stretched the team played shark and did other drills for about an hour. And while soccer was the main focus, Conor Coleman - he of the great one-liner to Conor Casey - couldn't get his mind off last night's dessert. He apparently loved the Godiva cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory, because he couldn't stop talking about.
And what would a training session along side your opponent be without a little friction. Well, it wasn't really like that, but the two teams got into a little friendly water fight during one of the breaks. No clear winners, just a lot of water!
The final 30 minutes of practice was a 5-v-5 scrimmage, which ended in a 3-3 tie, setting up a good showdown tomorrow. Rapids 'keeper Dominic Sisneros (FULL BIO) took his instructions from coach Philip Knight (FULL BIO) well, because he played fantastic (below).
At the end of practice, the teams huddle up and congratulated each other, yelling out a "Unified" on 3!