Colorado Rapids Weekly Team Update

COMMERCE CITY CO (Thurs. Oct. 23 2008) – The Rapids didn’t have too much time to let the emotions of last Saturday’s victory over Chivas soak in before their thoughts turned to the task at hand against Real Salt Lake this Saturday night.
The club returned to Denver Sunday night landing just before the start of a new day. The players were given Monday off while Gary Smith and his technical staff reviewed the match film and were breaking down their own performances from Saturday as well as reviewing film from Real Salt Lake’s 3-1 win over FC Dallas.
As would be expected in the final weeks of October weather has started to become a factor in Colorado. Training through bitter high winds the club managed to get in their preparation early this week on the club's official training pitch.
Players found it difficult to communicate through the gusting winds and even more challenging to exchange passes over any type of distances.
Saturday’s weather forecast looks a lot more pleasing but the players had some good character building moments out on the fields complex this week in preparation for Saturday.
For the full match preview of Saturday’s all-important game featuring interactive projected lineups insider game notes head-to-head stats broadcast details and the latest injury and suspension reports as well as details on all the promotions taking place at the match click here!
Colorado Rapids vs. Real Salt Lake
This Saturday Oct. 25
7:30 p.m. MT
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
Colorado Rapids 2 at Chivas USA 1
Sunday Oct. 19
6:00 p.m. MT
The Home Depot Center
Match Recap
Video highlights

Now in the final week of the regular season the Rapids are looking at a few minor injuries suffered to players during last week’s training and match. With all that is on the line surrounding Saturday’s match the training staff and players are putting in the extra time and energy to be at full strength for that final push toward the playoffs.
Cory Gibbs who injured his groin last Thursday did not make the trip with the club to play Chivas last week missing his first start as a member of the Rapids since signing with the team on August 13. Gibbs is listed as ‘Questionable’ and could see a return to the pitch Saturday.
Greg Dalby also suffered a late week injury to his ankle and is listed as ‘Doubtful’ for Saturday.
Other players who have recently battled through injuries like Mike Petke and Christian Gomez are now healthy enough to be left off the league’s injury report altogether.
Closing Out the Regular Season: Needing three points in their final regular season game to advance to the postseason the Rapids will have to do something the club has not accomplished since the 1998 season…win back-to-back matches to end the year. Colorado are 4-5-3 all-time in regular season finales with a 2-2-2 record in season-ending matches at home. The Rapids have not finished the season with a victory since their 1-0 win at Salt Lake on October 12 2005.
Just for Kicks: There have been seven penalty kicks taken in the Rapids’ last four games and at least one has been converted in each game. It’s the first time in club history that the Rapids have played four consecutive games with converted penalties. The last time there were two games in a row was May 8 and 14 2005 and the last time there were three games in a row was June 11 15 and 18 also in 2005.
Leading the Way: With a goal and an assist respectively last week against Chivas USA Conor Casey and Terry Cooke increased their team leads in each category. Casey has recorded a career-high 10 goals on the year to date while Cooke has tallied a career-high-tying 12 assists. Not since the 2003 season have the Rapids had players register double digits in the goals and assists categories. That season three different players reached double digits in goals and two players achieved the mark in assists.
Rapids Playoff Watch: With just one game remaining in the regular season the Rapids find themselves in fourth place in the Western Conference. This year the top three teams in each conference make the playoffs as well as the next two teams with the highest point total regardless of conference. Colorado (11-14-4 37 points) stand 2 points behind Real Salt Lake setting up a "winner-take-all" match-up this Saturday between the two Rocky Mountain Cup rivals. For a full breakdown and look inside the race to the 2008 MLS Cup Playoffs click here.
'From the Pitch' Makes a Move: Marcelo Balboa's weekly 'From The Pitch' radio show has moved to a new date time and location. The show will no longer be broadcast live from the Cantina at Dick's Sporting Goods Park due to the new early broacast hour; fans can instead tune in to the show's new broadcast time live from the Mile High Sports Radio studio every Thursday from 10am-noon on Mile High Sports Radio 1510am or listen live on their computer via webcast by clicking here. The show will also be re-broadcast on Sundays from 8-10am as well.