By Jeff Todd

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (CBS4) – Surrounded by dozens of other diehard Colorado Rapids fans, Lino De Rosa’s dream came true Saturday night. The Italian native was finally in Commerce City attending a game.

lino de rosa colorado rapids

Lino De Rosa welcomed at a Colorado Rapids game in Commerce City. (credit: CBS)

“It’s like being home with your family. So, when you don’t see your family you want to see them and when you get here you are emotional,” De Rosa said.

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lino de rosa colorado rapids

(credit: CBS)

For years, De Rosa has connected with other passionate Rapids fans on a Facebook page. There he and others discuss the team on a daily basis. The idea had been kicked around to raise money to get De Rosa to a game.

In July, Jared Kaszuba started a GoFundMe campaign which raised more than $2,000 to cover the cost of a flight and lodging.

“I couldn’t believe it,” De Rosa said.

lino de rosa colorado rapids

(credit: CBS)

“He’s definitely excited to be experiencing it for the first time in person and not just on TV,” said Kaszuba. “People have been excited about this.”

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De Rosa got to see the Rapids 2-0 win over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday night and will also attend Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

While in Colorado he plans to see the Red Rocks Amphitheatre and a Colorado Rockies game.

lino de rosa colorado rapids

(credit: CBS)

“This guy supported the Rapids like we do,” Julio Miranda said. “I would always see his name pop up (on Facebook) and wonder why a guy from Italy would always want to comment about the Rapids, follow the Rapids, and eventually come out to a Rapids game.”

The group of strangers now connected by their love of the team and sharing memories.

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“I’m really happy about that, that the Rapids can reach out all the way to Italy and really bring people together. That’s really great,” said Miranda.

Jeff Todd