Welcome to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for tonight’s match, as we host Vancouver Whitecaps FC in a critical Western Conference matchup. We’re currently tied with the Whitecaps in the standings, and a win tonight would help us maintain an advantage over them that we established earlier this year when José Mari scored a pair of great goals in our 2-1 win at their place.
This is our first league match since June 9, as we all paused from league games to watch the group stage of the FIFA World Cup. It was an incredibly exciting two weeks, and I want to personally thank all of you who came out to the World Soccer Celebration presented by Western Union in Skyline Park for the opening weekend of the tournament, culminating in such an exciting win for the U.S. over Ghana, with over 3500 people watching that game! We hope to see many of you at the viewing party for the U.S.’ next game, against Belgium in the round of 16, on Tuesday at noon at the British Bulldog.
While we haven’t played a league game in almost three weeks, we did have a pair of home matches in the U.S. Open Cup, first beating Orlando City SC by a 5-2 score before losing to the Atlanta Silverbacks 2-1 earlier this week. We were all disappointed to be eliminated from the tournament, especially in such a frustrating match, but we appreciate the support that all of you who came out to those games gave us.
I also want to take this opportunity to remind you about our 19th annual 4thFest, presented by Westerra Credit Union, which takes place next Friday here at the stadium. There will be tons of activities around the stadium, as well as a Rapids match against the Columbus Crew inside, and we’ll end it once again with the biggest Independence Day fireworks display in the state. It will also be great to have the Hazel Miller Band here – the group is a Denver favorite and will be playing a long set outside Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Coming to 4thFest is free, and there are still tickets to the game, which is presented by HealthONE, so click here to get those before they’re gone!
Before wrapping up, I also want to say goodbye to Jeff Jacobsen, our Vice President of Commercial Operations, whose last match with the club is tonight. He has done a lot of great work since joining the Rapids more than two years ago, including helping build our relationship with Special Olympics Colorado. Thank you for all your hard work, JJ, and we all wish you the best moving forward!
Thank you again for coming out to tonight’s match, and stop by our Team Shop and get the Merch of the Match – a Colorado Rapids hat in any of three colors for just $15. As always, if you need anything, please speak to a Rapids Customer Service Representative, and I’m always available on Twitter at @tkhinchey3.
Come on you Rapids!