I've arrived in mile-high Denver, and if the writing in this post is any weaker than usual, well, I'm still adjusting to the altitude.
Actually, I don't notice a thing. However, soccer is a different matter, and since Saturday night will mark the Sounders' first game at altitude, that was one of the topics that came up for Sigi Schmid during this week's training.
"The thing is, altitude effects you most in that 48 to 72 hour period," he said. "So if you can get in there, and we usually try to get in there so that we're within about 24 hours of the game. And you try and play the game, and get in as late as possible and play the game, and get out. Certainly it's there and it's present. You can't say it's not. But also, the first day of it is less of an impact on your body physically."
Not surprisingly, this game seems to be flying under the radar in the Denver area, with the Nuggets win over the Lakers last night dominating the headlines. However, there was a nice look at the Sounders organization back on Page 3 of today's Denver Post sports section.
Unfortunately for the Rapids, the next game in the series is Saturday night at Denver's Pepsi Center -- a direct conflict with the Sounders-Rapids game.
The soccer game also could have some weather issues. The Denver area forecast for Saturday calls for temperatures ranging from 70-51, which is nice enough, but with a 40 percent chance of rain and even a chance of thundershowers.
Finally, I got in early enough today to take a little scouting trip over to Dick's Sporting Goods Park. It's a really nice-looking facility -- a lot like the one in Dallas in that it's way out in the suburbs and is surrounded by soccer fields. (The hotel I'm staying at it crawling with youth soccer teams apparently in for a tournament.)