Daily Update: February 1, 2014
The Rapids trained on Saturday morning at the Houston Amateur Sports Park, doing a 90-minute session with a view toward preparing the team for Sunday's fixture against the Dynamo. Following a warm-up and some passing drills, the players then worked on defensive shape with a drill designed to put the back four and defensive midfielders under pressure. The team closed with an 11v11 scrimmage, with stoppages for the coaches to work on team shape, as well as when and where on the field to pressure the ball.
Colorado will take on the Dynamo on Sunday morning at 11am CT in their first preseason match action. The game will not be streamed online, but we will provide updates on the match via twitter. The match will consist of three 30-minute periods rather than 45-minute halves, with most Rapids veterans playing about 30 minutes, and trialists and youngsters playing 45-60 minutes each.
The Rapids had an addition to camp on Saturday, bringing in Reuben Ayarna, a Ghanaian defensive midfielder who has played the last five years in Sweden. He flew into Houston on Friday, and Saturday’s practice was his first session with the team.
O’NEILL TO BE RESTED
Most players worked fully, though Davy Armstrong and Brenton Griffiths did not engage in contact drills, as both continue working through injuries. Shane O’Neill also stayed to the side during training, due to some hamstring soreness left over from the U.S. National Team camp. He is not expected to play on Sunday as a precaution while he fully heals.
Training on Friday and Saturday in Houston gave the Rapids their first opportunity to train with the new MLS match ball, the Brazuca (pictured above), which will also be used at this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Early reviews were positive.