COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - Colorado Rapids Academy players Miguel Alvarado and Owen Malick have been called up by the U.S. U-16 Men’s Youth National Team for a domestic training camp, U.S. Soccer announced. The camp will take place in Carson, California, Nov. 12-19.
Alvarado joined the Rapids Academy as a U-12 player from local affiliate Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club. The 15-year-old defender now occupies a position on the club’s U-17 team and has so far featured in nine matches for the team during the 2023-24 MLS NEXT season. Alvarado was a key contributor to the U-15 team during the 2022-23 season, adding one goal in 16 appearances to help his team to a spot in the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs with a 14-6-6 record. The U-15s ultimately fell short in the Round of 16, losing to the New York Red Bulls Academy in a 2-0 loss.
“Miguel was a key figure for the U.S. in the Concacaf Boys’ Under-15 Championship campaign, and we are excited to see him now get an opportunity to prove himself at the U-16 level,” said Chris Cartlidge, Rapids Academy Technical Director. “Miguel has returned to the club after national team duty in fine form. It is a key year for our 2008 players as they transition from the U-15 level to the demands of U-17 academy soccer. Miguel has stepped up to the challenge and performed very well against some of the top opponents in the country. These are exciting opportunities and challenges for Miguel as he continues his developmental journey with the club.”
Alvarado spent a significant amount of time with the U-15 Youth National Team during the 2023 season, including two team camps and an appearance in the team’s international tournament at the end of April. Most recently, he joined the team for the Concacaf Boys’ Under-15 Championship in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where the team captured its first-ever Concacaf title in a 4-2 win over Mexico at the Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez. Alvarado was a key player during the tournament, recording four starts across the group and knockout round stages.
Malick is a long-standing member of the Rapids Academy, having joined the club during the 2019-20 season as a U-12 player. The 15-year-old spent his youth career with Pride Soccer Club in Colorado Springs. In the current 2023-24 MLS NEXT season, Malick has spent time with both the Rapids Academy’s U-15 and U-16 team and has added five goals to the U-15’s tally and seven goals for the U-16s in his combined 17 matches on the pitch. Malick has proved to be a staple of the Rapids Academy’s attack, having scored three goals in 23 games played during the previous 2022-23 MLS NEXT season.
“We are thrilled to see Owen selected to attend the U-16 national team camp,” continued Cartlidge. “Owen has been a standout performer for the club since joining the academy. Owen is a bright technical player with a level of game understanding well beyond his years. His mentality and habits on and off the pitch are at an elite level. He is well equipped to take this next challenge in stride and we are very excited to see Owen add the U-16 domestic camp experience to his resume. We are confident he will make the most of this opportunity to showcase his talents and take another step in his developmental journey.”