Academy Technical Director
Chris Cartlidge joined the Rapids staff full-time in September of 2015 and was appointed the Academy Technical Director in May of 2019. Chris is responsible for overseeing Colorado Rapids Academy programming for all Academy players. Chris is charged with implementing a style of play, game model and training methodologies that equip the players for a seamless transition to the Colorado Rapids first team.
Prior to coming to the Rapids full-time, Cartlidge has worked extensively with youth players of all ages and abilities. Between 1996-2015, Cartlidge served as the Director of Coaching to the very successful Rio Rapids Soccer Club in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Rio Rapids Soccer Club has been a member club of the Colorado Rapids Alliance since 2014. In his time as Director of Coaching, Cartlidge oversaw the development of a full service soccer club that boasts professional and youth national team players amongst its alumni and state, regional and National Championship team honors.
From 2005 through 2010, Cartlidge held the position of Assistant Coach at the University of New Mexico Men’s Soccer Program in a spell that included conference championships in 2006, 2007 and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010. During that period Chris recruited and trained a number of players that went on to enjoy careers in MLS.
In 2014 and 2015, Cartlidge took on the role of Head Coach and Technical Director for the Albuquerque Sol FC franchise, members of the United Soccer League PDL. As a new franchise Albuquerque Sol FC rostered players from the Colorado Rapids Development Academy as they secured a third place finish in their inaugural season before qualifying for the PDL playoffs in season two as runners up in the Mountain Division. A USSF “A” and UEFA “B” licensed coach, Cartlidge also served as a USYS Region IV staff coach and an instructor in state coaching education programs for U.S. Soccer.
In June 2018, Cartlidge completed and passed the Elite Formation Coaching License. The Elite Formation Coaching License course is the result of an agreement between the MLS and The French Football Federation. The EFCL course provides a comprehensive 14 month program of coach education provided by the staff of the FFF to MLS Academy coaches with the course commencing and concluding at the Clairefontaine National Training Center. This was the third cycle of the course, as the agreement between the MLS and FFF was first reached in 2013.
A native of Essex, England, Chris currently resides in Thornton, Colorado with his wife Letta and their two children, Finn, and Aidan.