Rapids Academy goalkeeper Andrew Epstein makes a great save against Houston, Oct. 27, 2012
Nigel Brooks / Houston Dynamo

Rapids Academy U-16s clinch U.S. Soccer Development Academy playoffs berth

The Colorado Rapids U-16 and U-18s earned a collective three wins out of four matches this weekend in Texas. The U-16s have clinched a Wildcard entry for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs after ousting Andromeda FC 3-1 on Saturday, led by a brace from Edward Venta-Yepes and a goal from Nicholas Porter. On Sunday, the Rapids downed the Dallas Texans 5-3. In that game, Quentin Pearson opened scoring, followed by Enda O’Neill, the younger brother of Rapids first team defender Shane O’Neill, Jovanni Chavez with two and Hayden Heinrich to seal the win.

The U-16s, now 15-8-3 on the season, are third out all 61 total teams in the Wildcard Pool, where the top 13 teams advance to the playoffs, based on average points per game, with just one match remaining in the season against local rivals Real Colorado. They’ll face off at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. MT.

The U-18s had a thin squad in Texas this weekend as they were without Ricardo Perez, Isaac Martinez and Alex Braman who were in San Jose with the Rapids to participate in the MLS Reserve League match on Sunday. Still, the U-18 team earned a 1-0 result against Andromeda FC off of an Austin Seifert goal. On Sunday, the Rapids took the lead in the first half with a goal from Jason Pillard, but ultimately fell 2-1 to the Dallas Texans. The U-18 Rapids, who hold a 9-13-4 record and are out of playoff contention, will also face Real Colorado on Saturday, kicking off at 1 p.m. at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.