Rapids 2005 Pre-Season Schedule To Include Games i

Rapids 2005 Pre-Season Schedule To Include Games in Ecuador and Four US CitiesFernando Clavijo’s Squad To Spend Two Weeks in Ecuador Followed By Four Scrimmages on U.S. Soil in 5-Week Span for Spring TrainingDENVER CO (Colorado Rapids Media Relations)- The Colorado Rapids announced today the team’s 2005 Pre-Season schedule which will include two weeks in South America followed by four scrimmages against top flight teams across the United States during an eight week spring training period leading up to Saturday April 2nd the Rapids’ 2005 season opener. The team will kick off their official spring training activities next Monday January 31st at 10:00 a.m. at the Rapids Training Center in Westminster CO where the players invitees and new draft picks will focus their daily workouts on fitness for the first 10 days. The Black and Blue will then depart south to Guayaquil Ecuador on Wednesday February 9th and will spend a total of 14 days in the coastal city that was founded in 1537 by Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana. During the team’s stay in Guayaquil the team is expected to scrimmage at least twice with the Ecuadorian National Team as one of the leading candidates for one of the games and local powerhouses Club Sport Emelec and Barcelona Sporting Club as other potential opponents. During this period Head Coach Fernando Clavijo will also be able to scout local players as well as some players in nearby countries with the knowledge that the international window for player transfers will remain open until March 31 2005. Clavijo who has spent the last 10 days in South America (Colombia Argentina and Uruguay) scouting players at the South American Under-20 Championships as well as other games and tournaments has a list of players that he is interested in bringing in for a tryout while in Ecuador. The Black and Blue will then travel directly to Miami Florida on February 23rd where they are scheduled to scrimmage against the Haitian National Team on Sunday February 27th before returning to Denver the following day. The Rapids will remain in the familiar confines of Westminster CO for eight days before embarking on a six day trip to Birmingham Alabama where they will face the Chicago Fire on Saturday March 12th before flying back to Denver the following day. The team will then spend four days in Colorado before taking off for their last trip of the 2005 Spring Training schedule. This last leg of the preseason will pit the Rapids against Real Salt Lake in Las Vegas NV on Saturday March 19th and against FC Dallas in Austin TX on Saturday March 26th. The team will then return to Westminster on Sunday March 27th for their final tune-up week prior to their Season Opener against the Kansas City Wizards on Saturday April 2nd at Arrowhead Stadium. The full preseason schedule with kick-off times and venues will be released at a later date. For full game reports of all the Rapids’ preseason matches and updates on opponents and the spring training schedule as well as reports from the road fans should check the Rapids’ official website www.coloradorapids.com for the latest inside information. The entire 2005 Colorado Rapids regular season schedule will be announced in the upcoming weeks. For dates and matches already confirmed click here. Colorado Rapids 2005 Pre-Season Schedule: Monday January 31st- Team reports to Westminster Training Center Wednesday February 9th- Team travels from Denver CO to Guayaquil Ecuador (Games TBD) Wednesday February 23rd- Team travels from Ecuador to Miami FL Sunday February 27th- GAME vs. Haitian National Team Monday February 28th- Team returns to Denver CO Tuesday March 8th- Team travels from Denver CO to Birmingham AL Saturday March 12th- GAME vs. Chicago Fire Sunday March 13th- Team returns to Denver CO Friday March 18th- Team travels from Denver CO to Las Vegas NV Saturday March 19th- GAME vs. Real Salt Lake Sunday March 20th- Team travels from Las Vegas NV to Austin TX Saturday March 26th- GAME vs. F.C. Dallas Sunday March 27th- Team returns to Denver CO Friday April 1st- Team travels to Kansas City MO Saturday April 2nd- GAME- 10th Major League Soccer Season kicks off 2005 Rapids Season Opener vs. Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium Saturday April 9th- GAME- 2005 Rapids Home Opener vs. FC Dallas at INVESCO Field at Mile High