The Colorado Rapids departed for Columbus on Thursday morning, arriving in Ohio two days before Saturday's match against the Crew (5:30 p.m. MT, Altitude TV). It's a practice that was started last year by head coach Oscar Pareja, and one he intends to continue moving forward.
"When we take these longer trips - because of the time change and long flights - we want to try to go an extra day earlier," Pareja told ColoradoRapids.com on Wednesday. "We want to give the players more time to adjust and recover from the travel."
The Rapids' trip to Columbus is the first to the Eastern time zone this year. The team was scheduled to train at the Crew's training facility in Obetz on Thursday and Friday afternoons.
Colorado's only other regular season match this year that is two time zones away is on June 29 at Montreal. The Rapids Reserves will also travel to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to face the City Islanders on June 8, and there could potentially be an Open Cup match on the east coast, depending on the draw.
The Rapids typically travel to all other road matches on the day before the actual game, often training at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in the morning before flying out.
Since the start of preseason the team has made trips to Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles (three times), Dallas, Salt Lake, and Houston. The Rapids are 1-2-2 on the road this season, winning at Chivas USA and drawing at RSL and Houston.