Rapids To Host Women's Soccer Celebration Doubleheader This Thursday

COMMERCE CITY CO. (Wednesday April 9 2008) – The Colorado Rapids have joined with the W-League’s Fort Collins Force to present a soccer doubleheader featuring the highest level of women’s and men’s soccer in North America as part of the Rapids’ second annual Women’s Soccer Celebration.

On May 15 2008 Dick’s Sporting Goods Park will host the Force’s duel with the defending W-League Champion Washington Freedom kicking off at 4:30 p.m. The game will precede the Rocky Mountain Cup match-up between the Colorado Rapids and their arch-rivals Real Salt Lake which will kick off at 7:30 pm MT.

The doubleheader is a part of the Rapids’ 2nd Annual Women’s Soccer Celebration which was launched in 2007 to recognize positive and influential women promote healthy lifestyles raise awareness of women’s sports and role models and unite Colorado soccer fans. Between the games the program will also feature an interactive clinic and autograph session for youth ages 3-18.

Off the field fans will get the opportunity to meet international superstar Abby Wambach after the Freedom-Force match or at the clinic. Wambach the leading scorer for the U.S. National Team will also be on the sidelines during the Freedom-Force match. "As a national team player I'm thankful to the great players who camebefore me who have made women's soccer so successful in this country Wambach said. "The Women's Soccer Celebration is a way that I can help to pass that legacy onto the young girls playing the game today. They are the future and I believe they will experience even better opportunities than I did."

After the game members of the Freedom and Force will conduct an interactive clinic and autograph session for young players ages 3-18. The clinic is scheduled to conclude before the Rapids-Real Salt Lake match. SORRY THIS CLINIC IS NOW SOLD OUT! ONLY THOSE WHO HAVE ALREADY REGISTERED FOR THE CLINIC WILL BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE AUTOGRAPH SESSION AS WELL.

"The Rapids partner with the Force because we share a belief in the power of soccer said Jeff Plush Managing Director for the Rapids. "Our annual doubleheader at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park gives soccer fans an opportunity to see the best the game has to offer in North America."

Amy Snider co-founder and owner of the Force calls the event an opportunity to bring the state’s soccer fans together. "One of the endearing aspects of soccer is how it brings people together to share their enjoyment of the game Snider said. "We think fans who follow the MLS will be impressed by what the top women’s teams have to offer. And Force fans will have a chance to show their support of their local team and the Rapids in the same evening."

For the Force the match is an opportunity to showcase a team that returns a handful of key veterans surrounded by a number of talented newcomers. Among the rising stars joining the Force roster include U.S. under-23 National Team defender Carly Peetz. Fort Collins High School standout and University of North Carolina recruit Emmalie Pfankuch will be back for her second season. The Force will also be joined by guest player and U.S. National Team star Marci Miller Jobson.

"This is not really about trying to make our season in one game said Craig Deacon entering his third season as head coach for the Force. "It’s a chance to see how our players match up with the best team in the league."

Tickets for the 2nd Annual Women’s Soccer Celebration start at just $15 and are available for purchase at the Dick's Sporting Goods Park Box Office via phone by calling TicketHorse at 1-866-461-6556 at the kiosks at any Colorado Dick’s Sporting Goods location or online by clicking here. One ticket prices includes both matches.

Fans interested participating in the clinic and autograph session presented by the Force and Freedom beginning at 6:15 p.m. may purchase tickets to that for an additional $20.

About the Fort Collins Force
The Force is entering its 12th season. Over its franchise history the Force captured a National Championship in 1998 and has attracted players to its roster from across the United States and Canada. The Force’s roster features guest player Marci Miller Jobson- '07 US National Team player '07 World Cup '00-'03 WUSA Atlanta Beat.

About the Washington Freedom
The Washington Freedom was a charter member of WUSA in 2001 and won WUSA’s Founders Cup in 2003 with a roster that included American soccer legend Mia Hamm. The Freedom transitioned to the W-League in 2004 and won the W-League title in 2007. The Freedom’s roster features Christie Welch-'05 US National Team Leading Scorer '03 WUSA NY Power Abby Wambach- US National Team ’04 Olympic gold medalist '07 US Soccer's Female Athlete of the Year and Lori Lindsey- '05 US National Team U-21 Nordic Cup Champion '03 WUSA Washington Freedom.

About the W-League
The top level of women’s soccer in North America the W-League was founded in 1994. The league has grown to 41 teams and features numerous international and former professional stars as well as elite collegiate players.