Rapids Homegrown product Sam Vines is slated to start in the US men’s national team friendly against Costa Rica on Saturday, February 1, head coach Gregg Berhalter announced on Thursday. Vines will be the first Homegrown Player from the Rapids Development Academy to earn a cap for the senior national team and, therefore, also the first Homegrown to earn the start.
January camp marks Vines' first call-up to the senior national team. Vines, a Colorado Springs native, signed his Homegrown contract on February 23, 2018. He made his MLS debut on October 21, 2018 and appeared in 26 games last season, 23 from the start.
“I’ve been waiting my whole life just to get the opportunity to come to this camp,” Vines said. “So, to play in the game would obviously mean the world to me. I’m so excited. It’s been a great camp.”
Vines will also be eligible for the Olympic team, as the squad will look to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in March. The Olympic team is comprised of at least 15 players under the age of 23 and is allowed a maximum of three additional players over 23. Vines, 20, will be a prime contender for one of those spots.
Rapids forward Jonathan Lewis could also see the pitch on Saturday. The 22-year-old joined Vines at January camp and will be on the roster for this weekend's matchup.
The game is set to begin at 1:55 p.m. MT at Dignity Health Sports Park in California and will be available to watch on ESPNNews, UniMás and TUDN.