Rapids England Preseason Journal - Updated 3/8/08

ColoradoRapids.com will have exclusive journal updates and photos from Spring Training as the team continues their preseason training. Continue to check back to learn the latest on the team's happenings! The Rapids are currently in London through March 9.
BOREHAMWOOD ENGLAND (3/8/08) – The Rapids completed their ninth day of training in England on Saturday putting final touches on their second preseason trip of 2008. The team went through a two-hour morning training session and had their final lunch at the Arsenal Training Centre before loading the bus to get ready for the journey home.
Arsenal Manager Arsène Wenger stopped by to send his best wishes and safe travels to the team before they left.
The Rapids will return home Sunday and have a brief stay in Colorado before hitting the road again. Looking to add another match in the preseason the Rapids have recently agreed to travel to Bermuda from Thursday March 13 to Sunday March 16. In Bermuda they will play one friendly match versus the Bermuda National Team at the National Sports Center on Friday March 14 at 5pm MT.
The Colorado Rapids would like to thank everyone at Arsenal FC for all their hospitality throughout the team’s entire stay. This is truly a partnership to be proud of and one that will continue to grow and be beneficial for years to come.
MARCH 7 ENTRY
Following back to back games the Rapids returned to the training pitch where they put in a two-hour session this morning. The team went through a very instructional practice working on situational aspects of the game.
Arsenal TV the Premier League team’s new in-house television channel was on-hand gathering some additional footage and interviews that they will put together with the tape they have from the Rapids' trip to Emirates Stadium for a half hour special that is scheduled to air sometime this summer.
Head Coach Fernando Clavijo pleased with the club’s performances during their recent matches decided to give the players the afternoon session off to rest and recover.
The Rapids have one more day of training in England tomorrow before heading back to Colorado Sunday morning.
MARCH 4 ENTRY
The Colorado Rapids went through their second consecutive two-a-day training with morning and afternoon sessions.

In order to get their work in the players battled the morning elements of some bitter cold weather. Following a few possession drills the team focused on their attack and finishing. Once they concluded their two hour training the club was once again treated - like they have been their entire stay - to a first-class meal in the Arsenal Training Centre dining hall.

In the afternoon the team brought in the goals for some small field training. Dan Gargan Herculez Gomez and Mike Petke took rehabing their injuries to a different level during the second session working in the Training Centre pool.

MARCH 3 ENTRY
The Rapids went through their first double training today. The morning session saw First Assistant John Murphy working with the forwards and midfielders on their finishing while Head Coach Fernando Clavijo was at the opposite end of the pitch with the defenders working on set pieces.
While Colorado occupied the far area of the training pitch just a few yards away were the Arsenal Reserves and on an adjacent field was Arsenal’s First Team as they put in some morning work prior to leaving later in the day for their crucial Champions League Knockout Round second leg tomorrow night against AC Milan.
In the afternoon the technical staff put the boys through a new drill of 10v10 where only the offensive side could enter the last 20 yards and finish with one-touch play. Practice was then broken up as the club moved into the Training Centre for some strength and conditioning in the Arsenal weight room.
Tuesday will bring morning and afternoon training sessions again as the Rapids make preparations for their first match over in London against Ipswich at the Arsenal Training Centre which will take place on Wednesday.
On Thursday Colorado is also scheduled to take the on the Arsenal Reserves.
MARCH 2 ENTRY
Happy Mums Day from England!
The Rapids spent the early morning training session in game simulation today working 11v11. Following a physical first half of play everyone seemed to settle into a good rhythm in the second half with Omar Cummings knocking in the only second half score and Bouna Coundoul and Justin Hughes coming up with multiple athletic saves.
For their strong efforts Head Coach Fernando Clavijo gave the team the afternoon off to rest and recover before two-a-day training sessions set for both Monday and Tuesday.
The team also had a very special guest sharing their lunch at the Training Centre this afternoon -- Arsenal Manager Arsène Wenger stopped by to shake hands and chat with the Rapids Technical Staff.
MARCH 1 ENTRY
"Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal" were the chants overheard this afternoon coming from over 60000 at Emirates Stadium as the Rapids attended today’s match between the Gunners and Aston Villa. In what looked to be a win by the visiting club Arsenal clawed their way to a 1-1 draw as Nicklas Bendtner poked home a goal in the closing seconds of injury time.
Colorado’s day began with another cold weather/high wind training session. The boys worked through some 9v9 for the most of practice before eating lunch on the bus headed towards downtown London.
When the team arrived at Emirates Stadium they were escorted through underground hallways and out the tunnel onto the playing pitch where they posed for a commemorative photo.
Following the match the Rapids headed back to the hotel where they’ll rest before their first of three straight days of morning and afternoon training.
FEBRUARY 28 ENTRY
After roughly eight hours in the air and 4500 miles traveled the Rapids landed in London Friday morning to begin their second preseason trip away from Colorado. The team’s travel began Thursday afternoon when they left Denver around 3pm MT. Following a brief lay-over in Chicago the Rapids completed their journey to England landing around 9am local time.

The Rapids players and coaches then were treated to lunch at partner club Arsenal FC’s state-of-the-art Training Centre in Hertfordshire. Arsenal’s Training Centre will play host for all of the Rapids’ training sessions and mid-day meals throughout their time in London.

With only a couple hours to check-in to their hotel and catch their breaths from all the events of the day everyone loaded the bus again to return to the Training Centre for an afternoon session with head coach Fernando Clavijo and his staff.

Cold weather strong winds and rain greeted everyone and persisted throughout the team’s training that consisted of intense conditioning and some group drills. Despite the weather conditions it was hard to dampen the spirits of everyone as they stood on what many consider to be the best playing surfaces in the country.

On Saturday the Rapids’ schedule boasts one of the major highlights of the team’s trip. After a morning training session the team will attend the Gunners’ match versus Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium.
FLORIDA PRESEASON TRIP
To view the Rapids' preseason journal from the club's previous spring training trip to Florida click here.