preseason-2

Although the 2022 season did not end the way they’d have liked, the Rapids are ready to put in the work and show their fans, competition, and the rest of the league that they have something to prove in 2023. 

Stationed in Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico for the first portion of 2023 preseason, Robin Fraser’s squad is already building upon existing chemistry with returning players while integrating some new additions to make the preparation for this year a successful one. 

Players like captain Jack Price, Braian Galván, and Oliver Larraz who are coming back from injuries sustained in 2022 are getting back into the mix, as well as midfielder Cole Bassett returned from his loan in the Netherlands. They are joined by the new faces of Kévin Cabral and Calvin Harris, forwards from LA Galaxy and FC Cincinnati, respectively, acquired during the offseason. 

“We're just getting back some of the players who, for various reasons, we weren't able to utilize last year, so excited about having some of those guys back,” said Rapids head coach Robin Fraser. “Really looking forward to getting them back into the swing of things. We know how good they have been for us. And we certainly look forward to having them again, and with regard to new players are brought in, [they’re] some exciting athletic players who we think are going to be a good fit for us.”

Fraser also noted the fitness of the team as they hit the altitude of Querétaro. 

“Everyone is really, really fit,” he said. “That would lead me to believe that everyone is as disappointed by the way the season ended as I was because guys appear to have taken their offseason really seriously. So for us, the expectation is that we perform more consistently week in week out.”

Many opposing fans can tell when their team is exhausted by the time the second half at DSGP rolls around, but the Rapids take advantage of the mile-high altitude by training in similar conditions before the season officially kicks off.

Querétaro stands at about 5,971 feet in altitude, almost 700 feet higher than the Rapids’ home base of DICK’S Sporting Goods Park. The ability to train at a similar height and climate as Colorado is invaluable to the Rapids when preparing for the upcoming season and taking on Sporting Kansas City in the home opener on March 4. 

With a little over a month left to train and build upon new and existing bonds throughout the team before the season officially starts, Fraser is excited about the opportunities 2023 holds, especially the players’ ambition. 

“I think there's a lot of people that have a lot of things to prove,” the head coach said. “And I think we've been at our best when our players are out to prove something. Based on the way things went last year, I think there are a lot of guys who have come in with maybe a different motivation than the year before. We didn’t finish where we wanted to [in 2022], I think it left everyone with a bitter taste, and a renewed sense of hunger to prove that we're better than we were last year. And as I watched this in training, the first couple of days, I have very little doubt that a lot of our players have that on their mind.”