Welcome to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for the annual 4thFest, presented by Westerra Credit Union! This is one of the nights that soccer fans throughout Colorado look forward to every year, with our entire staff included in that excitement. The buzz around town, the promise of a great post-game fireworks show, and some exciting MLS action – this year taking on the New York Red Bulls in a match presented by HealthONE – makes this day all the more special here in Denver. As always, all the fans inside the stadium will be invited down onto the grass to watch the fireworks from field level, a truly unique experience. I also want to wish a happy 4th of July to everyone as we think about what makes this country special and how lucky we are to live in America.
This year we’ve got even more to look forward to, starting with some special guests: Flobots, a Denver institution and nationally-recognized band, will be performing right after the match ends. Their stage is just outside Eighteen76 at the south end of the stadium, and their set will be shown on the big screen for everyone in the stadium. We’ve enjoyed working with Flobots in the past and we’re thrilled that they’re joining us for 4thFest this year.
It’s also an exciting moment for the team, coming off a dramatic and inspirational 4-3 win in Montreal last weekend. It was a match where we trailed 2-1 and 3-2, but the players never gave up, and Tony Cascio scored the game-winner with just seconds left. Atiba Harris also scored to add to his team lead, and our rookie combination of Dillon Powers and Deshorn Brown got the other goals. It was an incredible night and we hope that it gives the group some momentum this week.
The month of July will be really important for the club, as we’ve just passed the halfway point of the regular season and we’re in the mix for a playoff spot. Of the five regular season matches we play this month, four are here at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – including this Sunday against D.C. United, followed by another fireworks display if you like the show tonight. We also face Santos Laguna of Mexico in a friendly match on July 12 in Albuquerque that will give other Rapids fans a chance to see the team in person. We’re happy to have your support as we look to string some good results together!
A couple quick notes about tonight: with the fireworks display and fans coming down onto the field, our players won’t be signing autographs after the final whistle, and the Man of the Match won’t make an appearance at Eighteen76. Those traditions will be back to normal starting on July 17. I also want to express my gratitude to Westerra Credit Union, Commerce City, and all the local authorities for their partnership in making 4thFest and the fireworks safe an enjoyable for everyone here, and also to HealthONE for presenting tonight’s match. Again, thank you fans for coming out to tonight’s match, and if any of us can help make your experience at the game better, please let us know. You can contact Rapids Customer Service above Section 129, and I’m on Twitter: @tkhinchey3.
Come on you Rapids!