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06 July 11:29 pm

It's neat how the Olympians recognize the Rapids players, and vice versa. Rapids All-time leading scorer Conor Casey and five-time MLS Cup champion Brian Mullan conducted a clinic for these athletes back in Colorado a few weeks ago, so they're still fresh in each other's memories. The Olympians all remember Conor and Brian giving them their Rapids gear!

Tony Cascio and Matt Pickens took the Olympians on a shopping spree at Dick's Sporting Goods in Belmar one night to buy whatever else they needed for the trip.

And if there was any doubt that these athletes are also big fans of the Rapids, Conor Coleman (pictured above with Casey; FULL BIO) made it clear when he provided the quote of the night - possibly the year - when he told Casey to: "Beat the Sounders to a pulp!"

Wayne Brant is the Colorado Rapids Marketing Manager, who is traveling with the Special Olympics Colorado athletes on the trip to Seattle.

06 July 11:09 pm

(Above: Luis Zapata (left) and Wells Thompson (center) shake hands and accept the Special t-shirts upon arrival in Seattle)

Not long after we arrived in Seattle, we headed out for a team meal at Cheesecake Factory. It took some of the athletes a little time to relax and feel comfortable, after all, this is one of the first times many of them have been away from the comforts of family and home. But as we've all experience, sports has a way of making us comfortable when we can share our passion with others that feel the same way.

After dinner, we brought the Olympians to the Rapids team hotel to greet the team as they arrived. (The Rapids team trained in Colorado this morning and came to Seattle on a later flight than we did).

And this is when the Olympian really began to feel at ease. As the Rapids players got off the bus and walked into the hotel, the Olympians greeted them with "Let's go Rapids" chants and presented each player with Special Olympics Colorado grey and orange t-shirt. The back had a string of positive one word messages, such as "RESPECT, STRENGTH, PASSION, DETERMINATION, FRIENDSHIP, etc."

They then gave head coach Oscar Pareja a Colorado Rapids flag that all the Olympians signed as a gesture of good luck from another member of our One Club. Omar Cummings was then requested to join them in a team photo (below). 

On a more humorous note, we told the Olympians that it was Rapids traveling PR rep Rachel Sweeney's birthday. So when they saw, they united to sing her Happy Birthday.

Wayne Brant is the Colorado Rapids Marketing Manager, who is traveling with the Special Olympics Colorado athletes on the trip to Seattle.

06 July 4:05 pm

The first big weekend is finally here! The Special Olympics Colorado athletes arrived in Seattle, Washington on Friday afternoon ahead of the first of a two-game series against the athletes from Special Olympics Washington.

The group, decked out in the custom apparel the Rapids' first team travels with - complete with Colorado Rapids polos and jackets and adidas travel bags - arrived in Seattle shortly before 2 pm local time. Staying in downtown, they'll have dinner this evening at Cheesecake Factory before settling in.

Training on Saturday will take place at Seattle University from 11-12:30 pm. The group will then attend the Rapids vs Seattle Sounders match at CenturyLInk Field in the evening.

The Olympians will square off Sunday at the Starfire Complex at 12 pm PT.

06 July 11:09 am

For all the success Brian Mullan has achieved in Major League Soccer, he's never sought - nor liked - the spotlight. And fortunately for him, he's always had teammates that garnered a lot of attention, be it Cobi Jones in LA, Landon Donovan in San Jose, or Dwayne De Rosario in Houston.

However Altitude TV was able to sit down with Mullan for this exclusive feature. As you can see, family is THE most important thing for the Littleton native, and Highland Ranch resident:

03 July 4:02 pm

They may have started off quietly, but the first function of the newly formed Sidekicks was a huge success.

The Sidekicks, launched last week by Brian Mullen's wife, Kersten, brings together the significant others of the Rapids players and coaching staff to provide unique opportunities to fans, as well as support the community through fundraising efforts.

To get started, the Sidekicks on Saturday gave 100 fans an opportunity to come to field level following the 3-0 win over Portland for a special autograph session. It should be noted that the players are also 100 % behind these efforts, with all of them coming out to meet the winning guests.

Keep ears and eyes open at future matches for other special opportunities. For the Portland game, the Sidekicks made in-game announcements explaining to fans how to get the autograph alley wristbands.

02 July 1:23 pm

At the 17th Annual 4thFest this Wednesday, fans will have the opportunity to show off their National and Rapids pride.

Altitude Authentics has created a limited edition USA-Rapids themed scarf as the Merchandise of the Match. At each Rapids home game this season, Altitude Authentics features a Merch of the Match, which is a single merchandise item at a discounted price for one day only. This patriotic scarf will be available at all Altitude Authentics retail locations at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Wednesday for only $20 (regular price $25).

Supplies are limited, so don't wait. Pick up your red, white and blue Rapids scarf and hold it high as the team takes the field on Wednesday. 

29 June 3:00 pm

The last time Rapids supporters groups Pid Army and Class VI interacted with the traveling supporters of the Portland Timbers - the Timbers Army - in Colorado, each were celebrating a 'first.'

