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Chris Sharpe: Determined to grab Colorado Rapids chance

I'm in the squad for the match against Kansas City Wizards and I'm absolutely delighted. I'm a step closer to making my MLS debut and just want to repay the faith coach Fernando Clavijo and John Murphy have shown in me. John and I have known eachother for about three years, since I first went down to the Rapids for a few weeks in 2005 before I joined Chesterfield. John has been first class to me, he has taken absolute great care of me both on and off the field and has been in constant contact since I moved to Denmark two years ago. He is a wonderful goalkeeper coach and a man that all the players admire. Taking my place on the bench for the Wizards game has been a long journey for me. I began preseason with the Rapids on the week of the 26th January. I was there for literally a week when I received a call that LA Galaxy were very interested in me. It was an opportunity I couldn't turn down so I went for it. I felt I was doing very well in LA, training well, played in one game and was strong, unfortunately due to a few circumstances outside of my control a couple of things within the club changed very, very quickly and I had a decision to make of where I wanted to play and what I wanted to play for. My agent, Lou Sticca, and I looked at it carefully and made the decision that Colorado was the right place for me to be at this time in my career. I came back to the Rapids and spent the final three weeks of preseason with the team and was offered a contract, which was fantastic. I never really thought about the contract, I just put my head down and concentrated on what I had to be doing. I knew if I did the right things the contract would come and it did, so I was very pleased with that. The actual contract itself is a little different from what I've been used to in Europe. It puts me under the title of 'League Goalkeeper', which basically places me in two categories: 1) I am not counted towards the MLS salary cap for the Rapids and 2) I am a goalkeeper for the MLS with the Rapids having my rights - as they were the club that wanted to sign me. However, at any point during the season if another club is in need of a goalkeeper and I am not in the Rapids squad they can take me. I know that Fernando and John want me at Rapids. They made that clear from the first minute I returned from the spell in LA. Basically my role this season is to chase that No1 spot. Work hard, put pressure on the right people to do their job, whilst doing mine well and when my chance comes grab it with both hands - and don't look back! Which is exactly what I intend to do. I felt great in LA, I didn't feel out of place at all. I spent alot of time with Celestine Babayaro, he is a great guy and we got along very well. Unfortunately, the Galaxy could not keep him due to salary cap restrictions. It's tough for Celestine, as he's trying to rebuild his career after being at Newcastle United. Of course, it was great to work with David Beckham. I was a big admirer of David - on and off the field - before I went to LA, but being there just escalated that for me. David is a first class person, has time for everyone and is a great professional on and off the field. Landon Donovan is a very good player and very nice guy and Ruud Gullit ... well what can you say? He is just football royalty, a very good manager, very organised and it was a great experience for me personally to be under his guidance in training. But now with Rapids - and the way we spanked them last week - I feel we're a club capable of big things this season. Inside the locker room, we believe we can do well this year. We have a relatively young squad, mixed in with some very good experienced players. We think if we can keep the majority of the boys out of the treatment room and work hard for each other we will have a very good chance of being a hard team to beat this season. There's great expectation around Tam McManus. Tommy is looking good. He picked up a little knock last week on his ankle, but for the most part has been very lively and has a great strike on him. He's true Scotsman, hard working, strong and an accent I can hardly understand!!! He was spending this week in Vancouver trying to finalise his clearance to play. For me, in the coming weeks I just want to concentrate on getting myself into that 16 week in and out and put some pressure on Bouna. In training and around the club, I'll also make sure that I am doing everything that I can to help the team continue winning.

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Tribal Football Staff

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