Commerce City, Colo. - Wednesday was a special day for seven Colorado Rapids Academy players who formalizing their intent to play at various universities around the country in a ceremony held at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
“This is one of the days an athlete dreams about from the time they start playing,” said Colorado Rapids Academy Director Brian Crookham. “Today highlights not only success as an athlete, but accomplishment as a student while dedicating so much time to the sport. We are proud to be a resource that helps these players work toward their dreams.”
Shane O’Neill and Dillon Serna, who are currently training with the Colorado Rapids first team during the 2012 preseason, were recruited by and commited to play for two of the last three NCAA Champions, with Serna signing to play at the University of Akron (2010 Champs) and O'Neill with the University of Virginia (2009 Champs). Serna, a member of the U.S. U-17 2010 FIFA World Cup team, appeared in six Reserve team matches with the Rapids last fall. O'Neill was named the 2010 High School All-American game's MVP in December.
The seven players who formalized their intent to play in college are:
Idrissa 'Idi' Camara – Academy forward from 2009-2012 from Aurora Central High School will play at Midwestern State (TX).
Chris Gurule – Academy defender from 2009-2012 from Niwot High School will play at the University of New Mexico.
Karsten Hanlin - Academy midfielder from 2009-2012 from Cherry Creek High School, who also participated in the High School All-American game in December, will play at Denver University.
Shane O’Neill – Academy midfielder from 2010-2012 from Fairview High School will play at the University of Virginia, 2009 NCAA College Cup champions.
Jason Prichard – Academy defender from 2009-2012 who is home schooled (soccer at Eaglecrest), will join his brother at Sterling College (NAIA)
Dillon Serna – Academy midfielder from 2009-2012 (with U.S. U-17 residency program in 2010-11) from Horizon High School has committed to play at 2010 NCAA College Cup champion University of Akron.
Rojesh Shrestha – Academy midfielder from 2010-2012 from Boulder High School will play Metropolitan State College.