The Rapids hit the training field at Houston Sports Park on Tuesday morning for a 90-minute session, with the weather consisting of a chilly 50 degrees and rain throughout. The "warm weather" expected in Texas was nowhere to be found once again, as the team had played Sunday's game in similar conditions.
Practice followed a similar structure to previous days, with some jogging and stretching to warm up, followed by passing and possession drills. The team worked hard for 70 minutes before cooling down and getting aerobic work with a 20-minute jog at the end of the session.
The coaching staff was pleased with both the effort and the level of the practice, saying the team performed well despite the conditions and a day off on Monday.
"I think the adverse weather makes you a bit apprehensive about your plan for the day, since we'd put together a session where the guys need to be very focused, in passing exercises and then moving to possession games," said Pablo Mastroeni.
"The level today was probably the best that it's been in the nine days or so that we've been together. I think that speaks volumes about the type of characters we have on this team, to overcome adverse weather and to be able to perform at a high level. So for the staff, it was a pleasant surprise and one that the group can continue to build on."
Training will resume on Wednesday morning before Thursday's scrimmage against Houston Baptist University.
ARMSTRONG AND GRIFFITHS PROGRESSING
The two Rapids players who have been restricted in training as they rehab injuries, Davy Armstrong and Brenton Griffiths, were more active in today's session. Both players participated in the possession drills, though mostly as neutral players. They came through practice in good shape and will continue to integrate into team activities as they are able.
One player showed up for Tuesday's practice sporting a new look. Charles Eloundou had apparently made good use of his off day on Monday to dye his hair a yellowish-orange shade. If the aim was to turn a few heads, it worked, though one Rapids player joked with Charles, wondering if he had lost a recent bet.
NEIGHBORS NO MORE
The Rapids have been training at the Dynamo's facility for the last several days, with the Houston club practicing at the same time. However, today was the last time on this trip that Colorado will see the familiar faces of Tony Cascio, Omar Cummings and others, as the Dynamo depart later today for Tucson, Ariz., where they will be for about a week, facing two MLS teams and minor league side FC Tucson. Houston will be gone from Tucson by the time the Rapids arrive on February 18.
BRAVO IN TOWN
Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo has been in Houston with the team since Saturday, and had a dinner with the coaching staff on Monday night. President Tim Hinchey is also expected in Houston later this week.