Looks as though the Rapids will spend another preseason in the Grand Canyon state of Arizona. In what is used to be known as the Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson featuring FC Tucson along with numerous other MLS teams, is now the Sun Cup to be held in both Phoenix and Tucson sponsored by Mobile Mini Solutions. Ten other MLS teams will also be participating in this 3 week preseason event as well. Tournament dates are Feb 3rd-24th. Full Story here.
FC Tucson were acquired by Phoenix Rising FC just recently, back in October 2017.
If you want to follow event on social media, you can below.
Feb 24 – Rapids lose 4-1 to Sporting KC. Rapids took a beating allowing 4 goals to Sporting, 3 of those on penalties.
Feb 25 – Rapids trade for international spot. Adding to what’s been one the most busy off seasons in Rapids history, they trade allocation monies with San Jose for an international slot.
Feb 27 – Gashi with a goal and an assist in 3-0 win over Arizona United SC. Rapids DP Shkelzen Gashi opens his scoring account albeit preseason. Will his assist on Doyle’s goal in the 31st minute be a common sight this season on pitches all around the MLS in 2016? Rapids fans can only hope so.
Only 7 days until the start of the MLS season.
Feb 14 – Rapids acquire Miller from Montreal. Rapids add depth, experience, and added competition to the back line.
Feb 17 – Rapids 3-1 loss to Swope Park Rangers in Desert Diamond Cup. First match of the Desert Diamond Cup and a loss to first season USL side, Swope Park Rangers. Rapids 3-1 in preseason.
Feb 20 – Rapids drop points to Dynamo in a 0-0 draw. A draw is better than a loss. Unfortunately I didnt get to watch this match as I was at Coors Field taking in the Battle on Blake hockey game between Colorado College and DU. That’s the reason there was no Full 90 game recap.
Rapids lose their first game of the preseason. It was the first match of the 2016 Desert Diamond Cup for both clubs.
What was worse, losing to a team that right now is barely more than a local YMCA team or the poor online streaming efforts that was at times 4-8 minutes behind the live action via the Rapids twitterfeed? Let’s just say both for now.
The GOOD – Dominique Badji with the only first half highlight with a header from a DIllon Powers free kick tying the score in the 19th min at 1-1.
The BAD – Defense and goal tending. 3 soft goals given up by both Froschauer(2) and McMath(1), the first coming in the first minute of play. Also bad, the lack of possession (aka turnovers)and no resemblance of any attacking football anywhere by the Rapids.
The UGLY – See this Rapids tweet below post game with Pablo.
Clearly if this was their focus on the game, “attacking the ball after a turnover” then what we all know to be true about Pablo, the head coach, that he has no clue and it’s gonna be another long season for Rapids supporters.
Here’s a thought Pablo, how about this for an idea, attacking football should be a focus. How about creating some chemistry on the field, not just on offense, but on the defensive side as well! How about not only creating and maintaining possession, but doing something with possession besides shooting balls over the top and hoping!
The match really was a tale of two halves. The first half being the better of the two halves for the Rapids. Despite giving up an early goal in the 8th minute, The Rapids found the equalizer in the 28 minute thanks to Dillon Serna. The second half saw the Rapids with a man advantage early but they were never able to capitalize on. The midfield play became a bit stagnant compared to the first half and this is where I believe a player like Juan Ramirez will make a difference in midfield. His ability to take defenders on one v one will open up the field of play for others. Ramirez didnt play in this game, but we’ve seen what he can do on the ball.
Rapids finish the preseason 2-2-2, but the look of this team in the preseason you can say that right now this is a different and much better team than the one that finished the 2014 season. The Rapids finish the preseason back in Colorado ahead of their regular season opener against the Philadelphia Union on Mar 7th.
After a 1-1 draw with New England last Saturday and a 1-0 win over FC Tucson on Wednesday, the Rapids will play in the Desert Diamond Cup final this Saturday. The Rapids this preseason have a 2-1-2 record, (including the UNLV game).
I know results shouldnt really matter in the preseason and it’s more about putting together a game plan for the season and at the same time building a team that can execute that game plan with positive results during the season and into the playoffs. I will argue that when you are winless in the last 14 games of a season that results in the current preseason are just as important as they will be during the 2015 regular season.
The Desert Diamond Cup Final will be streamed online, this Saturday starting at 7pm.
I know it’s only preseason, but if this were the regular season, the Rapids who lead for a majority of the game holding 3 points in their grasp. Sporting scored in the 77th and the tying goal in the 78th minute, both goals coming after the Rapids were playing down a man on the ejection of Francisco Flores in the 75th minute.
Again it’s only preseason but this is where the Rapids have to begin to tighten the screws and bolts as they head into the start of the new season and a loss like this can hopefully serve as a learning point moving forward. Points dropped during the season like this will serve as another long season for the Rapids and their fans.
Dominque Badji and Gaby Torres both scored for the Rapids with assists from Lucas Pittinari and Vicente Sanchez. Zac MacMath was in net for the Rapids. If you include the preseason game against UNLV, then the Rapids are 1-1-1 so far this preseason.
Rapids will play their next preseason game of the Desert Diamond Cup against the New England Revolution this Saturday.
The Rapids in their first preseason match against an MLS opponent Sunday night, were unable to find the back of the net, in a 2-0 loss to San Jose in the first Las Vegas Pro Soccer Challenge Cup. Recap here.
Nothing to worry about just yet as we’re talking preseason and according to Pablo this was mostly about the team competing and fitness.
I do hope at some point this preseason it’s more about tactics and execution of a game plan as well as building a winning attitude and roster. Time will tell with the season opener less than a month away.
The Rapids now head to Tucson for the Desert Diamond Cup, first game on Wednesday.
The Rapids will play their first match of the preseason in Las Vegas against the San Jose Earthquakes Feb 15th at Cashman Field. In the first ever Las Vegas Pro Soccer Challenge Cup(way too long of a name). Full story here.
The Rapids then head to Tucson to take part in the Desert Diamond Cup from Feb 18-28th hosted by the United Soccer Leagues PDL team, F.C. Tucson. Accommodations and ticket information here. Eight other MLS teams along with the Rapids will participate in preseason activities in Tucson, New England Revolution, Houston Dynamo, Sporting Kansas City, Real Salt Lake, Portland Timbers, Vancouver Whitecaps, Seattle Sounders, San Jose Earthquakes as early as January 31st.