COMMERCE CITY CO (ColoradoRapids.com) - The Colorado Rapids recognized the club's inaugural Youth Soccer All-Star team at halftime of Saturday night's match at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
As part of the Rapids' celebration of National Youth Soccer Month this September these outstanding athletes were honored on the pitch at halftime of the Rapids' game vs. New England in front of fans family members and friends in the crowd.
This All-Star team was comprised of boys and girls ages 14 & over who were nominated by their respective youth clubs as most exemplifying the values of their club and their performances both on and off the field this year.
Every Colorado youth soccer club was invited to nominate two players from their organization (1 boy and 1 girl) for inclusion in the honorary team; thanks to all the youth clubs who participated this year!
Names were drawn from the All-Stars in attendance and one lucky All-Star Molly McGuigan won the opportunity to shoot on goal in front of the crowd for the chance to win $10000 but missed the target by mere inches!
The Rapids believe it is important to celebrate youth who strive to better their lives and contribute selflessly to our local community. These kids who were chosen as All-Stars have shown the hard work and dedication it takes to excel in soccer while maintaining positive relationships and succeeding both in school and in life.
The Rapids have created the club's Youth Soccer All-Star Team in order to recognize the character that these student athletes show and this team will be selected annually going forward!
MEET THE RAPIDS' 2008 COLORADO YOUTH SOCCER ALL-STARS!
(In alphabetical order):
Espoire Bahati of the Colorado Clash U15 team has been in the US for just a couple of years. He is a refugee from a war-torn community in Northern Africa. Espoire is a very strong player who shows dedication to excellence both on and off the field. When he first joined the Clash he was taking 3 buses just to get to practice. He has since helped in the development of three refugee teams and helps liase with all other kids and African cultures. He speaks four languages and attends East High School.
Owen Braley of the Rush Pikes Peak has proven that hard work pays off as he has moved up from the second team to starter on the first team in just two years. He is an inspiration to his coaching team and other players.
Mohamed Dia of the Colorado Clash shows dedication both on and off the field and therefore was chosen by his club for the Rapids All-Star team.
Danielle Erickson of Grand Junction was chosen by her club as the top girl on her team who excels both on and off the field.
Catherine and Leah Evans co-captains of the Colorado Clash U16 girls team are undefeated this season. These twins have worked diligently in their program to recruit players of diverse cultures. They run coaching sessions and assist in organizing non-native English speaking teams from the inner city. Their patience and devotion to high risk kids is beyond compare. Catherine and Leah empower girls of many heritages and backgrounds to play soccer and prove that girls can be competitive too.
Jennifer Grubbs of the Colorado Edge is dedicated hard working and has a great attitude. She volunteers with her local TOP Soccer program and works with athletes with disabilities. She has become a role model for younger players and excels at her studies.
Emily Holley of Colorado United is characterized as "a coach’s dream