Chris Sharpe: Colorado Rapids facilities match for anything in Europe

The Rapids has been a great place to be this week after our win at New England Revolution.

The Rapids has been a great place to be this week after our win at New England Revolution.

It was a great victory last weekend at the Revs. It's a very difficult place to go to - and to come away with the three points was a great achievement. On the way back, there was a great feeling amongst the lads. It was a hard fought win, not the nicest game of football on the eye, but affective and a huge result for us. A real grinder, the sort of win needed if we have real playoff ambitions.

I can report there was nothing suspect with Christian Gomez going off at halftime.

Christian was fine, in fact I think it was his decision. He took a pretty hard knock at the top of his knee midway through the first half and it was giving him a lot of trouble. Keeping Christian in shape will be crucial for us, he's already made a big impact in his first weeks at the Rapids.

The Revs result also saw Tommy McManus make his MLS debut. I know the Rapids fans have been waiting anxiously to see Tommy in action. He was just happy with the result. I think he found it difficult for himself as we spent most of the second half just clearing our lines and preserving our lead. He spent most of the time just chasing the ball and closing people down. But we know how good he is in training and I think fans are in for a treat with him this season.

It's San Jose this week. They're the new franchise in the MLS this year and have had a tough time of it so far with two losses, though they probably didn't deserve their defeat last week.

I guess for our game you could say they really have nothing to lose. For us, however, we've just come off a great win and are back at home after that 4-0 victory against LA Galaxy. So we are full of confidence and believe if we keep producing good football and do the simple things well, we can come away with the three points.

Talking in our pre-match preparations yesterday, we feel that there are probably two players in the San Jose team who can be game-changing factors. Joe Cannon is a very good goalkeeper and so is forward Gavin Gliton, a player who can change a game very quickly, is very experienced and a good finisher in front of goal.

Of course, this weekend we have the post-match wrestling extravaganza! Coming from Europe, the entertainment around each MLS game is something I've never encountered before.

I personally don't know too much about the wrestling weekend, just that it had been advertised. I think the matchday events are very much for the fans. It's almost like in the USA that fans of any sport love the pre-match and post match events just as much as the actual game - which to me is something I have never experienced, as in Europe it's all about the football.

As for the players, to be honest, I don't think we know too much about it ... Unless it's something that we are interested in!

Personally, I'm happy with how I've settled in at Colorado. Bouna Coundoul has been outstanding so far this season, so I can't complain about having to wait for my chance.

Bouna and I get along great. We have known each other for a number of years now and we have great respect for each other and each other's abilities. We are two very different goalkeepers.

Bouna is in some very solid form right now. He started off with two clean sheets out of three games and that's enough to build anyone's confidence. But I believe even if Bouna was having a tough time of it, he would still tell you he was in great form!!!

The lads here have been great with myself and the new players that have come in. Everyone is very accepting, we have a great bunch of guys and are a very close team. We all live in very close proximity to each other and we all spend quite a fair bit of time away from the football field together as well.

The Rapids facilities are phenomenal. We have 27 training fields for every junior and senior level of soccer. We have one enclosed first team training field which is just like carpet everyday, and a very unique, one-of-a-kind stadium. Inside the stadium everything we have is just first class, from the dressing room, medical room, gym, video room, right through to the head offices.

It's right up there with top class facilities in Europe. Our support staff are fantastic, again we have someone for every aspect of the game - from fitness trainers, right through to kit men and administrators, who are great people and first class at their jobs.

Overall the Rapids have what is recognised as the best setup now in the MLS!

Everyone around and involved at the club are very excited with our beginning so far. I will be surprised if we don't get close to a sell-out again this weekend. The soccer community is buzzing about the Rapids' start in '08.

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