The Colorado Rapids began preparing for Saturday’s match against LA Galaxy in Carson with training this week at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Here are some notes from Tuesday’s practice.
Aside from Tim Howard and Mekeil Williams, who are away on international duty with the national teams of the United States and Trinidad and Tobago, everyone on the Rapids roster was present in practice. And all the players seem 100% healthy, as none of the players present were held out of any drills or scrimmages.
Without Tim Howard, the Rapids only had two goalkeepers in training. Zac MacMath and John Berner did their usual drills with coach Chris Sharpe before joining in on 7v7 and 8v8 scrimmages. The Rapids could bring back Cody Mizell, who plays for the Charlotte Independence. He was brought in on loan in a similar situation in March, when Berner was hurt.
The club ran a 9v9 scrimmage with two teams, orange and blue. The orange team was Alan Gordon, Mohammed Saeid, Nana Boateng, Mike da Fonte, Marlon Hairston, Luis Gil, Joshua Gatt, and John Berner. The blue team was Jared Watts, Micheal Azira, Bobby Burling, Shkëlzen Gashi, Stefan Aigner, Dominique Badji, Dillon Serna, Eric Miller, and Zac MacMath. Kevin Doyle, who had participated in all earlier drills, went off on his own.
After agility and PT drills, the team did a 1-or-2 touch pass-and-move drill. Jared Watts fielded an errant pass with a neat high-footed pivot-and-sombrero to make a clean and uninterrupted pass, which Steve Cooke responded with “Wattsy looking like f***ing Ronaldo!”
It was Josh Gatt’s birthday, so he ran a water bottle gauntlet at the end of practice and got doused. John Babiak took these great photos of it:
Finally, Cooke gathered the team for a talk afterwards, and after discussing the recent struggles, concluded with the words :"Learn from these lessons and keep looking forward".