Swans boss Michael Laudrup is expected to use his full 23-man squad during tonight’s opening pre-season friendly against Colorado Rapids (7pm local time; 2am BST).
The squad trained at the home of the Rapid’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, yesterday and this morning where the heat and humidity pushed them to the limit.
“We’ve had two weeks of training, but it’s one thing watching players in training and another thing seeing them in a competitive game,’’ explained Laudrup. “It will be a good test for us.’’
Colorado coach Oscar Pareja added: “It’s an honour for the club to host a Premier League team of Swansea’s stature and especially someone of Michael’s (Laudrup) calibre.’’
Based in the Denver suburb of Commerce City, Colorado Rapids is one of the ten charter clubs in the MLS, having competed in the league since its inception in 1996, the year the club was founded.
The club is owned by Stan Kroenke, an American business entrepreneur who is also the majority shareholder at Arsenal.
The Rapids reached the final of the MLS Cup in 1997 where they were beaten by DC United, but they went one better in 2010 after defeating FC Dallas.
These two seasons were some of the most successful in the club’s fledgling history. In 1997 they were crowned Western Conference champions, before winning the Eastern Conference in 2010.
The club is coached by former Colombia international midfielder Oscar Pareja. The 43-year-old has been in charge of the Rapids since the turn of the year, and he is no stranger to the MLS having made nearly 200 appearances in the competition after spells with New England Revolution and FC Dallas.
Colorado play their home games at the 18,086 capacity Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, approximately eight miles north of downtown Denver with a capacity of nearly 20,000.
They also have a number of notable former players that have graced the English game over the years. Former Charlton striker Shaun Bartlett, Anders Limpar, John Spencer, Terry Cooke and Marcus Hahnemann have all played in the Premier League since its inception in 1992, while Junior Agogo was a prolific goalscorer in the Football League for the likes of Bristol Rovers and Nottingham Forest.
Midway through their season, the Rapids, who are on a poor run in the MLS having lost their last five games, are likely to be without striker Conor Casey with a hamstring strain, although midfielder Jeff Larentowicz is expected to return from suspension.
Both clubs will pay their respects to those killed and injured in the Aurora shooting tragedy where a gunman killed 12 people and wounded 58 more at a local cinema.
The Swans have been travelling passed the venue, which is just 10 miles from the stadium, on their way to training and again for tonight’s game.
Both sets of players will wear black armbands and lay a wreath in remembrance of the victims before respecting a minute's silence.