COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — March weather in Colorado is Mother Nature gone bipolar.
While the Rapids practiced on Wednesday in sunny, 60-degree weather, the team was preparing for playing in blizzard-like conditions for their home opener at Dick's Sporting Goods Park (above, after a past snowstorm) on Saturday afternoon.
“We’re in Colorado,” Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. “That’s the nature of our weather, and we deal with it.”
Weather forecasts are calling for up to as much as a foot of snow on Saturday, with the worst of the snow scheduled to fall – you guessed it – right in the middle of the Rapids’ home opener Saturday afternoon against Philadelphia (6 pm ET, MLS Live).
But rather than complain about it, the Rapids are taking the snow forecast in stride, and not necessarily just involving players and coaches.
The team announced on Wednesday that they would distribute 10,000 snow-white “Rapids rally towels” to fans attending the game on Saturday, and team president Tim Hinchey has started a “#ColoradoForLife” hashtag on Twitter to help fans embrace rather than resent the oncoming weather.
“It might hurt on a couple of headers,” right back Marvell Wynne told MLSsoccer.com about the possible impacts of Saturday’s weather. “If the ball hits you right in the ear, that just ruins your life for a little bit. But other than that, it’s just a mental game.”
Wynne and his teammates are aware that a possible foot of snow could create adverse playing conditions, but he doesn’t think it will seriously affect Colorado’s possession-based attack.
“My fingers are going to be really cold. But other than that, you’ll still be able to be able to pass the ball just as well, go for some headers and hopefully we’re going to be able to score some goals,” Wynne said.
Meanwhile, Pareja also said the snow won’t affect his game plan and he doesn’t plan to alter his game preparations despite the ominous forecast.
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.