Academy Teams to close out season Saturday at home against Real Colorado
Photo: Acacemy midfielder Isaac Martinez was called up to play in the Reserve League match against Harrisburg on April 20, 2013.
The Colorado Rapids Development Academy teams close out their regular seasons on Saturday, June 1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, shortly before the Colorado Rapids face FC Dallas inside the stadium. Both teams will face local rivals Real Colorado, with the Under-18s kicking off at 1 p.m. and the U-16s at 3:30 p.m. The matches will be played on Field 19 and are free to the public.
The U-16s are currently 16-6-5 (W-L-T) in the Central Conference and have already clinched one of the 13 Wildcard spots for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs. The U-16s have been led this season in scoring by Edward Venta-Yepes with nine goals, followed by Hayden Heinrich with seven.
The group will continue working next week to prepare for their first-ever Playoffs appearance, which will be held from June 24-27 in Frisco, Texas. The top eight teams in the playoffs will qualify for Finals Week in Houston from July 14-20.
The Academy U-18s hold a 9-13-4 record heading into their final match of the season and are out of playoff qualifying position. Forward Alex Toderica, who is committed to play at the University of Denver in the fall, led the team with seven goals, followed closely by Creighton University recruit Ricardo Perez who scored six. The 18s felt the effects of the first-team's injuries during season, having had to play several matches without Alex Braman, Isaac Martinez, Austin Seifert, Bryan Windsor, Perez and Toderica who were called up by the Colorado Rapids for numerous MLS Reserve League matches.
Last season, the U-18s advances to the Development Academy playoffs and then to Finals Week. They finished 6th nationally out of 78 teams. After missing out on the postseason this year, they will participate in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Showcase from June 25-28, also in Frisco, a tournament held simultaneously to expose players to college scouts.