The Colorado Rapids U-18 have learned their opponents for their first ever U.S. Soccer Development Academy Finals Week, which will be played from July 16-23 in Houston, Texas. The Rapids were placed in Group 1 and will play De Anza Force on Monday, July 16 (7 pm MT), North Carolina Fusion on Wednesday, July 18 (8 pm MT), and Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Friday, July 20 (7 pm MT).
The Rapids 18s and their Finals opponents advanced to the Finals Week by winning each of their respective groups at the U.S. Soccer Develpment Academy Playoffs in June at the FC Dallas Stadium Complex in Frisco, Texas. In the playoffs, the Rapids U-18s defeated South Carolina Battery United 4-1, drew Empire United 1-1, and defeated the Dallas Texans 2-1 in stoppage time to win Group 4 (STORY).
Group 2 at the Academy Finals is comprised of FC Dallas, Chivas USA, Solar Chelsea FC, and Baltimore Bays Chesea. All group matches will be played at the Houston Amateur Sports Park (HASP), with the winners of the two groups advancing to the single-game final played at the Houston Dynamo's BBVA Compass Stadium on Sunday, July 22 (7 pm MT). Third, fifth, and seventh places matches will be played on July 22 at HASP.
North Carolina advanced to Finals Week by winning Playoff Group 1 with a 1-1 draw against FC Delco, and defeating Shattuck-St. Mary's Soccer Academy 2-1 and Crossfire Premier 1-0.
Vancouver won Group 2 despite losing the opening match 3-2 to Pateadores with victories over Westen FC (4-0) and Texan FC Houston (2-0). The Whitecaps advanced on goal differential after ending even with Westen and Pateadores on six points.
De Anza, which finished second to Vancouver in League play, won Playoff Group 3 with a 2-2 tie against CASL Chelsea FC Academy and wins over the LA Galaxy (1-0) and Vardar FC Freiburg (2-0).