The Colorado Rapids Academy enjoyed another positive weekend as all three MLS NEXT teams, U-14, U-15, U-17, went head to head with local rivals Real Colorado.
“These are always excellent games for our players and their development. The matches are hard fought, emotional encounters played against well prepared opponents,” said Chris Cartlidge, Rapids Academy Technical Director.
The Sunday matches kicked off in the early morning with both the U-14s and U-17s facing off against Real Colorado.
Leading the charge for the U-14s were Noe Sarmiento and Edgar Heredia who each added a goal during a close fought encounter with Real Colorado. Goalkeeper Diego Ambriz recorded his third shutout of the year, helping the team retain their first place standing in the U-14 MLS NEXT Frontier Conference. In the U-14’s past five matches, the team has recorded a perfect record of five wins as they head into their sixth match of the year against Sporting KC’s U-14 Academy team on Saturday, October 22. As it stands, Sarmiento leads the team in goals scored with five while Heredia, Leo Saltero and team captain Yahir Quintero have all added three of their own.
The U-17 team, which kicked off simultaneously with the U-14s, recorded their second draw of the year in a hard fought match with Real Colorado. The local rivals got on the board first with a goal in the 32nd minute, however the Rapids were able to find the equalizer in the 70th minute with a goal from Josh Elicerio. With that goal, Elicerio brought his season total to four, marking his place as the leading goalscorer for the U-17s. The U-17 Academy team sits in third place standing in the MLS NEXT Frontier Conference with one win and two draws in their first two weekends of action.
The final match on Sunday was played by the U-15 Rapids Academy team who currently sits in a fifth place position in the MLS NEXT Frontier Conference. Thus far, the team has recorded one win and two draws in their opening three matches. This past weekend, goalkeeper Leo Medina and his backline recorded their first shutout of the season in a 0-0 draw. Although the U-15s struggled to find the back of the net in their most recent match, the team has been a formidable presence in the attacking third with Brian Villalba and Landon Strohmeyer leading the offense with two goals each.
The Rapids Academy action continues next weekend as the U-15s and U-17s travel to Los Angeles to face off against LA Galaxy and LAFC on October 15th and 16th. To view the complete Rapids Academy schedule for the 2022-2023 season, visit www.coloradorapids.com/academy/.