The home opener. Nothing beats it in all of sports. The hope. The optimism. They are always there at a home opener. The sky is the limit. The hope of winning a Cup is there.
Is it reality? For 19 Major League Soccer teams, it is not. But for fans of the Colorado Rapids, we sure will have that hope that Saturday will be the start of something special at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
Obviously no one can actually predict how the season is going to go for the Rapids, and there are certainly a variety of opinions on this, but rather then try and figure how this will all shake out, I thought I would share my most memorable home openers (in chronological order):
March 29, 2008--Colorado Rapids 4:0 LA Galaxy
This was my first match at Dick's Sporting Goods Park and it was a special one. I was with a buddy and we got season tickets in Section 102. The atmosphere was festive and there was that whole 'David Beckham' guy who made his first appearance at DSGP. And, of course, the result. The Rapids thumped the Galaxy in a bad way and it was such a great experience. A completely sold out stadium. A beautiful night. And the club beating the snot out of a Western Conference opponent.
March 19, 2011--Colorado Rapids 3:1 Portland Timbers
This one will never be forgotten as it was the match where the banner was raised. Such a festive atmosphere and seeing the cup being brought in is something that I still look back on with fond memories. Playing Portland that match was fantastic as well since it was their first match in Major League Soccer and getting to pre-game with some folks from the Timbers Army was tremendous. And of course, the result helped. The Lads showed up and made us proud to support the defending MLS Cup Champion Colorado Rapids.
9 10, 2013--Colorado Rapids 1:2 Philadelphia Union
2013 was a tough year for snow events in Colorado. No one will forget the USMNT Snow Classico in World Cup Qualifying at DSGP, but let us not forget that there was another snow game in Colorado that year. In fact, it snowed so much that the game was pushed back a day from March 9th to March 10th. The game as a whole was a stinker as the Rapids dropped a poor result to the Union. It was also the last time that Matt Pickens started a match for the Rapids.
March 22, 2014--Colorado Rapids 2:0 Portland Timbers
This one I remember not so much for the play, but more for the bitter cold and absolutely terrible weather. It was snowing, cold and miserable and there were about 20 fans in the stadium. The game featured two PK's by the Rapids and a red card for the Timbers keeper. But again, the weather was just horrid and I remember being frozen to the bone. And getting sick after this one. However, it was one of the 8 wins the Rapids would get in 2014!
And so we are 72 + hours from the opener. Excitement is building and the players are ready. Will it be a memorable one? Maybe. Maybe not. But it will be a forecasted 74 degrees and that is something to celebrate.