It's not all just fun under the sun for the Colorado Rapids in Hawaii.
A big preseason match awaits the club on Thursday, when they kick off their participation in the Hawaiian Invitational with a matchup against J-League Division 2 squad Yokohama FC at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.
The Rapids, the lone American representative in the tournament, will then take on either top-flight South Korean side Busan I’Park or A-League outfit Melbourne Heart in either the consolation game or for the tournament title on Saturday night. (Both Saturday games will be streamed live on ESPN3.)
Colorado will have the inside track on Yokohama, as right back Kosuke Kimura grew up in that city. He told MLSsoccer.com last week that he’s looking forward to playing his hometown club.
“It will be good to play against a home team,” Kimura said. “They got some quality, it will be good to play against them and see how well we play against them.”
Yokohama struggled to an 18th-place finish in the second level of Japanese soccer a year ago, but the team’s defensive-minded mentality could prove an early challenge for the Rapids’ new attack-minded 4-3-3 formation.
Melbourne and Busan will play in the tournament opener at 11 pm ET on Thursday, and the Rapids will play Yokohama at 1:30 am ET on Friday morning.
The Rapids also picked up a 2-1 win over local college Hawaii Pacific in a 60-minute scrimmage on Tuesday on the campus of the University of Hawaii. Andre Akpan and Scott Palguta netted second half tallies for Colorado after a scoreless first half, before Hawaii Pacific recorded a late consolation goal.
For tickets and latest news at the Hawaiian Invitational click here.
HIGHLIGHTS: RAPIDS 2, HAWAII PACIFIC 1