Happy 4th of July, and welcome to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for the 19th annual 4thFest, presented by Westerra Credit Union! This is always one of the most special nights of the year put on by the Rapids and Commerce City, and we’re delighted that you’re joining us here at the stadium tonight. With music, fireworks, and activities for fans of all ages, we know you’ll enjoy your time here at our stadium, especially those attending the match against the Columbus Crew, which is presented by HealthONE. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m., and we’re expecting a standing-room only crowd!
Speaking of our match against Columbus, I want to take this opportunity to let the Crew and all their fans know that our thoughts and prayers remain with Lt. Stu Tudor, who was severely injured by the inclement weather prior to the Crew’s match last weekend. Along with everyone else in the Major League Soccer community, we wish a fast recovery for Mr. Tudor, and we give our best to his friends and family, and everyone he helps in his job in the Columbus Fire Department.
Turning to soccer, we’re excited to hit the field again tonight after such a strong result in our match last weekend, a 2-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps. Dillon Powers and Vicente Sánchez both scored, with Clint Irwin earning his sixth shutout of 2014, and it was truly an effective and efficient team performance.
We’ve also got a new addition to the squad in Carlos Alvarez, acquired on Tuesday in a trade with Chivas USA for Nathan Sturgis. While we thank Nathan for all he gave to the club, we’re excited about Carlos, and hope he can help us keep pushing up the Western Conference standings. Last week’s result tied us for second place with Real Salt Lake, and hopefully we can take sole control of that spot after tonight.
While you can find more information about all the events and activities that are part of 4thFest throughout the website, I do want to highlight a couple of things that you can look forward to. The first is the Hazel Miller Band, which will be performing on a stage to the south of the stadium, starting at 7 p.m. As one of Denver’s most popular bands, they are a treat, and for those of you attending the match, you’ll be able to see part of the performance on the big screen following the game.
Also, as usual, we’ll be presenting the largest fireworks display in the state of Colorado, thanks to Zambelli Fireworks. Those start at about 10 p.m., so be sure to get a good spot on the field to watch!
Thanks again for coming out to tonight’s match, as well as to all our World Cup viewing parties throughout Denver over the last couple of weeks (and through to the end of the tournament). We were all proud of the U.S. team’s performance, showing skill and grit throughout their four matches, and appreciate their work in making a truly special run in the Cup. We hope we can get a win in their honor here on the 4th of July!
Come on you Rapids!