The Rapids took advantage of another beautiful Tucson day with a morning practice ahead of Wednesday's preseason match. Having fallen to Chivas USA 2-1 in Las Vegas on Feb. 16, Colorado will get another crack against the Western Conference rival.
The team started Tuesday's practice with a 15-minute jog before jumping into a warmup under the direction of assistant coach Steve Cooke. All the field players then moved into a passing drill before splitting into two teams for a possession drill in a tight space, working on holding the ball and finding a pass under quick pressure.
Last was an 11-v-11 walkthrough to prep for Wednesday's match. Pablo Mastroeni continued to work with the whole team on shape, and also took time to give individual advice to players during stoppages in the exercises.
Chivas USA, under the direction of former Rapids assistant coaches Wilmer Cabrera and Paul Caffrey, has had good form so far in preseason, and are coming off a 3-2 win over the New England Revolution, a game in which they were trailing 2-0 after the first half. The Rapids faced Chivas in Las Vegas a little over a week ago, and Colorado ended up losing 2-1 on a pair of disputed penalty kicks.
POST-PRACTICE HIGH JINKS
Following Tuesday's practice, the players had time to cool down and have some fun before heading inside. Several players started taking free kicks from 20-25 yards away from goal, and Charles Eloundou jumped in net to test his goalkeeping skills.
Samuel Galindo and Marvin Chavez challenged themselves with a juggling game, calling out the number of touches the other person should take before playing it back. Nick LaBrocca and Dillon Serna were playing long balls to each other, trying to control the ball and hit it back without letting the ball hit the ground.
Tuesday was also the final day that the players had organized meetings at the hotel, having had a series of organizations (including MLS, the players' union, and financial planners) speak to them. Many players also did video interviews with MLSsoccer.com during the afternoon.