Men’s soccer opens spring season against MLS’s Colorado Rapids on Sunday
The defending Atlantic Sun champion JU men’s soccer team will face its toughest opponent this season when they play Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids on Sunday in Sunrise, Fla. at 3 p.m. to open the 2009 spring schedule.

The Dolphins’ game against Rapids will mark the first time in program history that JU has faced someone in the current Major League Soccer organization.

Colorado is training in Florida to prepare for the upcoming 2009 MLS season starting in March. In 2008, the Rapids posted an 11-14-5 overall record to finish in fourth place of the Western Standings, less than two wins out of a playoff spot.

“This is a great opportunity for our team,” said JU head coach Mike Johnson. “Not many college programs get this chance and we are fortunate enough to secure this game with Colorado. Our team is excited about the opportunity to play an MLS team. A lot of guys have dreams of playing in this league and this game will be good indicator for them to see what they need to do to get there.”

Following the match against the Rapids, the Dolphins will host Melbourne and Flagler at the Ashley Sports Complex on Feb. 28. JU will travel to face the University of Tampa and Creighton on March 7 before hosting the Saints again and Embry-Riddle on March 28. The Dolphins close out the spring campaign against cross-town rival UNF at home on April 2.

In 2008, the Dolphins won 10 or more matches for the second consecutive year with a 12-9-1 overall record and had a 7-2 tally in Atlantic Sun play. JU also sent a program-best seven players to the all-conference team.

The Dolphins learned the true meaning of resilience at the A-Sun tournament by rallying to take down Lipscomb and No. 1 seed Campbell to win the conference title. JU was down 3-1 in the championship match to the arch-nemesis Camels, but scored three second half goals to take a 4-3 win and the Dolphins first automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament since 1998.

In the NCAA Tournament, JU played comeback kids again by rallying for a 4-3 overtime win at Louisville before falling to eventual national runner up North Carolina, 1-0.