The Colorado Rapids Under-18 and Under-16 teams will compete in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase this week, held at the Premier Sports Complex near Bradenton, Fla. The Rapids will play three games each against a mix of other MLS and Development Academy teams between December 11 and 15, all of which will count towards their Frontier Division standings. The annual showcase is one of the premier scouting opportunities for College soccer programs across the country.
The U-18s kick off on Wednesday against the Montreal Impact at 12:15 p.m. ET. They then play one of Colorado’s adidas Alliance teams, Carolina Rapids, on Thursday at 10 a.m., and close the tournament on Saturday against Chivas USA at 9 a.m.
The U-18s are 4-4-5 so far this season, undefeated in their last four matches (2-0-2), and currently sit 8th in the division (out of 13 teams based on points per game). The side is led in scoring by Jacob Hanlin with six goals and Isaac Martinez with four. Of late, the squad has been helped out by four players from the U-16 side, Nathan Braaten, Miles Chow, Quinten Pearson, Jacob Smits-Kagoshima, who have each contributed to the quads recent run of success.
The U-16s open the tournament on Thursday facing De Anza Force at 3:30 p.m. ET and then Vancouver Whitecaps FC at 10 a.m. on Friday. They will have a day’s rest and then finish against Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday at 9 a.m.
Currently, the younger Rapids are also 8th in the division with a 4-4-5 (W-L-T) record, and have had to adjust without four key players who have been called up to the U-18s for the last four matches. The team is led by JT Grover with four goals this season.
Stay tuned to ColoradoRapids.com for recaps of this week’s Winter Showcase matches. After the tournament, both teams will break throughout the winter months and return to action on Saturday, March 1, 2014 against Houston Dynamo in Houston.