Exclusive: Report From Rapids Preseason Training Camp Day 2
DENVER (Exclusive to ColoradoRapids.com) - ColoradoRapids.com was able to get the inside scoop from the Rapids' second day of preseason training! We were there to take in the action as the team began their preparations to bring home the MLS Cup in 2007.
The Colorado Rapids today held their second day of preseason training camp at the Foothills Indoor Arena here in Denver. Due to the several inches of snow still existing on the Rapids' outdoor practice fields the team has been held indoors for their first week of training so far.
Many players from last year’s side that made it to the Western Conference Championship game were in camp this morning including Nicolas Hernandez Terry Cooke and Clint Mathis. Pablo Mastroeni will join the team after he captains the US National Team against Mexico in Phoenix tonight.
Straight off his first National Team cap Kyle Beckerman spoke with ColoradoRapids.com after practice about his personal and team goals for 2007:
"This year personally I want to continue to improve my game and score more goals Beckerman said "As a team we have several goals we want to hit as well. We want to be in front of the league at the All-Star game. We want to be heavily represented since the game is in Colorado. We also want to go into the playoffs with one of the top seeds."
Rapids head coach Fernando Clavijo was seen running the players through drills and told us that he is ready for the fields to clear up so the team can get some outdoor training in before leaving on the club's preseason trip to Mexico.
There are also a handful of new faces in camp between the rookies that were drafted in January and MLS veterans who came to Colorado in off-season trades.
First round draft pick Nico Colaluca and the other rookies are getting used to the pace of professional soccer and the altitude of Denver. Ugo Ihemelu and Herculez Gomez are fitting in nicely after coming over from Los Angeles.
Defender Greg Vanney talked with ColoradoRapids.com about coming to the Denver area and what he will be able to contribute to the Rapids:
"I have some family ties to the area so it is nice to get back here and is really comfortable Vanney said. "On and off the field I bring leadership and experience from playing in France and with the US National Team. All of us are excited for the season to begin."
All in all it was a good strong second day of preseason camp for the Rapids the players were all in and excited for the season to begin with the players and coaches eager for the start of the season.
Stay tuned to ColoradoRapids.com for training camp updates in the coming days!