Youth Soccer Update - August 30

Rapids partner with Global Down Syndrome Foundation and host clinic

Welcome to this week’s Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Update, which includes information on tournaments, programs, events and achievements involving the Rapids’ youth initiatives. More information can be found at www.ColoradoRapids.com/youth.

RAPIDS YOUTH ACADEMY PARTNERS WITH GLOBAL DOWN SYNDROME FOUNDATION: The Colorado Rapids youth teams have partnered with the Global Down Syndrome Foundation to host three clinics for children in Colorado with Down Syndrome. Players from the Rapids academy, Regis University, and the Rapids first team will participate in clinics on September 10, 17, and 24 teaching the fundamentals of the sport, culminating in a match during halftime of the September 24 Colorado Rapids vs. San Jose Earthquakes game. The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is a non-profit corporation dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome by supporting basic research, clinical research and clinical care. More information is available at www.globaldownsyndrome.org.

COLORADO RAPIDS HOST CENTER OF EXCELLENCE IN TWO LOCATIONS: Beginning on September 11, the Colorado Rapids will offer their Center of Excellence series, a six-session camp to expose young players ages 8-12 to quality coaching at both Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and East Boulder Recreational Center. The camp is designed to make players more aware of the technical requirements of an elite soccer player and to nurture the advancing serious player. Registration, fees, dates, and more information can be found by CLICKING HERE.

COLORADO YOUTH SOCCER PRESIDENTS CUP BEGINS THIS WEEKEND: Starting this Saturday, three Rapids Youth teams, the Under-13, U-14 and U-15 girls teams, will participate in the semi-annual Colorado Youth Soccer Presidents Cup. The tournament winners will qualify for the Regional US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup, a prestigious nation-wide tournament featuring the best youth teams from around the country. Group play runs from September 3 to September 25, with the top two teams in each of three Brackets advancing to the playoffs in October.

RAPIDS ACADEMY PLAYER DILLON SERNA RETURNS FROM U-17 RESIDENCY PROGRAM: Colorado Rapids Academy midfielder Dillon Serna, who had spent the past nine months living in Bradenton, Fla., at the United States Under-17 Residency Program, returned to Colorado this month and will practice with the Rapids first team until the fall Youth Academy season begins in November. The Brighton, Colo., native was at Bradenton leading up to the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup which took place this July in Mexico. Serna also participated in last weekend’s Rapids Reserves match versus the Chicago Fire Reserves, a 2-0 victory for the Rapids, coming on as a sub in the 77th minute.

COLORADO RAPIDS YOUTH TEAMS DOMINATE IN BROOMFIELD SHOOTOUT: Nine Colorado Rapids youth teams participated in the Broomfield Shootout held throughout various fields in Broomfield, Colo., from August 11-14. “It was a very positive weekend for all of our groups. We were able to see progress from the first two weeks of training transfer into competitive action,” said Brian Crookham, the Director of Coaching for the Colorado Rapids Youth Academy. The U-12, U-13, U-14 boys and the U-13, U-14, and U-15 girls teams took home first place in the annual tournament.

RAPIDS U-16/U-18 DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY TEAMS BEGIN SEASON IN NOVEMBER: The Colorado Rapids Under-16 and Under-18 Teams, which play in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, are currently on hiatus, with the 2011-2012 season starting in November. The Rapids play in the Frontier Division of the Central Conference, which is on break due to the local high school soccer season. The U-16 and U-18 Teams are the most competitive in the Rapids youth system, with a focus on developing some of the state’s top players through technical work and top level competition. The teams begin training in November and play their first match on November 19 against the Houston Dynamo U-16 and U-18 Teams. MORE INFORMATION

ABOUT THE U.S. SOCCER DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY: The U.S Soccer Development Academy is a nationwide youth development initiative, organized by the U.S. Soccer Federation, featuring 78 of the top youth teams in the country competing in a league system at both the U-18 and U-16 levels. The 78 youth programs, including one U.S. Youth National Team in each age group, are divided into 10 geographically based divisions, each of which will send a single qualifier to the national finals after the regular season concludes in late June. For more information on the U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy, please visit www.ussoccer.com.