Until he was signed by the Rapids on January 22, 2018, defender Tommy Smith had only visited America a handful of times. It didn't take him long to settle in to the Mile High City, where he chose to live in Cherry Creek with his wife Leanne during his first MLS season. We caught up with the Macclesfield, England native following the conclusion of the 2018 campaign.
Tommy, how are you liking Colorado so far? How is it different from back home?
Colorado is beautiful. We've got a great view of the mountains and the apartment that we're in has a great rooftop area, so we just sit up there in the hot tub and watch the sunset. It's a vast contrast to where I lived in England. Ipswich is a nice area, it's ten minutes from the seaside, you don't get that in Colorado. But obviously we've got the mountains here. I've found that everyone here is so friendly. It has been a really welcoming place, and that's really helped us to get settled.
How are you liking your current neighborhood?
I live in Cherry Creek. It's a lovely area. There's a few of us that actually live in the same apartment complex, so it's nice to have a few familiar faces around. The area itself is lovely, there are so many nice restaurants and the mall, it's great!
What does a typical day off look like for you?
On a typical off day, I’ll sleep in until nine o’clock, have a bit of a lazy morning, depending on if my wife is here or not. If she's in town we might do something together, or more often than not we’ll relax by the pool if it’s a nice day. After that we’ll typically go out and play some mini golf or have a wander trying to explore a new part of town. One of our favorite places we visited was Seven Falls and Garden of the Gods down in Colorado Springs. That was beautiful. We’re definitely trying to take in all that Colorado has to offer, but obviously if I’m too tired we’ll just chill by the pool.
You mentioned that you like to go out to eat - any favorite local spots for a cheat day? Date night?
I like to eat nice food and there’s an abundance of nice restaurants in Cherry Creek. I haven’t had a bad meal in that neighborhood yet. I could recommend an endless list there, but my favorite restaurant for a date night is on Larimer Street. Ocean Prime. It’s fantastic.
What kind of hobbies do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I like to play golf. I haven’t managed to play too often with the schedule here. We have to be careful and rest up at times, but I’m hoping to play a bit more. The courses are lovely over here. As you can see from my celebrations I also love to play Fortnite.
If your friend had 24-hours in Denver, what would you recommend they do?
I would tell my friends to get up to see the sun rise at Red Rocks. Then I'd tell them to head to Wash Park for an afternoon stroll if they’re trying to stay local. But if you can - go up to the mountains and have a nice walk up there. I'd recommend making it back by lunchtime to hit up Denver Central Market for a bite. They have a large variety of food, drinks and coffee. If they want to go shopping, I have Cherry Creek Shopping Mall right at my doorstep. Into the evening I'd have them find a nice rooftop bar to sit down and have a drink at, then finish with dinner at my favorite, Ocean Prime.
Ever wonder what Rapids players lives are like off of the pitch? We've got the answers. Paint the Town Burgundy is a new content series that explores the different neighborhoods that the Colorado Rapids players reside in, and what hidden gems make them love where they live. Follow along as they reveal their favorite places around Denver to shop, dine and conduct their hobbies outside of soccer.