Exclusive: Catching Up With Rapids Players in the

Exclusive: Catching Up With Rapids Players in the Off-SeasonWhat Have Your Favorite Players Been Up To This Off-Season? What are Their Holiday Plans? Click Above to Find Out in the Players' Own Words! (Updated 12/9/04)Updated 12-9-04Exclusive to ColoradoRapids.com - Want to know what your favorite Rapids players have been up to during the off-season? ColoradoRapids.com was able to catch up with several of the Rapids players to find out what they’ve been doing whether it’s been vacationing working out or charity work since the season ended and what their plans are for the holidays!Check out some of the Rapids players’ responses as to what they’ve been up to so far in the off-season and what their plans are before the team has to report back for training the last week in January:Rapids forward #28 Jordan Cila: "Hey Everyone Hope you're all having a great holiday season! I am back in New York enjoying spending time with family and friends. It is especially nice to spend some quality time with my 7 year old sister Gabriella. I forgot how wild little kids can be. Training has been really good here because between my father who used to play professionally and some other professional players here it has been easy to get some good training and games in under my belt. From a different perspective it was a huge shock to see that all my friends are working all day and can only hang out on weekends. I think I took for granted the luxury I have of having all this time off. Anyway Hanukkah has arrived so players like Michael Erush and myself are getting eight presents so don't feel bad that we don't have a Christmas tree; Menorahs are fun too! I am looking forward to seeing you all soon and have a safe and happy holiday."Rapids defender #3 Ritchie Kotschau:"Well we're in the off-season not so good we were in the off-season so early for obvious reasons. Life goes on I guess! So to start it all off I went on an all-expense paid trip to the MLS Cup and everything else that goes along with the weekend. I was able to bring along the pregnant wife since she wanted to see LA and Hollywood well let's just say California before the baby is due. The due date happens to be March 10th if anyone was wondering. The purpose of me getting to go to the MLS Cup was that I was up for the 2004 MLS Fair Play Award. As it turns out I did not win but we enjoyed the weekend nonetheless. We saw Meredith's cousin and had lunch near Beverly Hills and to finish off a good weekend I had to send the wife home and stay in LA for surgery the following day. The repairs on the body (2 hernia surgeries) went well as I returned to Colorado the next day (Tuesday). From then on it has been pretty standard. I have been slowly rehabbing in the gym by walking on the treadmill at a snail's pace biking on a tricycle and lifting paper weghts. I will surley get there in no time. Aside from rehab things have been great. I really do enjoy getting into the holiday season. Thanksgiving was great as Meredith's family and mine came into town. We cooked the traditional turkey dinner for the eight of us. The meal was superb and I have to pat myself on the back. Following lunner(lunch/dinner) we all drove up to Keystone. Our brother in-law Tim wanted to try skiing on some mountains instead of the hills in St. Louis. I was jealous as he was swooshing down the slopes since as players we are not allowed to do things like skiing that could get us hurt. Thanksgiving was a good time for both famillies. Now to get ready for the big one Christmas. In the hiatus there are things to get done around the house. I had to install a utility sink in the laundry room. Not that I had to I just needed something to do. For things of necessity I needed to paint the baby's room install the chair rail (still in the basement wainting for Santa to come and paint it) and put together all the furniture. There is always something you can do with your home it is just a matter of thinking what you want to do. Now moving on to Christmas what a great and frustrating time. By frustrating I mean hanging the lights which always seem to work then not work and figuring out what to buy everyone (I ran out of Rapids gear). On the opposite spectrum Christmas is a brillliant time of year. We are going to New York to see my family. That alone makes it wonderful. Let's all hope for a white Christmas.In the meantime I'm going to be spending some time snowshoeing and building a basement (I thought I would give me something to do). Have a happy and safe Holiday Season and good cheer to you all!"Rapids Assistant Coach Steve Trittschuh:"Hi everyone hope you all are enjoying the holiday season!As for my update my