Yeah, yeah, I know, #TrophiesNotFriendlies and all that. Still, it's nice to see the Rapids putting some decent idea-making into this one. Colorado will face off against Mexican side Santos Laguna in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Friday. It's not a half-bad idea for a friendly either, as friendlies go.
There are two kinds of friendlies that I absolutely hate:
1. Friendlies against idiotically overpowered teams that will draw six times as many American bandwagoner away fans as home fans.
2. Friendlies against teams that hold absolutely no interest to anyone, in the middle of the week, at the team's home stadium where nobody will show up.
That's why I was such a fan of that Swansea friendly last year: it was midweek, but it was against a far more intriguing opponent than *Insert Mexican team here*, a young team on the rise that started a guy who ended up being one of the best breakout players in the league in Michu. The stadium wasn't full, but there was a decent crowd there and it was mostly Rapids fans, not Swansea bandwagoners who came to laugh at the Rapids losing and then go back to talking about how inferior the American soccer product is to their favorite European team.
The Rapids won it as well, and that was fun, but that's not what friendlies are all about. This one against Santos actually serves a purpose, being in an area that really should be a Rapids stronghold, but has never really been looked at as such. A good crowd is expected in Albuquerque, and I'm willing to bet that a good number of them will be there to see the Rapids. Of course, a lot of Santos fans are expected as usual, but if they can convert a few hundred people or even a few thousand into Burgundy Boys & Girls, it's mission successful. That's what you should make a friendly for.
Let's just hope nobody gets injured!