The Rapids trained on Wednesday morning on the Dynamo's training field at Houston Sports Park, enduring temperatures in the low 40's and a stiff wind, while also being thankful for having avoided the sub-zero temperatures in Denver.
Training lasted for about 90 minutes, which has become a standard duration for preseason practice. It was the final practice in Houston for the team, which play a match tomorrow and return to Denver on Friday.
After the usual warm-ups, the players split into three 8/9-player groups for round-robin matches. The teams were divided as follows:
BLUE: Watts, Van De Casteele, Ayarna, Kindle, Hairston, Chavez, Serna, Brown, Berner
YELLOW: Wynne, Guzman, Ibikunle, Burch, Sturgis, LaBrocca, Eloundou, Buddle, Irwin
ORANGE: Moor, Klute, Edward, Hill, Galindo, Sanchez, Torres, Nasco
After the three matches, Moor's orange team came out with the overall victory, having a win and a tie in its two games, borrowing a player from the resting team in each match.
The Rapids face Houston Baptist University on Thursday afternoon at 4:30pm at the college team's field. The Huskies finished the 2013 season with a 9-7-2 overall record (W-L-T) in their first season in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Former HPU forward Kris Tyrpak was drafted by Chivas USA with the 40th overall pick at the 2014 MLS SuperDraft last month, and is currently in camp with the LA-based team.
ON THE SIDELINES
Davy Armstrong and Brenton Griffiths did fitness and strengthening work with Athletic Trainer Jaime Rojas during the round-robin matches. Shane O'Neill did conditioning at the hotel as he rehabs his hamstring, which was sore after USMNT camp. None of the three will play tomorrow.
Clint Irwin is expected to see his first action of the preseason in Thursday afternoon's match, playing 45 minutes against the college team. Joe Nasco will also play 45, with John Berner expected to see more playing time in one of the matches in Las Vegas as Chris Sharpe continues to evaluate and train the goalkeepers.