The “Colorado Rapids” is a professional American soccer club situated in Denver, Colorado. The club competes in the Major League Soccer (MLS) and is one of the 10 original teams in the league. From the year 1995 until 2001, the Denver Rapids used to play their home games at the Mile High Stadium, but later moved to play at the Invesco Field at Mile High in 2002. The current home venue of the club is the Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Established in the year 1996, the Colorado Rapids were first owned and operated by the Anschutz Corporation. The club’s inaugural season took place during the same year of its founding, unfortunately, their first MLS game was a failure after they finished last in the Western Conference. Historically, it was the league’s and the club’s worst game played.
Although the Rapids had put their best and experienced on-field players like Chris Henderson, Shaun Bartlett, Chris Woods, Roy Wegerle, Marcelo Balbora and head coach Bob Houghton, they weren’t able to achieve victory and had considered the game as their worst record in the MLS.
A new head coach and a new General manager for the team arrived the following season, namely Glenn Myernick and Dan Counce. Along with their arrival to the club was also the entrance of the new players, Myernick and Counce brought a number of new faces, including Paul Bravo, Wolde Harris, Ross Paule and Marcus Hahbemann.
The club advanced to the 1997 MLS Cup Final regardless of the existing struggles at that time. Although they scored a goal at the beginning of the game, the Colorado Rapids were swept off during the final round against D.C United with a losing record of 2-1.
The Colorado Rapids continued their roller coaster of success and failures in the following seasons. Also, head coach Myernick had recruited more new players to the club, including Marcus Hahnemann and Anders Limpar. The club advanced in the 1999 US Open Cup Final, but was swept off by the Rochester Raging Rhinos, with a losing record 2-0.
Apart from the recorded failures of the Rapids, they also had victories in their MLS career, particularly during the 2000 season when Marcelo Balboa’s (one of the club’s best players) bicycle kick acquired the ‘Goal of the Year’ award and the club’s victory against the Los Angeles Galaxy, which was scored in the 97th minute by one of the club’s notable players Paul Bravo.
In the year 2004, the Rapids were purchased by the Kroenke Sports Enterprises and had encountered several changes before the 2005 season. Along with the changes was the replacement of Counce with Charlie Wright, who later appointed Fernando Clavio as the club’s new head coach.
The club has had several shifts in head coaches, general managers and players. The Rapids’ current head coach is Oscar Pareja, who was appointed next to the departure of former head coach Gary Smith in 2012.
Last May of 2014, the Colorado Rapids had announced their newest five-year sponsorship deal with the Ciao Telecom, but was cut in October 2014 after they encountered missed payments from the company. Recently, the club made an agreement with the Transamerica as their shirt sponsor for the following seasons.