Chris Sharpe: Paul Bravo great for Colorado Rapids
The kickoff to preseason is only days away and I feel in great shape. Rehab from my ankle injury is going great. I have been training with our goalkeeper coach for the past three weeks and I'm beginning to feel very strong. I have been in with the physio four days a week throughout the off season as well as seeing the rehabilitation specialist for the scar tissue. Everyone has been first class and its starting to really pay off.
I know coach Gary Smith is looking forward to taking charge for his first preseason at the Rapids.
I have seen Gary quite a bit throughout the off-season. I see him everyday I am at the training ground. Whether I am in there with the goalkeeper coach or in the gym, Gary and the coaching staff are always in there.
We have had a few conversations about a number of things, but obviously he can't reveal a whole lot to me. However, we have chatted about preseason trips and plans amongst many other things.
From what I have heard, it looks like trips to Florida and LA for preseason this year. With preseason beginning next week, we will find out the exact the plans. I am not 100 per cent sure about the trip to Arsenal this season. But with the current weather in Colorado right now 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit ... who needs to go anywhere?!!
We should hear about which clubs we'll face in preseason in the coming days.
It's great to have Paul Bravo back with the Rapids.
In fact, I believe having Paul return to the Rapids is huge for us. He is very knowledgeable about the MLS and the players across America.
I knew Paul from when I was at the LA Galaxy last year and he is a great guy. I think it is a position we as a club need. It's important to have someone to scout players both abroad and domestically, oversee the young academies programs and generally assist with the everyday behind-the-scenes workings of the coaching staff. Obviously, Paul was a great player and has great knowledge of the game and it will be a huge asset to have him on board.
We should know more about whose staying and who's going from next week when everyone returns for preseason.
I think the arrival of Ty Harden is a great signing of us.
I don't know a whole lot about Ty. He was at LA Galaxy for the beginning of 2008 when I was there and he actually left the club while I was training with them. He was the 2007 Defensive Player of the Year for the Galaxy and from what I heard from other lads in the team he was a very good player.
There are always rumors here and there about people coming and going. Most of the lads are coming back, but there will be a few surprises next week in the dressing room, I am sure. We have obviously picked up a few young players in the Draft last week, so there will be plenty of competition for spots over the next eight weeks. This especially considering each team will only be 24 players strong this year.
I know there's a bit of debate about the scrapping of the reserves comp, but I don't think there will be much fallout from the players involved.
We all knew it would be on the cards for the 2009 season, along with the cutting of the roster slots to 24. The players' main concern is going to be the lack of games for those not playing regular first team football and the lads coming back from injury.
In saying this, however, having a manager like Gary Smith will give the Rapids an advantage over other teams. With Gary coming from England, he knows plenty about getting friendlies setup for the lads that need games, I am sure of that.