A couple of years ago a large group from the Rapids adidas Alliance partner Downtown Las Vegas Soccer Club created a block of burgundy at The Home Depot Center as they drove to California to watch the Rapids take on the Galaxy. This week, they'll have a much shorter trip to see their team.
The Rapids arrived in Las Vegas on Wednesday ahead of Friday's Las Vegas Pro Soccer Challenge, where Colorado will face Chivas USA in a friendly exhibition at Sam Boyd Staduim in Las Vegas.
"We have a very strong relationship with the Downtown Las Vegas Soccer Club," said Brian Crookham, Rapids Sr. Director of the Youth Academy. "We're down here four times a year working with the group and it's been our goal to try to bring first-team players to the market to enhance the relationship."
The Pro Soccer Challenge is presented by USA Seven's Rugby, in partnership with the DLVSC and the city of Las Vegas. In addition to the pro match, the city and club are also hosting the Mayor's Cup International Showcase, featuring U-14 to U-19 boys and girls teams. The Rapids Academy will have five team participating in the tournament: a boys and girls U-14 team, and boys U-15, U-16, and U17/18 sides.
The Rapids will be the home team for the match, and the players and coaches from the DLVSC will have exclusive access to Colorado's training sessions on Wednesday and Thursday. Crookham and Rapids Academy / first-team assistant coach Steve Cooke will also be conducting coaching education sessions with the staff from the DLVSC, as well as a coaching clinic for the participants of the Mayor's Cup.
The Rapids and DLVSC entered into a partnership in April 2010 that has strengthened each year. In addition to providing coaching education on a regular basis throughout the year, the Rapids have also called in up to three players from the DLVSC to join the Rapids Development Academy teams.
"Part of our job this weekend is to try to identify players that could come into our group for events like the SUM Cup and Dallas Cup, which are open roster events," Crookham said.
This will be the Rapids’ third preseason trip to Las Vegas but first since partnering with the DLVSC. In 2003 Colorado defeated Mexican club Santos Laguna 2-0 at Sam Boyd Stadium. Four years later, the Rapids played Real Salt Lake to a scoreless tie in a 2007 preseason match. Tickets for Friday's match on the campus of UNVL can be purchased by CLICKING HERE.