Prairie Gateway Soccer Complex

Rapids' Hankinson speaks out

both in Tampa and in Colorado -- the present squad has the best team spirit and attitude I have been apart of," Hankinson said. "Our players will give all they have for each other, no matter what the obstacle or challenge they may face. They will battle together."

Hankinson also sought to put to rest rumors that some players tried to orchestrate their own exits from the club after last season. The coach explained the departure of goalkeeper Scott Garlick as a salary cap move, not the result of a request from Garlick.

"... With other players re-signing contracts and the salary cap remaining the same as the year before we found ourselves like so many other clubs periodically having to make salary-related moves," Hankinson said, adding that the personnel decisions involving striker Chris Carrieri and defender Wes Hart were similar situations.

As well, he said the moves made this past offseason -- including the acquisitions of Mexican defender Antonio de la Torre and Haitian striker Jean-Phillipe Peguero -- had the effect of galvanizing the squad and building up the spirit of the team.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.

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