Rapids Weekly Team Update

COMMERCE CITY CO (4/22/08) –The Colorado Rapids hit the road for the third time in the past four weeks as they look to rebound from a disappointing loss at home with a win this Saturday at the Chicago Fire.
Last Saturday the Rapids dropped a 2-0 decision to the San Jose Earthquakes at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The game marked the first time this season that the Rapids had been shut out; prior to that Colorado was one of the top scoring sides in MLS.
The Colorado Rapids will train four times at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park this week before heading to Chicago. The Rapids will face the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park this Saturday April 26 at 6:30 pm MT.
This weekend’s game will be broadcast nationally on HDNet. In the booth for Mark Cuban’s station will be Rapids alumni player Marcelo Balboa (analyst) and Glenn Davis (play-by-play). Rapids fans wanting to catch the action can head to the British Bulldog downtown for the official viewing party.

Today at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park the team went through fitness drills before practice that were administered by Jamie and Mike of Impact Sports. Ugo Ihemelu freshly upgraded on the injury report was the top performer in the vertical jump 20-meter dash and arrowhead drill while Herculez Gomez lasted the longest in the beep test.
Jacob Peterson Omar Cummings and Kosuke Kimura all had multiple top five finishes in today's fitness tests. Other guys who preformed in the top five were Pablo Mastroeni Tom McManus Colin Clark Mehdi Ballouchy Brian Grazier and Nick LaBrocca.
This week’s practice schedule is highlighted by a mid-week scrimmage against the University of Denver men’s soccer team. The match-up against DU is part of a five-game spring schedule for the Pioneers.

For the full match preview of Saturday's game featuring interactive projected lineups insider game notes head-to-head stats and the latest injury and suspension reports click here!

NEXT MATCH
Colorado Rapids at Chicago Fire
Sat. April 26
6:30pm MT
Toyota Park

LAST MATCH
Colorado Rapids 0 vs. San Jose Earthquakes 2
Sat. April 19
7:30pm MT
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
Match Recap

LATEST INJURY UPDATES

Ugo Ihemelu has been upgraded on the injured list to 'probable' and will be available for selection this weekend. Conor Casey is continuing to improve and is participating in more and more drills during practice.

Although his injury looked pretty severe Saturday night John DiRaimondo only suffered a high ankle sprain. Also Nick LaBrocca underwent x-rays on Monday for his nose as a result of a collision in the game against San Jose. Currently the team is still waiting on those results.
Fans walking around the concourse at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park Saturday night might have also seen a familiar face on the Fox Soccer Channel pregame show set. Mike Petke who is recovering from successful foot surgery to repair two broken bones was a special guest prior to the game. Mike talked about his progress and getting back on the field this season and is looking forward to amping up his rehab in the coming weeks.

TODAY'S QUOTES FROM TRAINING

Today's quote comes from head coach Fernando Clavijo on rebounding from Saturday’s loss:
"I think that we need to be able to control the game better. We didn’t come out with the same energy that we had in the first three games this season. We need to find out why that happened. We have to see if it was fitness or mental or if some of the players were just overwhelmed.
"I thought the session today was good for figuring out where we are and where we need to get to. It is the time of the year where you expect to get inconsistent results. If you look around the league only one team doesn’t have a win so far and only one team has not lost. Hopefully we can put it behind us and get three points from Chicago."

WEEKLY TEAM NOTES
Stay Sharp with Sharpe: Keep up with all the latest Rapids news from an inside perspective as Rapids back-up goalkeeper Chris Sharpe gives fans a look from the player’s side in his regular column on www.tribalfootball.com. Sharpe who is with the Rapids as a MLS pool ‘keeper due to the injury to Justin Hughes has been training with the team since the preseason. Follow Chris’s journey as he looks to become the first Australian to ever play in the MLS.
Rapids exclusives on SportZu.tV: Love the Colorado Rapids? Then SportZu.tv is the place for you to get exclusive interviews with the players and take a look at what young athletes are learning at the Colorado Rapids Soccer Academy. Get tropical with the Rapids ZuCam in Bermuda or check out the excitement from the 2008 Season Opener. Click here to go to SportZu.tv
Rapids Youth Academy Update: This past Sunday the Rapids U16s earned a big win over the San Diego Surf 4-3. In their victory forward Cameron Wood tallied three goals with the game winner coming on a free kick with 30 seconds left in the match. Wood has shown a strong ability to compete at any level having played with the Rapids U16s U18s and even with the Rapids Reserves.
Go One-on-One with Colin Clark: Don’t miss Altitude Sports & Entertainment's exclusive interview with Rapids midfielder Colin Clark. This 30 minute special hosted by Altitude's Peter Ruttgaizer gives fans an in-depth look at the Fort Collins native.
Upcoming air schedule of Altitude’s One-on-One with Colin Clark:
Wednesday April 23 at 5:00 p.m.
Thursday April 24 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday April 26 at 1:30 a.m.
Help the Rapids Make a Difference: The Colorado Rapids the US Soccer Foundation Passback program and Soccer Dreams Without Borders will be collecting slightly used soccer gear during the Rapids' three home games in May (May 4 15 and 24) outside gates B and G an hour and a half prior to kickoff.Every family donating will receive a buy-one get-one-free ticket voucher to the Rapids vs. Columbus Crew game on Sunday July 27. All equipment collected will be sent to Goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul’s home country of Senegal as well as to South America and Mexico.

Rapids Fieldside Seats Still Available: Sit down on the field at Dick's Sporting Goods Park for all Rapids home games and see your favorite players up close from inches away. Fieldside seats are now available for the public to purchase for the first time in 2008. Not only do you get to sit down on the actual field level at Dick's Sporting Goods Park for the entire match but you also get pre-game hospitality area offering food & drinks and fieldside seat holders also get first right of refusal to purchase seats for DSG Park concerts & special events. Get in the spotlight! Order your fieldside seats now and don't just be a spectator....be a part of the action! Details

Introducing the Kickback Program: The Rapids have introduced a brand new rewards program for their most loyal fans! It's the Rapids Kickback Card which fans can use at the stadium to bypass concession lines get express entry thru gates discounts at the team store and prizes from the Rapids. Get your Kickback Card today! Details
View The E-Brochure Win Fabulous Prizes: It's the Rapids' 13th MLS season…get an exclusive inside video look at the club for this year with the team's e-brochure. You can also enter to win a trip to a Rapids 2008 road game or win any of 100 pairs of tickets to a 2008 home game when you forward it to friends! View it NOW!

2008 Single Game Tickets on Sale: Rapids single game tickets are available for purchase for any home game via phone by calling 1-866-461-6556 at the kiosks located inside every Colorado Dick’s Sporting Goods store location or online at TicketHorse.com. Single game tickets start at just $12. The Rapids' 2008 single game schedule also welcomes the return of two fan-favorite ticket packages: the Rapids' Family Night packs and the Rapids Kids Night packs. Rapids Family Night and Rapids Kids Night packages can be purchased online by clicking here.

2008 Season Tickets on Sale: The Colorado Rapids are currently taking reservations for season tickets for the 2008 Rapids season at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Fans can reserve their seats now and can pick from 3 options of either 18-game 9-game or 5-game packages. For more information to put down a deposit and to pick their seat location fans can click here.