Rapids Weekly Team Update

COMMERCE CITY COLO. (August 21 2008) – With this Friday’s match against Real Salt Lake the Colorado Rapids have a chance to bring the Rocky Mountain Cup back to this side of the mountains. With a victory the Rapids will claim the Cup for the third time in the four-year history of the rivalry. A tie or loss and it will come down to the season finale for the second year in a row.
Last year Real Salt Lake took advantage of Colorado’s drive for the postseason in the year’s final game as they scored a goal on the counterattack to win the Cup for the first time.
Neither team has won the Rocky Mountain Cup on their home field with Colorado winning it at Rice-Eccles Stadium in both 2005 and 2006. (See below for a year-by-year look at the competition).
There will be plenty of familiar faces at Rice-Eccles Stadium as Salt Lake employs former Rapids: Kyle Beckerman Nat Borchers Clint Mathis and Chris Wingert. The only player on Colorado’s roster who played for RSL is Mehdi Ballouchy.
In preparation for the artificial surface that has given Real Salt Lake an undefeated 6-0-5 home record this year the Rapids are training on the turf at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Colorado has not played a match on an artifical surface since BMO Field in Toronto on August 9.
Rocky Mountain Cup Year-by-Year
2005: Despite losing the first game Rapids win Cup with a 3-1 record.
2006: Rapids go to Salt Lake in a must win game and take the heated affair 1-0 to win Cup.
2007: Real gets two 1-0 wins in the season’s last five game to win the Cup for the first time.
NEXT MATCH
Colorado Rapids at Real Salt Lake
Friday Aug. 29
7:00 pm MT
Rice-Eccles Stadium
Preview
LAST MATCH
Colorado Rapids 0 at DC United 3
Saturday Aug. 23
5:30 pm MT
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
Match Recap
Video highlights
LATEST INJURY UPDATES
After several consecutive weeks with little or no new injuries the Rapids have been hit with a rash of new ailments.
Mehdi Ballouchy joins Ugo Ihemelu on the sideline as they both recover from concussions suffered in recent games. Ballouchy sat out the second half of last week's match against DC United suffering his concussion right before the break. Ihemelu has missed the team's last two matches while the training staff want him to be symptom free for a full week before returning to action.
Pablo Mastroeni and Terry Cooke will miss Friday’s game with hamstring injuries suffered in the game against DC United. Also injured in that match was Greg Dalby who will not be making the trip to Utah this Friday.
The good news is that Jordan Harvey Jacob Peterson and Jose Burciaga Jr. are nearing full recoveries from their knocks.
WEEKLY TEAM NOTES
Smith Now 1-1-0: According to the Elias Sports Bureau Rapids interim head coach Gary Smith was credited with the Rapids 2-1 victory over the Kansas City Wizards on August 16 despite not yet being named to his current position. Because Fernando Clavijo never returned to the bench and Smith assumed the new position Smith gets credit for the victory. The ruling by Elias follows the accepted procedure in similar situations for MLB NFL NBA NHL WNBA and AFL.
Official Viewing Party at British Bulldog: The official Rapids Away-Game Viewing Party for Friday's match against Real Salt Lake will be held at the British Bulldog located at 2052 Stout Street (the corner of Stout and Broadway in Lodo). Wear your Rapids jersey and come join other fans to watch the game live in a great soccer atmosphere on Friday! Click here for more information on The British Bulldog.
Rapids Youth Teams Update: The club is in the process of evaluating Under-16 and Under-18 players for the 2008-09 Development Academy season which begins in November. Finally registration is open for the Rapids Junior Academy leagues that will begin this fall in the Stapleton and Commerce City areas. For more information on any of the Rapids Academy programs call 303-727-3575 or click here.
Rapids In the Community: The Rapids play a strong role in our local community as well as on the field. Here are some of the outreach programs the Rapids are currently involved in:
** Shop with a Player on Friday Sept. 12 from 4-6 p.m.
Fifteen kids from the Boys & Girls Club will receive a $100 "back to school" shopping spree courtesy of Dick’s Sporting Goods at their store in Lakewood and they will shop with Rapids players.
** The Rapids Food Bank of the Rockies and Teammates for Kids are working together to provide nutritious food to lower income families. Food Bank of the Rockies created the Totes of Hope program and the Rapids and Teammates for Kids will donate $5000 dollars to this program to fill a Colorado Rapids backpack every Friday afternoon for one full calendar year for 40 children at the Commerce City Boys & Girls Club. Pre-game at the Rapids game on Sept. 20 a check in the amount of $5000 will be presented to Food Bank of the Rockies for Totes of Hope and the Commerce City Boys & Girls Club. The 40 children will parade around the field wearing their backpacks during the check presentation.
** The Rapids Passback and Soccer Dreams Without Borders will be collecting new and slightly used soccer gear during the Rapids vs. New England Revolution match on Saturday Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Every family donating will receive a buy one get one free ticket voucher to the Rapids vs. Houston Dynamo match on Saturday Oct. 4. This will mark the fourth and final Passback equipment collection during the Rapids 2008 season and equipment will be collected outside Gates B and G beginning an hour and a half prior to kickoff.
Denver Post Soccer Mailbag: Have a question about the Rapids MLS or soccer in general? Submit your question to The Denver Post's soccer scribe. The Denver Post's Brian Forbes posts his Soccer Mailbag during the 2008 MLS season on DenverPost.com. To drop a Rapids or soccer-related question into the Soccer Mailbag click here.
Rapids Trivia Thursdays: The Rapids have announced that the club will host "Trivia Thursdays" contests at the Cantina at Dick's Sporting Goods Park every Thursday night from 8:30-10:30 p.m. starting this Thursday Aug. 14! It's free to play so grab your friends come down for great food and drink specials and play trivia to win great prizes! Details