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Could Stephen Keel Be Coming Home to Colorado and Other Football Thoughts

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Random thoughts on a Friday

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

It's Friday here at the Wave and although it is a bit of a slow time in Colorado Rapids land there are a few football related things to chat about:

1)  Stephen Keel Coming Home--Did you see this:

So it looks like Keel is on trial with the Rapids and this is a move that appears to be one that makes sense on a number of fronts.  First, Keel is out of contract with FC Dallas so he is clearly looking for a team and at just 32 years old he has mileage left on the tires.  Secondly, Keel is a Colorado kid (born in Littleton) and is a former Rapids player (from 2005-2009).  Thirdly, the Rapids need defenders as they have just five on the roster.

What is puzzling about this potential move is that the Rapids did not sign Maynor Figueroa (who just was signed by FCD) but might take a shot on Keel.  Maybe they feel the potential price for Keel is better than what they would have had to have paid to keep Figueroa.

Overall, I am OK with this potential move.  Keel may not be the flashiest of players in Major League Soccer, but he is a good and solid defender who would fit into this group.

2)  Summer of Soccer--we really are spoiled for choice as soccer fans in the United States this summer.   So we have the 2016 Copa America Centenario kicking off in June.  The Euro Championships (help in France) will be all over our televisions starting in June as well.  And let's not forget that we have the Olympics in Rio in August where both the USMNT and USWNT have a shot at playing in.

And now, we have the Colorado Cup.

Say what?!?

Yep, as reported today by The Denver Post, the Colorado Cup is coming to the Centennial State in July:

Top German soccer teams will scrimmage, coach and mentor in Colorado for two weeks in July, a series of events aiming to elevate the state's profile among international tourists and supercharge the already vibrant soccer scene.

The Colorado Cup is a big deal for soccer fans. They'll get to see Bundesliga teams Mainz 05 and Mönchengladbach practice and play against two top-tier, though still unnamed, teams from Mexico.

So this is very cool.  I know that the Bundesliga is not as popular here in the United States as the Premier League is, but it is very enjoyable (and honestly better football) and the idea of getting two big clubs here in Colorado is amazing.  It's kind of a bummer that they are not playing at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, but what a great opportunity to see great football here in Colorado.

3)  Preseason Update: We have our preseason primer up on the site, but here is the official schedule from the Rapids and what they will be doing:

Friday 1/22: Players report to Dick's Sporting Goods Park
Monday 1/25: Training begins at Dick's Sporting Goods Park
Sunday 1/31: Travel to San Diego
Thursday 2/11: Media Day in Denver
Friday 2/12: Travel to Sacramento
Saturday 2/13: Friendly vs. Sacramento Republic FC
Monday 2/15: Travel to Tucson
Wednesday 2/17: Match vs. Swope Park Rangers
Saturday 2/20: Match vs. Houston Dynamo
Wednesday 2/24: Match vs. Sporting Kansas City
Saturday 2/27: Match vs. TBD
Sunday 2/28: Return to Denver

The Rapids are getting out at the right time on Sunday as it looks like Denver is in line for a pretty good winter storm starting on Sunday.  Forecasts are calling for (as of right now) for 8-13" of snow in the Metro.

And remember, we are just 37 days from First Kick and 43 days from the Home Opener!