Rapids Weekly Team Update

COMMERCE CITY CO (Sept. 18 2008) – Following back-to-back wins for the first time all season the Rapids have returned to the training pitch this week invigorated and looking to strengthen their run toward the playoffs.
With the opportunity to complete a season sweep of New England at this Saturday's home game the Rapids are gunning to make it 3 wins in a row. The last time Colorado won three straight matches was last season from August 11-26.
This week’s training had a unique addition as the team played a mid-week Reserve match defeating the FC Dallas Reserves 3-0 Wednesday morning on the Rapids' Training Field. This match was a rescheduled game from June 1.
Nico Colaluca recorded a brace and Christian Gomez scored as well for the good guys. New Rapids signing Kwame Sarkodie also made an immediate impact notching an assist. For the full match recap of the Rapids Reserves' victory over the FC Dallas Reserves click here.
Wednesday was also an atypical day for the First Team as they hit the pool for a water workout with Strength and Conditioning Coach Jamie Heiner. Doing their best Michael Phelps impressions the team was put under an intense cross-training workout at a local fitness center.
Colorado Rapids vs. New England Revolution
This Sat. Sept. 20
7:00 pm MT
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
Colorado Rapids 2 vs. Chicago Fire 0
Sun. Sept. 14
1:00 pm MT
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
Match Recap
Video highlights
The Rapids’ injury report for this week is almost like the final score for the Rapids’ defense after Sunday’s match: a clean sheet.
Only Justin Hughes who is on the club’s season-ending injury list with a right shoulder injury and Greg Dalby (right ankle) appear on the injury report and Dalby is listed as 'Probable' for this Saturday’s game against New England.
Both Ugo Ihemelu and Mehdi Ballouchy returned to action from concussions coming into the game on Sunday playing 24 and 20 minutes respectively.
Striker Conor Casey also made his return to fitness coming back from an ankle injury to play 11 minutes again the Fire.
Home-Sweet-Home: With their 2-0 win over Chicago on Sunday the Rapids earned their ninth victory of the 2008 season equaling last year’s season total. Colorado have won seven matches at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park this season with three home games remaining. In 2007 the first year of the club’s new stadium Colorado only won six matches at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. One reason the Rapids may be so tough at home this year may be because they have only allowed nine goals to road teams all season. Only three other MLS teams have allowed fewer than 10 goals at home (Salt Lake Toronto and Chicago).
Assist-Man Cookie: Midfielder Terry Cooke is tied for third in the league with nine assists on the season. This is the second-highest assist total of his four-year career. In 2006 he led MLS with 12 assists on the season. He currently has registered an assist in the Rapids' last two matches. Cooke also strung together a three-game assist streak earlier in the year which is the second longest assist streak in the league this season. Cooke now has 30 lifetime assists as a member of the Rapids moving him up to second all-time in Rapids history behind Chris Henderson (53).
League-Leading Defense: Through 24 games this season the Rapids lead all MLS clubs in "total shots against