Exclusive: Holiday Wishes From the Rapids Players and Coaches!

Exclusive to - Want to know what the Rapids players and coaches have been up to so far during the off-season and what their plans are for the holidays? was able to catch up with several of the Rapids players and coaching staff who are spread out across the map this time of year!
Check out their responses below in their own words as to what they’ve been up to so far in the off-season what their plans are before the team has to report back to training camp in 2008 and their special holiday messages to all Rapids fans:
Head Coach Fernando Clavij "I am enjoying this holiday season by spending time with my kids and wife in south Florida! Happy holidays to all Rapids fans and The Blessings of Peace The Beauty of Hope and The Spirit of Love.....may these be your gifts this Christmas Season!"
Defender Ugo Ihemelu: "Hey everyone! This is the time of the year that the majority of us cherish the most for our many different reasons. For me I look forward to celebrating Kwanzaa with my wife and kids. This is the time of year to be truly thankful and enjoy all the relationships life has allowed us to have. So Happy Holidays to my entire Colorado Rapids family!"
General Manager Charlie Wright: "We are as always at this time of year busy in the front office working to sort out player contract issues and looking for opportunities to improve the roster. We are looking forward to the combine and the draft in terms of picking up some more new talent to augment our outstanding Rapids Reserve Team Champions. I will struggle through my first Christmas with no living parent with the love and support of my two sisters and kids. I hope all of the fans out there have a great holiday season and 2008 brings an MLS Cup to Colorado and the Rapids!!"
Defender Dan Gargan: "I am thankful for so much this holiday season. I have a loving family and friends that surround me on a daily basis to keep a smile on my face. It's a winter wonderland outside just in time for a white Christmas. To all the Rapids fans out there stay warm and enjoy the holidays with loved ones. See you out on the field in '08!"
Forward Herculez Gomez: "Hey guys Happy Holidays! I would just like to take this time from my busy rehab schedule to wish all of you fans a very very Happy Holiday! I am currently here in Denver enjoying what could possibly be my first white Christmas (instead of my usual NEON Christmas in Vegas) with my beautiful girlfriend Kristi. I will be working hard to come back stronger and even better to bring all you fans what you deserve next year.....The MLS Cup....and The Double would be nice too :)! So until next year Feliz Navidad!"
Defender Stephen Keel: "Greetings to all! Let me first wish a Happy Holidays to all the fans. For myself during the holiday season I will be making a couple of trips. First I will be in Cary North Carolina to watch my Demon Deacons of The Wake Forest University win a National Championship (knock on wood) from December 13th-17th. Once done hoisting the trophy I will be back in Denver where I will spend Christmas with my family. After that I will set sail down to Aruba to be a part of my friend's wedding. It will be a reunion of my college friends and in Aruba so there is not much else I could really ask for. After that it's back to Denver to start getting ready for the upcoming season. I hope everyone has a great holiday season and I look forward to seeing everyone on Opening Day on March 29th!"
Goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul: "Well hello everyone I just want to take this time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a very happy holiday season! Enjoy your time with your loved ones and family and cherish every single second as much as possible. To all Rapids fans out there I wish you well and may you have happiness this holiday season."
Defender Mike Petke: "All I want for Christmas is for our team to play to our FULL POTENTIAL because if we do we can absolutely challenge for the Cup. I even went to the mall and sat on Santa's lap after my son spent the better part of the day telling him the thousand presents he wants and told Ole Saint Nick: 'Listen forget about what my psychotic son tell you the truth the best thing he's done all year is that he stopped peeing behind the T.V. Instead of toys for that monster GIVE ME THE CUP!' I think he's with me because he smiled at security was dragging me away and Social Services was putting my son in their van. Happy Holidays to all and let's see if Santa makes my Christmas wish come true!"
Assistant Coach John Murphy: "I would like to wish all of the fans of not only of the Rapids but also of our sister clubs Pachuca and Arsenal an enjoyable holiday season. It is my hope that 2008 holds the very best for you and your family."
Forward Jacob Peterson: "Hello Rapids fans! I hope the holiday season so far has been going well for you all. Currently I am back in Michigan to spend Christmas and the New Year with the family. I had to get my wisdom teeth out and for all of you who have gone through that before you know it is not the best of times! I am still recovering but it could have been worse. The Generation Adidas trip to Spain was a good experience with a talented group of players. We played two good games and had some intense trainings. Nico Colaluca and I enjoyed our time there and we are thankful for all Adidas did for us while we were overseas! I want to wish everybody a happy holiday season and an even better new year. I look forward to seeing all of you at the end of March when Beckham and the Galaxy come to town! Happy Holidays."
On behalf of the entire Colorado Rapids organization including all the Rapids players coaches team staff and the front office happy holidays to all fans and have a safe and enjoyable holiday season!