COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The Colorado Rapids announced today the launch of Rapids 2, which will compete as one of the inaugural teams in MLS NEXT Pro, a new, lower division professional league set to begin play spring of 2022. The club has appointed Brian Crookham as the team’s general manager.
“We’re excited to take part in MLS NEXT Pro as one of the league’s inaugural teams,” said Pádraig Smith, Colorado Rapids Executive VP & General Manager. “Rapids 2 will serve as a fundamental piece of our player development pathway by not only providing a competitive, professional environment for young talent to develop, but also giving us the ability to extend this opportunity to a broader range of players in our youth system during a critical phase in their development.”
Rapids 2 will provide a professional platform to bridge the gap between the Rapids Academy and First Team. The new team will be composed of Rapids Academy players on amateur contracts, players signed directly to Rapids 2and players on loan from the Rapids First Team. As part of the club’s participation in MLS NEXT Pro, the Rapids have concluded their formal partnership with USL Championship side Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC.
“We’re grateful to the entire Switchbacks FC organization for being a wonderful partner over the past three seasons and for the key role it has played in the development of many of our young players,” said Smith. “We look forward to seeing the club continue the great work they’re doing both on the pitch and in growing the sport in Colorado.”
Additional details on Rapids 2, including full coaching staff, competition schedule and venue will be announced at a later date.