Honolulu, Hawaii - The Colorado Rapids held a walk through practice session at Aloha Stadium Wednesday afternoon as the final preparation for their opening match of the Hawaiian Islands Invitational Thursday against Yokahama FC.
"It's always nice to get a game against competition that you're unfamiliar with," defender Drew Moor told ColoradoRapids.com. "You have to concentrate that much more, it will be that much more intense, and we have to be that much more on the same page. We're still very much in preparation for March 10th, and this is an important match for the whole squad...Everybody's trying to make an impression right now and we're still working on a new formation and put everything together from what we've learned so far."
Moor will be looking to play his first significant minutes of the preseason.
He injured his hamstring when he entered as a late sub in the scrimmage against Ventura County Fusion two weeks ago and was forced to sit out the two matches against MLS sides Chivas USA and San Jose.
"(We have) been progressing with the team in the various stages of preseason," Oscar Pareja said following the session. "Now we're trying to mold it a little bit more. It's an international competition that we are happy to participate in and we want to keep growing. That's the purpose of these two games - to keep us going in the direction that we want to."
All week Pareja has continued closely working with the same lineup that started both preseason matches in California. The one exception is that trialist Jefferson Angulo, who started the first two matches, was released prior to the Hawaii trip. Rookie Tony Cascio has been given the bulk of looks this week in that wide winger role and could potentially start.
Pablo Mastroeni, Jeff Larentowicz, and Jaime Castrillon appear set to man the middle, with Omar Cummings up top and Brian Mullan on the right. Tyrone Marshall has been working alongside Marvell Wynne at center back, though Moor is now fully recovered from the hamstring injury and could return to the lineup. Kosuke Kimura has held his ground on the right back spot and trialist Luis Zapata continues to get the bulk of the work at left back. The goalkeepers are likely to split time, with Matt Pickens the likely starter.
Thursday's match is set to kickoff at 8:30 pm local time (11:30 pm in Colorado), but the team was informed today that ESPN3 will not broadcast the first games as was originally relayed. ESPN3 did confirm that they will air both matches Saturday.