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 HONOR HEATHER WAGES WITH COMMUNITY COACH AWARD: The Colorado Rapids announced that Heather Wages, who coaches several youth teams in Loveland, Colo. has been honored with the Colorado Rapids Community Coach Award. Wages was nominated by her U-10 Club United girls team for her superior levels of leadership both on and off the soccer field. Wages attended a private viewing of a Colorado Rapids training session on Tuesday and will be recognized during halftime of the Rapids match against San Jose Earthquakes on September 24. More information on the Community Coach Award is available at www.ColoradoRapids.com/content/community-coach-award.
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 over the past three weeks. The program will culminate on Saturday, September 24 when the participants will take part in the Rapids versus San Jose Earthquakes pregame and halftime events. Before kickoff, the children will be part of the Benchwarmers, where they can watch warm-ups from the team benches, or the Starting 11 as escorts for the starting lineups. The clinic will finish during halftime of the match with a scrimmage on the pitch. 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.
ACADEMY PLAYERS IN COLLEGE – JAMES ROGERS: A freshman forward at the University of New Mexico, James Rogers played for the Colorado Rapids Development Academy team from 2009-2011. He currently leads the Lobos in scoring with two goals and four assists in five games played. He featured in the nationally televised match against Akron University, where New Mexico tied the reigning NCAA champions 1-1 on Friday, September 16. New Mexico has started the season with a 5-0-2 record and is currently ranked #16 in the country.
U-13 GIRLS TEAM CONTINUES IN COLORADO YOUTH SOCCER PRESIDENTS CUP: The Under-13 Girls team from the Colorado Rapids Youth program is the only one of the three teams that will continue play in the Colorado Youth Soccer Presidents Cup this weekend. The U-13 girls advanced with a 2-1- 0 record in the tournament that began on September 3, and will play on September 25 looking to move on to the semifinals. The U-14 girls were eliminated in the quarterfinals on September 11 with a 2-2-0 record overall. Last weekend, the U-15 girls won their last game of bracket play, but it was not enough to advance and they also were eliminated with a 2-2-0 record. 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.
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, continue training, 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. Select players who opted not to play for their high school teams are currently participating in the Colorado Amateur Soccer League, in which they are 2-2-0 with four games remaining in the 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 will play their first match on November 19 against the Houston Dynamo U-16 and U-18 Teams. More information on the Colorado Rapids Development Academy can be found at www.ColoradoRapids.com/youth.
ACADEMY PLAYER DILLON SERNA PLAYS PART IN TWO RAPIDS RESERVES VICTORIES: 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 in August has been practicing 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 participated in the Rapids Reserves first two victories of the season, a 2-0 win at Chicago Fire Reserves as a 77th minute sub on Aug. 28, and an 81st minute sub in the 3-0 victory over Houston Dynamo Reserves on Sept. 1.
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.