COMMERCE CITY COLO. (Wednesday February 18 2009) – The Colorado Rapids announced today that the team has signed forward Omar Cummings and defender Ugo Ihemelu to new four-year contracts. Per league and team policy financial terms were not disclosed.
"This is a reward for both of these players as to what they have contributed to the club but also a sign for what they mean to this team moving forward said head coach Gary Smith.
"Ugo has taken some big steps forward with us and is a tireless defensive worker and Omar has proven he will be quite an asset to us throughout the coming years. We now have a number of young players under contract that we believe will be the core of this team for what we hope will be a very successful period for the club."
Cummings enjoyed a career season in 2008 registering career-highs in every category as the team’s second leading scorer. He finished the season with six goals and four assists in 26 games with 17 starts. His blazing speed and finishing touch was also a factor in him earning his first call-ups to the Jamaican National Team last year.
Ihemelu played a big part in the Rapids’ defense in 2008 starting 16 of the 18 matches that he appeared in for a total of 1493 minutes. His efforts led to the Rapids allowing a league-low 278 shots on goal all season. Ihemelu has also been a recent fixture on the U.S. National Team participating in both their January and February 2009 training camps. He earned his second National Team cap appearing in the 3-2 U.S. win over Sweden on Jan. 24.