COMMERCE CITY CO (1/28/08) - We here at ColoradoRapids.com are happy to announce the return of the Rapids Weekly Team Update to coincide with the first official day of training this year!
The Colorado Rapids officially kicked off preparations for the 2008 season this morning as all the players returned to training today for the first time since November of 2007.
This week marks the end of the off-season as the Rapids all reported back to the stadium and began their preparation for the upcoming 2008 season.
Incoming draft picks and new signings like Jose Burciaga and Chase Hilgenbrinck all got their first taste of outdoor January training along Colorado's Front Range while the returning veterans welcomed them to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Most of the two-hour session was spent on fitness and acclimating to Colorado’s thin air on the synthetic fields at Dick's Sporting Goods Park with the Rapids' official training field still snow-covered.
The team will hit the weight room for the first time tomorrow and will continue to train the rest of this week on the complex.
2008 Opening Day
LA Galaxy at Colorado Rapids
Sat. March 29 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park 7:30pm
LATEST INJURY UPDATES
Rapids fans will be happy to note that Facundo Erpen (Sports Hernia) Dan Gargan (ACL) and Herculez Gomez (ACL) were on the pitch training after recovering from off-season surgeries.
Both Ugo Ihemelu (hip) and Conor Casey (ACL) are still rehabbing after also undergoing the knife this winter.
TODAY'S QUOTES FROM TRAINING
Today's quotes come from new signee Chase Hilgenbrinck.
On the facilities at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park:
"I haven’t seen the other facilities in the MLS but from what I hear this is one of the best and you can tell by looking around that this is a world-class facility."
On returning from Chile to his country of birth and ply his trade:
"It’s awesome because soccer has grown so much since I’ve been gone. Facilities are getting better the infrastructure is growing and it is making the game more professional. The sport is getting a lot more attention from fans. That is what makes soccer so exciting the support and passion of soccer is renowned around the world. That is one of the reasons I originally wanted to play outside the United States but now it's great to be back."
WEEKLY TEAM NOTES
Coundoul in Ghana: Rapids goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul has spent most of January in Africa with the Senegalese National Team. Senegal tied Tunisia 2-2 in their opening game in the African Cup of Nations and then fell 3-1 to Angola. The Teranga Lions' final group game is on Thursday as they take on South Africa. Senegal need to win the game and have a better goal differential than the loser of the Tunisia vs. Angola game if there is one in order to advantage to the quarterfinals.
Rapids Tryouts: The Rapids will host open tryouts for the club for the 4th straight year on Sunday Feb. 24th at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Males 25 years of age or younger with past soccer experience can apply to be invited to the tryout via the news story posted on the front page of ColoradoRapids.com.
Clark on "From the Pitch": Rapids midfielder Colin Clark will be the featured guest Tuesday night on the "From the Pitch" radio show hosted by Rapids Alumni Player Marcelo Balboa. Fans can tune in to the show starting at 6pm Tuesday night on KRCN 1060am.
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.