daughter Aspen is now in her second year of indoor soccer playing at Rocky Mountain Indoor Soccer and her mother is turning into the typical Soccer Mom screaming at the top of her lungs while I'm on the other side of the field standing calmly behind the plexiglass just watching patiently. This summer Aspen played her first season with NASA and enjoyed every minute of it especially the oranges at half-time and the snacks at the end of the game. All 6 year olds care about the important stuff (oranges and snacks) maybe next year soccer will become competitive for her? I hope not just yet. The Holiday time (November/December) has been very busy even though I am used to an off-season. There is not an off-season when a player becomes part of the coaching staff. I've been on numerous scouting trips preparing for the 2005 Rapids Season. The upside is somethimes the trips take me to places with beaches and sunny days which does not sit well with the rest of my family when they are looking at snow and freezing - ha ha. My wife Suzanne has a week she's taking off from her job and for this Christmas week we will be going to Orlando/Tampa. It will be great to see old friends from when I played in Tampa for the Mutiny and once again explore the theme parks through the eyes of Aspen. The pleasure will be mixed with business when I go to the Disney Showcase Tournament over the Christmas weekend. Aspen and Suzanne will be heading to Busch Gardens that day with friends while I'm working.That's it from the Trittschuhs; hope everyone has Happy Holidays!"Rapids goalkeeper #1 Joe Cannon:"Hey everyone hope everybody's having a good holiday season! Right now I am at home in Santa Clara CA. I've been here since being out at the US National Team training camp in Columbus. I made a quick stop out in Colorado to pick up some personal stuff and was happy to see that I had gotten my Colorado Rapids MVP trophy in the mail from MLS; thanks again to all the fans for this trophy!You'll be happy to know that I scored two goals recently in my High School Alumni game out here as they had me playing the field. The 2nd one was a beautiful flick over the goalkeeper let me tell you it would have been the MLS goal of the year.Besides that I am planning on running a soccer camp out here in California from Dec. 27-30; all the proceeds are going to charity for autistic kids.For the holidays I'll be hanging out with my family in Santa Clara and then hopefully joining the US National Team traning camp again on January 3rd and then I'm looking forward to coming back to Colorado when preseason training begins again in late January.Have a safe and happy holiday and I look forward to seeing everyone in '05!"Rapids midfielder #20 Mark Chung:"I have been hanging out with my family in Colorado so far. As for my upcoming plans for the holidays we do have some travel plans….I am taking the family to Disney World in Florida! We will be meeting up with my brother’s and sister’s families for an exciting week with the kids."Rapids midfielder #19 Chris Henderson:"I’m keeping pretty busy this off-season. I have been working on getting the Chris Henderson Foundation up and running and working on a few fundraisers: I’m planning a Wine Tasting event in January in conjunction with the Rapids Foundation as well as I’m getting ready to run the first Chris Henderson Speed Camps of 2005 on January 16th at Velocity Sports.As far as vacations go I just got back from a trip to the British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico with my family and I am looking forward to going to Seattle for Christmas! I’ll probably run one or two camps out there with my brother Sean.I’ve also stayed involved with my kids’ school Bromwell Elementary helping them out with some fundraisers and personal appearances. Besides that it’s just been training at the gym every day trying to stay fit and getting ready for the season!"Rapids defender #9 Nat Borchers: "I've found myself pretty busy during the off-season. First off I am glad I was able to meet a lot of the Rapids’ fans at the team’s Season Ticket Holder Party last month and get up and say a few words about the season and thank them for supporting us all year.I also have been studying really hard for school. Finally after I sat for the final part of my CPA Exam at DU I caught a flight to Las Vegas to have some fun. In Vegas I participated in blackjack roulette and even tried out an oxygen bar (with a complementary massage!). The following weekend I headed out to Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) to spend time with my mom's side of the family for Thanksgiving. As for upcoming plans I'm hoping to get out to New York City this weekend and I’m looking forward to