Academy Technical Director - U-15 Coach
Chris Cartlidge joined the Rapids staff full-time in September of 2015 and currently serves as the Academy Technical Director and U-15 coach. Chris supports the evolution and documentation of the Colorado Rapids Academy style of play, game model and training methodologies for the U-12 through the U-19 Academy teams. The Colorado Rapids Academy methodologies are developed and designed to facilitate a seamless transition for Academy players to the first team environment.
In his role as CRYSC Technical Advisor, Chris acts as the bridge between the Colorado Rapids Development Academy programming and the Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club. Chris works with the staff of Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer to ensure the players within the system are provided with the education, environment and pathway to empower the players to reach their potential and wherever possible the first team ranks.
Prior to coming to the Rapids full-time, Cartlidge has worked extensively with youth players of all ages and abilities. Between 1996-2015 Cartlidge has 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 & 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” & UEFA “B” Licensed coach, Cartlidge also served as a USYS Region IV staff coach and an instructor in state coaching education programs for US 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.