The Colorado Rapids are in Albuquerque, New Mexico to face Mexico's Santos Laguna on Friday in a friendly match at University Stadium on the campus of the University of New Mexico (7:30 p.m. MT kickoff). The match will not be broadcast or streamed online, but fans can follow our live tweets from the stadium below:
- This is the Rapids’ first international match since defeating English Premier League side Swansea City 2-1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on July 24, 2012.
Friday's match is the fourth all-time meeting between the two clubs:
- March 12, 2003: Colorado 2, Santos 0 at Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada (friendly)
- Sept. 13, 2011: Colorado 1, Santos Laguna 4 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colo. (CONCACAF Champions League group match)
- October 19, 2011: Colorado 0, Santos Laguna 2 at Estadio Corona, Torreon, Mexico (CONCACAF Champions League group match)
- The Rapids are 8-12-2 all-time against international opponents in gated matches, including 3-6-1 against Mexican First Division teams.
Colorado coach Oscar Pareja brought a group of experienced players and some youngsters to New Mexico.
- The team's 2012 team MVP, goalkeeper Matt Pickens, is expected to start his first match since breaking bones in his forearm in a match against Real Salt Lake on March 16.
- 2012 Golden Boot winner Jaime Castrillon, who recently returned from knee surgery, is also expected to see plenty of time as he continues improving his fitness and form.
- Midfielder Jamie Smith, who scored the team's first goal of the season, could also see action for the first time since injuring his groin in his last start on April 28.
- Of the group that traveled, only Brian Mullan, Marvell Wynne, and Stew Ceus played for the Rapids in the 2011 matches against Santos, with Mullan scoring a goal in the first match after coming in off the bench.
- For Santos, this is their last preseason match before the start of the Apertura season. Last Saturday's scheduled preseason match against Atlas was cancelled at the last minute after the Guadalajara-based team did not travel to Torreon, according to Santos.
- On Wednesday, July 11, Santos defeated Monterrey 2-0 in Torreon in a preseason match with goals from Oribe Peralta and a free kick from Alonso Escoboza.
- This was Santos' lineup against Monterrey: 1-Oswaldo Sánchez, 2 - Oswaldo Alanís (23 - Felipe Baloy 74), 6 - Marc Crosas (17 - Rodolfo Salinas 46), 8 - Juan Pablo Rodríguez, 10 - Mauro Cejas (63 - Gael Sandoval 36), 11 - Néstor Calderón (70 - Alonso Escoboza 46), 14 - Néstor Araujo, 20 - Osmar Mares (66 - Javier Abella 63), 25 - Darwin Quintero (61 - Herbert Robinson 63), 24 - Oribe Peralta (15 - Eduardo Herrera 46), 38 - César Ibáñez.
- According to the team's official website, Santos brought it's first team to New Mexico, with only Salinas staying back due to an injury and forward Javier Orozco with the Mexican National Team at the Gold Cup.
- In 2011, Sanchez and Rodriguez started the first match against Colorado, while Peralta, Quintero, and Escoboza each scored.
Santos' head coach Pedro Caixinha said this after the last preseason match to MedioTiempo.com:
- “In my point of view during the first half we didn’t play well as a group due to some individuals… We are not satisfied with the process in the first half. The group’s attitude and will in the second half was notable.
- It’s very positive to have defeated such a great team, it’s important and build confidence. But we should be aware that we need much more. We’ll try to improve the day after tomorrow against the Colorado Rapids with the same group we have faith in.”
- On Friday, Santos announced that their Apertura season opener against Chivas - originally scheduled for July 21 in Guadalajara - has been re-scheduled for October 30 due to the number of players Chivas is missing while with Mexico's national team at the Gold Cup.