Went to catch the Rapids practice on Tuesday after driving down to Boulder on official H.I.F. business... Cruised over to Westminster and got there about a half hour after practice started... Goalies worked separately for about the first hour, while the rest of the team was split squad, playing small field-small cone goals... then for a half hour, Hanki set up dummies (not the runs, or fake traps, but the big stiffs like TeamUSA) to represent the 4 defenders setting the offside trap, and had either Beckerman, Pablo, or Powell play 1-2 and then serve to a striker or winger who was allowed one touch to beat the keeper (all keepers participated)... Then the squad was split again for small field-regulation goals, two fifteen minute halves... (Spenny scored off a sublime Hendo service) final score 3-1 Blue team with Garlick taking most of the punishment. There was an interesting exchange between Blake and Vallow (Vallow was assigned the line judging duty, and called Blake offside once) and at the end of practice Vallow asked Blake if he had something to say to him, to go ahead and say it, they threw some one word pleasantries at each other and left it at that. Blake being one of the first off the grounds and into the facility. Blake was also dressed down by Hanki after Blake launched the ball after being called offsides. It's clear that Blake is a talented player, but he has a little bit of a 'tude, which of course is fine, it just needs to be refocused, he's working through his "Young Carrieri" stage... Other opinions: IF I have to choose a keeper based on recent performance and the practice I just saw... Cannon gets the nod... Joe seems like he wants to be there, he organizes better, constantly barks and praises his back line. He seems like he's having more fun... And I really like Garlick... I won't cry if Garlick's in goal, not a word... There are two clear finishers on the team, and they would be my strike pairing... ZiZi and Spenny... Powell can pass. Period. The man could place a pass on the hair of a frog's ass. He too seems like he's enjoying himself, and is very intense at practice, treating everything like it was game situation (Very professional). He also finds his way into the line-up, and I don't pair him with Pablo (this combination could still work, but my criticism of Pablo has been season long, I think he needs to play in Europe, the style would fit his game better, and raise his level of play with the national team) I pair him with Beckerman, who should play more of the defensive role, and Powell a little more attacking... Borchers is quietly becoming a mini-Fraser... This is good in my opinion... Almost forgot... Chungy was absent from the practice, hope there's no serious reason for this... Trembly was carted off the field, he didn't seem like he was in serious pain, and I wasn't sure what the injury was, but it was to a leg... I don't know if it's early in the week or what, but it seemed like practice was very business-like, and that they weren't yet getting focused on the task at hand, perhaps this will change the closer to Tuesday we get... Hope that helps feed the addiction a little until next week!