Rapids Home Grown/ Youth updates

Discussion in 'Colorado Rapids' started by 22SteveD, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    And his father's...
     
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  2. unkiemark

    unkiemark Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Boulder
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  3. unkiemark

    unkiemark Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Boulder
    "USL Academy contracts with Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC."

    So does this mean they are now professional? Or are they still eligible for college?

    Either way. it seems that someone(s) in the Rapids organization believes that they need some time at a level higher than the academy to continue to develop.
     
  4. m vann

    m vann Moderator
    Staff Member

    Colorado Rapids, Celtic FC, & Louisville City
    Sep 10, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Club:
    Celtic FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Players on USL Academy contracts maintain their college eligibility. I’ve coached against Walent, before he was at the Rapids DA. Looks like he’s transitioning to a defender. I watched him boss a midfield as #6/8. Very good player then. I’m assume he’s taken a big leap forward.
     
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  5. unkiemark

    unkiemark Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Boulder
    Last ywar during a season tickets holders event Brian Crookham told me that having academy players playing with the Switchbacks gives the Rapids a chance to asses how close they are to being ready for the first team. And in this case neither Yapi or Walent are giving up college eligibility to get that experience and evaluation.
     
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  6. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I know the Rapids have also changed their way of handling borderline HG signings as well. For a while their thought process was if a kid goes through the Academy, they go to college, play 4 years, do everything right, put in the effort, and they're still a borderline signing, then they figured the kid had earned a signing and a chance to make it on the first team. That's why we saw a handful of one-and-done HG signings in recent years.

    They realized that mentality wasn't helping them or the players. If a player is borderline they are better served going into the draft and either being drafted and having to fight for a MLS roster spot, or not being drafted and trying to improve in the USL. I think seeing guys go to the Springs before they become HG signings is an offshoot of that. It allows them to prove themselves in a professional setting without either the team or the player having hurt any long-term options.
     
  7. unkiemark

    unkiemark Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Boulder
    I also wonder if there is a point at which playing with the Academy team just doesn't help with development.

    With the Switchbacks, there is a chance to get professional experience in training and match.

    Looking at the Switchbacks roster it looks like they have a lot of players on USL Academy contracts. It's appears it could be hard for all of them to get significant time in matches.
     
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  8. unkiemark

    unkiemark Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Boulder
  9. unkiemark

    unkiemark Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Boulder
    One more question/comment concerning player development has to do with the role and purpose of the Switchbacks. Are they a USL side or are they the Rapids II whose role is primarily player development - for the Rapids first team?

    I remember this being brought up at some point last season. If I were a Switchbacks fan I'd sure like to know.
     
  10. 30Something

    30Something Member

    Jun 3, 2004
    5280 Feet
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Switchbacks are a USL side, under completely different ownership from the Rapids.

    I don't know this for a fact, but I would assume the Rapids are paying/reimbursing the expenses for all of the players they send to the Switchbacks. The benefit for the Switchbacks is that they receive some good players, with minimal expense, which is critical for a USL team's finances.
     
  11. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Completely different ownership but they seem content to let the Rapids run a lot of soccer operations for them. I know the Rapids have had a lot of input on coaching and training methods down there, and how much time the loaned players get.

    Feels more like what they claimed Charlotte was going to be, an independent team that followed the Rapids model for on-field operations.
     
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