The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
If the 2022 World Cup inspired a newfound love of soccer, we’ve got good news: Colorado has a professional team (they play in Commerce City, so you may not have heard of them), and its season starts February 26. The Colorado Rapids are coming off a down year in which they missed the playoffs, but the arrival of a potential star, the signing of a broadcast deal, and the expansion of an interleague competition with top Mexican teams make 2023 a great year to join the burgundy and blue faithful.
Offseason acquisition Kévin Cabral comes to Colorado from the LA Galaxy—who wanted desperately to rid themselves of the Frenchman. The problem? Shortly after LA spent $6 million to acquire Cabral in 2021, the winger forgot how to score goals. But the Rapids, who obtained Cabral at a bargain price, have a knack for reviving lost causes, and the 23-year-old possesses the talent to spark the team’s lackluster offense.
2. Pick a Side
Rabid Rapids fans belong to Centennial 38, the team’s official supporters’ group. To become a member, sign up on the club’s website. To become a real member, though, you’ll need to buy tickets (you can do that on the website, too) with the rest of the 38, who sit in sections 108, 116, and 117 for home games at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. When the team is on the road, devotees congregate at the British Bulldog, a pub in Five Points that’s also a hub for fans of the English Premier League.
3. Now You See Them
Subscribers to Comcast and DISH Network haven’t been able to watch Rapids games since August 2019, when the cable providers dropped Altitude Sports, the network that carries Rapids, Nuggets, and Avalanche games, over pricing. But this season, Major League Soccer is entering into a 10-year deal with Apple that will permit Apple TV subscribers to stream every league game live—no blackouts on account of disgruntled billionaires. $15 per month or $99 per season; $13 per month or $79 per season with Apple TV Plus
4. United Nations
Sad about the next World Cup taking a presidential term to get here? And we mean here literally: The 2026 iteration will be hosted jointly by Mexico, Canada, and the United States. To whet your appetite for that tri-country collaboration, check out the newly revamped Leagues Cup. When the month-long tournament begins on July 21, it will be the first time all 47 teams from Liga MX, Mexico’s top league, and MLS, including its three Canadian franchises, face off.
5. Know Thine Enemy
The Rapids are regional rivals with Real Salt Lake (RSL), but the enmity between the two franchises goes beyond geography. In 2006, the teams battled in a heated contest that culminated with Colorado defender (and, amusingly, current RSL head coach) Pablo Mastroeni taking off his shirt, sticking it down his shorts, and getting into an argument on the field with RSL’s owner. Salt Lake has gotten the better of the Rapids since then, posting a 13-5 overall record in the Rocky Mountain Cup, which is awarded to the side with the better head-to-head record in the regular season. The Rapids will get a fresh chance at revenge when RSL comes to Denver on May 20.