It happened prior to the opening game of the 2011 season, when the Rapids fans were about to watch the MLS Cup winning side for the first time since the final, and the Timbers fans were about to watch their team make their MLS debut.

Now in their second season, we're not expecting the 500 or so Timbers fans that traveled last year, but the fans that are coming to Colorado will once again be hosted by the Pid Army and Class VI fans.

"As we had such a great time with them here and in Portland last year," said Pid Army chief Dave Cleland, "we will continue to prove that rival fans can get along great before and after the game but still be passionate about their respective teams inside the stadium."

The supporters of both teams will gather at the Celtic Tavern in downtown Denver Saturday and then take separate buses to Dick's Sporting Goods Park for the Rapids vs Timbers game (7 pm MT). The buses are expected to leave the bar at 4:30 pm, arriving at the stadium with plenty of time to tailgate.

SIGN UP FOR FREE BUS RIDE FROM THE CELTIC TAVERN

Class VI and the Pid Army inform us that they will also be having their 3rd Annual Homebrew competition, cleverly called Pitch to Pint, during this tailgate. Fans of age will have a chance to sample Colorado-brewed beers and vote for a winner. All fans are welcome to join the 'No Fan Alone' tailgate, though $5 donations are happily appreciated to help pay for costs.

About 20-30 minutes after the game, the busses will return to the Celtic, where it's likely the festivities will continue. Often times, the Rapids Man of the Match also makes an appearance at this post-game party (as do some staff and other players).

TICKETS WITH PID ARMY / CLASS VI

22 June 9:17 am

Re-Posting MLS WORKS' Blog Post from MLSsoccer.com...

Join Gatorade, MLS, and the soccer community in supporting young female athletes to stay in the game.

Did you know?

  • In 1971, one in 27 high school girls participated in sports.
  • In 2012, one in 2.5 high school girls play sports!

In 1972, Title IX gave women and men equal access to federally funded programs. That means your mother, your wife, your sister and even YOU have seen equal opportunities to be a young athlete.

However, while we have managed to gain young girls equal access to sports, they're still dropping out at twice the rate boys do by age 14. 

We want to help change this trend.

Why?

  • A girl who participates in sports is more likely to get better grades and graduate high school with scholarships to college.
  • A girl who participates in sports is less likely to get involved in drugs. 
  • A girl who participates in sports will have greater confidence and self-esteem keeping her from depression and eating disorders.
  • A girl who participates in sports is less likely to engage in risky sexual behavior or become pregnant.

How can you help?

Support the cause by changing your profile picture to your 14 year-old self (or a special female in your life like your daughter or wife) playing sports. Tweet about how playing sports helped you get to where you are today using the #KeepHerInTheGame hashtag. Most importantly, continue to encourage your daughter, granddaughter, niece, sister and friends to keep her in the game.

For more information, visit www.womenssportsfoundation.org.

En Españolhttp://www.mlssoccer.com/blog/post/2012/06/21/%C3%BAnanse-al-mls-y-apoyen-keepherinthegame

15 June 4:13 pm

Like soccer fans around the world, our offices have been buzzing in the mornings with the sounds of the EURO 2012 Championship on various TVs. Friday afternoon, shortly after England defeated Sweden 3-2, there was another round of excitement in the air when we learned that the Colorado Rapids were represented at that match.

Emily Kilcoyne, our Manager of Group Sales, received the photo above from Rapids season ticket holder Haim Lensky. From left to right: Mike, Vicky, and Haim hold up the Rapids' MLS Champion flag at Olympic Stadium in Kyiv (Ukraine), with the Sweden-England scarf above.

"It's been a great experience," Haim wrote via email. "We met people from all over Europe and we have loved being at every game screaming and cheering for the teams."

Haim is from Russia and won the ticket lottery last year to attend the tournament. The family is of course supporting Russia, but also England, Spain, and Ukraine. And if you're ready to be jealous, read on...

So far, they've attended the England-France (T 1-1), Netherlands-Germany (GER 2-1), and today's England-Sweden matches.

"The games have been crazy and the fans have definitely been dedicated to their respective teams" he wrote.

The Lensky's will also be attending: Sweden-France, and the Quarterfinal matches in Donetsk and Kiev, the Semifinal in Kiev, and the 2012 Final in Donetsk.

"We are definitely having fun," he concludes.

Glad to hear, and thanks for bringing a little bit of Colorado and the Rapids with you!

 

14 June 12:30 pm

Special Olympics Colorado has made all the difference in Conor's life.  When he joined Special Olympics Colorado basketball in 2002, he had a group of friends for the first time in his life.  By rotating through the various sports offered by Special Olympics (over several years) he found his 'place' on the tennis court.  He was fortunate to represent Colorado at the Special Olympic National Games in Tennis, 2010.  

The present opportunity with the Rapids and Kroenke Sports to play soccer and travel has meant so much to Conor and to us as a family.  It has been a positive and affirming experience in every way.  He feels respected and important by these organizations. 

All of this would not be possible without Special Olympics Colorado.  Thank you for giving these kids the chance to shine.