The Rapids held their final practice session in Tucson on Friday morning, doing a light session under sunny skies at Kino Sports Complex. The team will then rest up for tomorrow's 3:30 p.m. match against the New England Revolution, which will be streamed live at www.ColoradoRapids.com.
Friday's practice started with a slow jog before a warm-up led by Steve Cooke, after which the team broke out for passing drills. They then split into two 11-player squads, running through team shape and preparing for the game against the Revs.
The players jogged to cool down, breaking into small groups to pass, juggle and kick around. Some forwards and the three goalkeepers did some shooting drills before they called an end to their session.
IRWIN TO START
Goalkeeper Clint Irwin is expected to get most of Saturday's game against New England, as the match will be the final tune-up before the March 15 season opener in New York. John Berner will be on the bench, and may get a few minutes toward the end of the game. Berner is expected to back up Irwin on March 15, with Joe Nasco and wife Amber expecting their first child around that date.
Friday afternoon is the team's final block of free time before returning to Denver, so several Rapids will be taking advantage. Some are planning to spend time by the pool or in the spa at the hotel, while some coaches were 'scouting out' golf courses to get a final round in under the nice weather.
Despite the perfect weather during practice on Friday, the weather reports have called for showers later in the day and continuing through tomorrow. Equipment Manager Brandy Lay is prepared with the wet weather gear, and the team has already experienced playing in the rain this preseason, having endured showers throughout the team's time in Houston in early February.