While most MLS teams are opening the 2014 regular season this Saturday, March 8, the Colorado Rapids will still be one week away from their opening match in New York. So the team will instead use the date for a dry run, holding an intrasquad scrimmage at 3 p.m. inside the stadium at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
The match will be an 11-v-11 affair lasting 80-90 minutes, and will be open to the public. Anyone wishing to attend can enter through Gate G – the main entrance to the stadium on the west side – from 2:30 p.m.
“It’s good for the guys to get in the mindset that the season is starting, and it helps to play in your own stadium and prepare like a normal game,” said Pablo Mastroeni, who expects to watch parts of the game from the stands while assistant coaches handle the two sides. “For most of the guys it’s more of a psychological preparation than physical. All the while, it’s a good opportunity to get one dry run before the real thing in New York.
“The idea is to get everyone as many minutes as possible, and we’re thinking between 80 and 90 minutes. We haven’t figured out exactly how it’ll go, but we definitely want one 45-minute half and then depending on the conditions, weather, field, we’ll see about the second half. But the idea is to give everyone as much time and use as few subs as possible.”
Those watching the match will be allowed in Sections 127-130 (midfield on the west side), and the restrooms above those sections will be open. The team store and concession areas will remain closed.
The Rapids' opening match of the season will be at New York Red Bulls on Saturday, March 15 at 2 p.m. MT, with a live broadcast on Altitude featuring the commentary duo of Richard Fleming and Marcelo Balboa. The home opener is a week later, on Saturday, March 22 at 4 p.m. MT at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.