Despite the overwhelming urge to write pages upon pages on the encapsulating moment of jubilation the USMNT gave our country last night, I'm going to stick with a Rapids theme for today's Wave. Here are my three thoughts for this week.
1) To All The Haters--Questions have often been asked of the Rapids' marketing department. Whether it's their dedication to the cause or their tactical know-how, or even just their lack of resources, some fans have often been critical of the way the Rapids are marketed. Regardless of what your stance may be, one can only admit that the Rapids marketing and public relations teams KILLED IT this past weekend at the World Soccer Celebration in center of downtown Denver. Not only did it provide one of the most incredible game atmospheres I've ever experienced for the USA-Ghana game, it also got the word out about the Rapids and soccer in general. There were player appearances, giveaways, ticket deals, a futsal court, huge inflatable thingies... an American Gladiator-style joust areana?!? But, most importantly, the Rapids name and logo were everywhere and the hype generated from the World Cup will (hopefully) transfer seamlessly to the Rapids' season. So kudos to them.
Also, I saw multiple Rapids commercials on ESPN during the World Cup. No way that was cheap.
2) Tonight's Lineup Is Huge--The Rapids will take on Orlando City tonight in their first US Open Cup match of 2014. The starting XI trotted out by Pablo Mastroeni will say much about how seriously he and his coaching staff are taking this year's domestic tournament. Mastroeni has previously stated he does, indeed, plan on taking the US Open Cup seriously, a notion reiterated by Assistant Coach Steve Cooke earlier today. Granted, your first thoughts will be "we've heard this one before," but who plays and who sits on Tuesday will paint a very clear picture. Not only is it a chance to get revenge on the side that knocked them out of last year's tournament, but it's also in the middle of a well-timed World Cup break for Colorado. No need to rest players for this one. Here's to hoping they field a strong group.
3) Ciao Do You Like Them Apples?--I had the opportunity to interview the President of Ciao Telecom North America, Don Pinkston, this past weekend. The things he had to say about what the company had planned for Dick's Sporting Goods Park were pretty incredible. The full article is over on coloradorapids.com. Click here to view it.
Finally, I will leave you with this: as you continue to enjoy the splendor that is the World Cup, don't forget to devote a little bit of time to your friendly neighborhood MLS (or NASL/USL/PDL) club. There are some terrific US Open Cup ties this week to add further fuel to your soccer fire.