visiting Lincoln Nebraska for Christmas. In addition to all that I'm planning on doing a charity soccer camp in Pueblo on December 18th to raise money for my buddy Seth Strickland to get a new wheelchair." Rapids goalkeeper #24 Scott Vallow:"First of all the off-season should be called pre-season because really you are starting to get prepared for the upcoming season. As a professional athlete it's important to stay fit (or at least not get unfit) so you can't afford to take long breaks off. Keeping that in mind this is also the time to take vacations. Obviously there are Thanksgiving and the Holiday seasons but the other weekends can be turned into smaller vacations to possibly a long weekend visiting friends and family or maybe even Vegas. The off-season needs to be a mix of working out (not necessarily soccer) and relaxing but keep in mind...when you are not training somewhere somebody else is!This off-season my wife Lindsay and I have already or else are looking forward to visiting: my folks in Syracuse IN Telluride CO my wife’s folks in Bonita Springs FL Vail CO Dallas TX and then host my brother Ryan out here when he comes to visit.Other than that it’s been hanging out in Colorado…we’ve been keeping busy with doing community appearances with the team like the Rapids’ big Thanksgiving outreach event and some other things and trying to get to a Denver Nuggets game when we can!"Rapids defender #22 Michael Erush:"Hey Rapids fans what’s new? As for me just staying in shape and getting ready for preseason. Currently I’m in Los Angeles (my hometown) training with the Galaxy…I was even able to get in some real game action with them as they asked me to suit up for them in their friendly game against Mexico’s Necaxa last Friday. We beat them 3-1 and it felt great to get some quality game action under my belt.Next week I’m flying to Denver to start my preseason training really early on my own because I feel that I want to get myself ready and prove to others and myself that I can play in this league. So basically my report is short and to the point: just training every day and weight lifting. I’m not taking any time off so there’s no vacations just soccer in my off-season!" Rapids midfielder #21 Matt Crawford: "Here’s my off-season report: after spending some time at home with my family in North Carolina over Thanksgiving I’m now back in Denver to work out and get treatment from the Rapids’ athletic training staff until the holidays. I’m looking forward to being back in Denver and training and also hoping to have some fun hanging around Colorado. Actually tonight I’m planning on going to the Nuggets game vs. the Orlando Magic; it will be my first Nuggets game ever so I am looking forward to it!Then for the holidays at the end of December it’s off to Michigan to visit family followed by a New Year’s celebration with some friends in the Big Apple."Rapids defender #2 Gary Sullivan:"Hey how’s it going everyone? I hope everyone is having a great holiday season! I am back here at home in New York and I have just been spending a lot of time with family and friends. As for training I have been swimming two sometimes even three times a day to try and stay fit while getting this leg back to full strength. But besides that there’s not much else going on here in NY! Colorado is much more fun so I’m sorry it’s a little boring but that’s about it. I am looking forward to getting back to Colorado so take care and I’ll see you all next season!" Rapids forward #10 Jean Philippe Peguer"Hello everybody how are you doing? You probably know that I had abdominal surgery on November 15th so I am taking it easy after that.I am resting for now here in Miami and am so happy to be back with my family who I've been missing so much! On Monday December 6th I'm gonna start training a little bit; I think that’s pretty good since it will be 21 days from the day I had my surgery and I feel like I will be at 100% for my skills speed challenging ability and everything else.I have been telling my friends that I like Colorado Rapids and the league and that things are going great and the team that I'm playing for Colorado and I will be the ones holding the MLS Cup next year. I will be telling good things about this team and this league until they say I’m not under contract any more but even after that day I will still like this league so much because no other league went out of their way to put their eyes on me.About Christmas for me it’s gonna be wonderful because Christmas with your family is the best Christmas ever! I want to say thanks to all the Colorado fans I love you guys and God bless all of you and Pedro wishes everybody in Denver Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!"