2006 Season in Review
The 2006 season for the Colorado Rapids would bring trophies, player honors and accomplishments, club milestones and a strong playoff run. For the second consecutive year the Rapids would battle in the Western Conference Championship and fall short to the team who would eventually take home the MLS Cup. The Rapids ended the 2006 regular season with a record of 11-13-8 for 41 points.
Colorado would keep control of one trophy and add another to its collection during the 2006 season. In the final match against rivals Real Salt Lake, the Rapids would clinch a win and retain the Rocky Mountain Cup title in a must-win road game. The Rapids Reserve squad would also stake its ground with the club after defeating the New York Red Bulls Reserves, becoming the 2006 MLS Reserve Division Champions in just their second year of existence.
Many Rapids players would receive national honors during the 2006 season. Captain Pablo Mastroeni would be honored twice. First, in May, Mastroeni was selected to join the United States National Team to represent the U.S. in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. He then was honored, along with teammate Joe Cannon, to compete in the 2006 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game against English Premier League champions Chelsea FC. Cannon shut out the English champions in the second half as the MLS All- Stars defeated the European giants 1-0. In July, Nicolas Hernandez, one of the Rapids’ leading scorers, was named MLS player of the week for his involvement in all four of the team’s goals in their two wins that week. Cannon also took home the Player of the Week honors late in the season.
Veteran Rapids players would improve their career records while rookie Rapids players made their presence known on the first squad. Five-year veteran Kyle Beckerman would record a career high seven goals on the season, tying with Hernandez for the Golden Boot Award, while Terry Cooke lead the league with 12 assists. Rookie Jacob Peterson proved to be vital to the Rapids’ offense, posting four goals and three assists and capturing the team’s Rookie of the Year Award.
2006 would also mark the last season the Rapids would play at INVESCO Field at Mile High before moving into Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the new Rapids soccer specific stadium. A goal on June 9 marked the Rapids’ 100th goal scored at INVESCO and help the club to one of the nine wins the Rapids would attain at home in ‘06. The Rapids ended the regular season with an impressive home record of 9-4-1, before again blasting FC Dallas out of the playoffs with an impressive win on the road in the Conference Semi’s, laying the foundation for a new beginning at a new stadium next season.