Tonight is a special night, for tonight we honor one of our own, and one of our greats. Conor Casey will become the sixth inductee into our Gallery of Honor, joining the likes of Marcelo Balboa, Paul Bravo, Chris Henderson, John Spencer, and Pablo Mastroeni.
We are delighted to have Conor back with us as Assistant Coach, but it is for his record on the field that he is being rightly honored this evening. Raised in Denver, Conor remains the club’s all-time leading scorer, having netted 50 goals in 119 appearances. He also scored the equalizer in our MLS Cup win of 2010, and was named MLS Cup MVP.
Please join us before the game to help honor a player who has given so much for this club. The Gallery of Honor ceremony will take place at 6:50 p.m., so make sure to be in your seat nice and early.
It is fitting, as Conor joins an elite group of club legends, that tonight we welcome Columbus Crew SC (TICKETS), the club with which Conor ended his playing career. Crew SC arrive off the back of a fine 3-0 home win over Seattle Sounders FC in midweek, but we will be looking for back-to-back success, after the 1-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City seven days ago.
That was a match to remember for our Homegrown player Kortne Ford. A young man who is going through so much off the field, gave it his all on the field, and I am both proud and delighted that his performance helped push the side to a hard-earned win against one of the league’s top teams.
Stick around after tonight’s MLS game, as our Special Olympics Unified Team play their first game of the year. Special Olympics Colorado meet Special Olympics Ohio, on the stadium field, immediately after the First Team’s encounter.
A reminder that fans not wishing to drive to the stadium can take advantage of the RTD's bus which came into effect last weekend. The new RTD 62 bus route is a great way to travel to Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Click HERE for full details.
If you missed it last week, on its return, then there’s another opportunity to take part in the 50/50 raffle. Fans may purchase tickets online at www.5050colorado.com and in person throughout Dick's Sporting Good Park from the time the doors open until approximately midway through the second half for Rapids games. One lucky fan will win half of the net proceeds from Saturday's raffle ticket sales. The other half will benefit Colorado Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA), Kroenke Sports Charities and other designated charities dedicated to youth sports programs in Colorado. You do not have to be present to enter.
Burgundy Boulevard, located outside of Gate F on the west side of the stadium, opens at 5:00 p.m. There will be the usual $3 Budweiser and Bud Light in Eighteen76, as well as the SoccerFest Family Zone, the Toyota Soccer Kick Inflatable, yard games, and giveaways. Plus, The DBC Denver will perform live as part of the Bud Burgundy Concert Series, from 6:00 p.m.
Click HERE for a full rundown of events surrounding this evening’s match.
Meanwhile, the Rapids Poster Series continues. These amazing posters are sold during select home games, to benefit Kroenke Sports Charities. A limited number will be released, each featuring a different local artist’s design. Click HERE to find out about tonight's Conor Casey poster. These are $10 each and will be available for purchase at Burgundy Boulevard prior to gates opening, and at the top of Section 129 in-stadium. Plus, you can also purchase a Conor Casey commemorative bobblehead for $15, while the poster/bobblehead together will be $20.
We take a break from MLS action after tonight, but make way for World Cup qualifiers, including the USA against Trinidad and Tobago here at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park next Thursday (June 8). Tim Howard is still considered the nation’s number one, according to USMNT head coach, Bruce Arena. We also have Mekeil Williams representing T&T, and so the very best of luck to both.
After tonight, our next game is our first step into the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. We host Oklahoma City Energy FC on Tuesday, June 13. Click HERE for tickets. That game is followed four days later with another home contest, against 2015 MLS Cup champions Portland Timbers (TICKETS).
We look forward to welcoming you back to our fine stadium. First, though, enjoy tonight’s game, and let’s see if we can go into the break with another win.
Come on you Rapids!