It’s no surprise that the Colorado Rapids’ sixth inductee into the Gallery of Honor is the one and only Conor Casey. He’s a Colorado local, growing up right here in Denver, was a fan favorite, and holds the team record for goals scored in a career. And this season Casey re-joined the Rapids as an assistant coach to former teammate Pablo Mastroeni.
Richard Fleming summarizes Casey’s route to playing in Colorado really well in this piece:
“He watched the likes of Paul Bravo, John Spencer and Wolde Harris at the old Mile High Stadium as a Rapids fan, and played soccer at South High School, before two years at the University of Portland. But, rather than turn to MLS, he opted to start his professional career abroad, spending the years 2000-06 in Germany, at Borussia Dortmund, Hannover 96, Karlsruhrer SC and Mainz 05.
Originally allocated to Toronto FC at the start of 2007, Casey found minutes limited, due to having Edson Buddle and Alecko Eskandarian in front of him but, as he told me: ‘They (Toronto) knew that I wanted to get home.
These things take time, but within a couple of games into the season I finally got word that I was on my way home, and I was thrilled.’”
Casey got to come home as part of a deal with Toronto FC on April 19, 2007, and subbed into his first Rapids game on April 22, 2007. His first start for the team was in a U.S. Open Cup match on May 23, 2007, and his first MLS goal came vs. the LA Galaxy on August 26, 2007. He went on to score more goals than any other Rapids player, finishing with 50 goals over the course of his career in Colorado. Casey also earned MLS Cup MVP in 2010 for his strike to even up the match and send things into extra time.
A Colorado kid turned himself into a Colorado Rapids icon. Conor Casey had quite the career in burgundy. pic.twitter.com/PTJIRpaSS8— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) June 1, 2017
Even though Casey started his time with the Rapids wearing the number 26, he quickly snatched up the number 9 as soon as it was available, and that’s the number that will be used for his Gallery of Honor induction.
The presentation will be held before the 7:00 p.m. game on June 3rd, so get there early. You can also purchase a Conor Casey bobblehead or poster that night.
Oh, and get your chanting voice ready.