Nasco and Watts join the Rapids ranks

Colorado adds depth with first-year MLS players, including NASL's star keeper

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Wednesday, February 12, 2014) – The Colorado Rapids announced today that the club has signed goalkeeper Joe Nasco and midfielder Jared Watts. Nasco comes to the Rapids from the Atlanta Silverbacks, where he was named to the NASL Best XI in 2013, while Watts joins Colorado after a standout four-year career at Wake Forest. Per league and team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

“We’re glad to add depth to our squad with these two signings, and look forward to their contributions to our club,” said Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo. “Joe is a strong goalkeeper who demonstrated that he can play at a high level, and Jared is a technical defensive midfielder who plays the game very intelligently. We’re pleased to add both players to our roster.”

“I would like to thank the Rapids organization and coaching staff for giving me this great opportunity,” said Nasco. “My family and I are very excited to start this new chapter in our lives. I would also like to thank my agent Namjoo Hashemi and Eric Wynalda for believing in me and making this possible. I am looking forward to a very successful season with the team.”

"I'm excited to take the next step of my career with the Rapids and am very thankful to the coaching staff and entire organization for the opportunity,” said Watts. “I am looking forward to working hard for the club and contributing in any way that I can."

Nasco, 29, starred for the Atlanta Silverbacks last season, being named to the NASL Best XI after a spring season in which he helped the team to a league title, earning four shutouts during the season. A former All-American at Andrew Junior College and an all-conference player at Birmingham-Southern, Nasco was invited to preseason on trial and has appeared in both of Colorado’s games, allowing only one goal against in 75 minutes.

A defensive midfielder at Wake Forest University, Watts was selected to the All-ACC First Team for three consecutive seasons and contributed five goals and 10 assists in his four years with the Demon Deacons. He was the captain of the U.S. U-17 squad at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Nigeria in 2009, and has also appeared for the U-20 Youth National Team. Watts also played youth soccer for the North Meck Soccer Club, now the Carolina Rapids – a Rapids adidas Alliance club in North Carolina.

Joe Nasco
Number: 23
Position: Goalkeeper
Born: June 18, 1984
Hometown: Kissimmee, Fla.
Citizenship: USA
Height: 6-3
Weight: 205 lbs
College: Birmingham-Southern College
Transaction: Signed by the Colorado Rapids on February 12, 2014

Jared Watts
Number: 33
Position: Midfielder
Born: February 2, 1992
Hometown: Statesville, N.C.
Citizenship: USA
Height: 6-1
Weight: 155 lbs
College: Wake Forest University
Transaction: Selected by the Colorado Rapids with the 33rd overall selection (second round) of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft on January 16, 2014, signed to a contract on February 12.