The Rapids trained on Sunday morning, their first such session since returning from Houston on Friday, and took to the training fields at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in brisk 24-degree weather, accompanied by light snow flurries, far removed from yesterday’s warmth. After having Saturday off, the players were pushed a little longer than the routine 90 minutes.
Steve Cooke ran warm-ups and some ball work to get the blood flowing for the first 30 minutes, followed by passing and receiving exercises. The squad then split into three groups to play a possession game with neutral players on the perimeter and two small goals at each end.
Practice closed with a 20-minute jog for a cool down, and a speed walk inside to get out of the cold. The team met after training with the technical staff to prep for the Las Vegas trip and to go over some tips for recovery and preparation.
POWERS ON THE PITCH
The 2013 MLS Rookie of the Year took to the field on Sunday for his first training session of the new season. Dillon Powers, who has been battling tendonitis in his knees as well as lingering symptoms from a concussion last season, was cleared by the medical staff for non-contact training. Powers participated in the warm up and ball-skill activities, and watched the possession games from the sideline. Shane O’Neill continues to rehab his hamstring and did some jogging around the pitch.
At the end of the Houston trip, the Rapids released trialist Reuben Ayarna, who had joined the team at the beginning of that leg. Non-roster players that remain with the team are draft picks Joe Nasco, John Berner, Jared Watts, Tolani Ibikunle and Albert Edward, as well as invitees Samuel Galindo and Juan Guzman.
SMILE FOR THE CAMERA
After training, Mile High Sports Magazine was on site to interview and photograph Shane O’Neill and Marlon Hairston for an upcoming issue of the magazine. The issue will feature interviews with several Rapids players and staff to preview the start of the upcoming MLS season.