COMMERCE CITY — Thursday’s Northfield High School lockdown impacted schools across Denver. It hit the Colorado Rapids, too.
The Rapids first and second teams went under soft lockdown Thursday before Denver Police took two suspects into custody and recovered a paintball gun at Northfield High School. The Rapids’ facility is across the street from Northfield. General manager Pádraig Smith addressed the teams just as practice was getting underway and had the players head back inside DSGP. Practice was postponed by over an hour before it went without further incident.
“I thought the young men handled it very well,” said Rapids 2 head coach Erik Bushey, who is in charge of leading academy players and teenagers alike. “Pádraig really helped put guys’ minds at ease. … We got the call to come back out and you would have never known there was an interruption and guys were really focused.”
However, the experience was very different for first-team players who are parents. Drew Moor and forward Diego Rubio’s children were also under lockdown at nearby schools. Rubio said “Enough is enough!” in a prior tweet, but respectfully declined to address the media Friday.
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The incident at Northfield occurred two days after a mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas the left 19 young children and two teachers dead.
“The human experience is just not very fun right now, it kind of sucks,” said Moor, who is also a Texas native. “… What happened yesterday is nothing compared to Texas, my home state. I try to stay away from the headlines because it breaks my heart. To have something that hits a little bit close to home yesterday, it ended up being nothing, but, it reinforces that I wish there were some more positive, friendlier people out there in the world and in our communities, especially having kids like I said, but we’ll try to pull together.
“Thankfully, I’m around a group and a club that is very positive and has a lot of love for each other. Try and gravitate towards those kinds of people and organizations. … Hopefully the game on Saturday night will bring a little bit of a diversion and a community together here. Living just a stone’s throw away from (DSGP), it is a great community and really the whole city.”
Suspensions, fines dished out
The MLS discipline committee announced wingback Lucas Esteves will miss a second successive game on Saturday due to suspension, stemming back to the Sporting KC fight last Wednesday. Dániel Sallói from SKC also received a one-game suspension.
Rapids players Bryan Acosta, Clint Irwin, Jack Price, Gustavo Vallecilla and head coach Robin Fraser were fined an undisclosed amount for entering onto the field of play during the incident. SKC’s Andreu Fontás was fined for not leaving the field in a timely manner after he received a red card.
Forward Gyasi Zardes is listed as questionable for Saturday due to a hamstring injury he suffered at SKC. He sat out last Sunday’s game against Seattle.