COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Monday, January 27, 2014) – The Rapids announced on Monday that the team has re-signed forward Danny Mwanga, the first overall selection in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft and a four-year MLS veteran, to a new contract. Colorado signed the 22-year-old striker to a new deal after declining his contract option following the 2013 season. Per league and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Danny is a talented young player who knows the league and has had success, so we’re excited to welcome him back this season,” said Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo. “He is already a strong player and still has a great deal of potential, and we’re happy to have him back in our group.”
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for me, and I’m very excited for it,” said Mwanga. “I like the group, I like the club, and I think we have a good organization here. I’m really grateful and thankful to the entire Rapids organization for giving me another opportunity to prove myself and have a great year. I can’t wait to get things going.”
Mwanga is in Colorado for preseason, though the forward recently underwent sports hernia surgery and is expected to return to full training in approximately 4-6 weeks. He originally joined the Rapids in a trade with the Portland Timbers on February 28, 2013, just before the start of the 2013 MLS regular season, and he played in 13 matches (five starts) with Colorado, notching one assist. The first overall selection in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft by the Philadelphia Union, the forward had 12 goals and eight assists in 61 games (35 starts) with Philadelphia before a trade to Portland in mid-2012. With the Timbers, he notched three goals in 18 appearances (seven starts).
Originally from Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mwanga moved to Portland in 2006, starring for his high school before playing at Oregon State University. In his two collegiate seasons, Mwanga scored 18 goals and added two assists in 29 matches, being named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year in 2009 and Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2010. After his sophomore season, he was named a second team All-American and a finalist for the Hermann Trophy. He received his U.S. citizenship on June 24, 2013.
The Rapids have convened in Colorado for preseason training, and will have their first full-team, on-field session on Wednesday at 11 a.m. MT. The team will travel to Houston to face the Dynamo on February 2 in the first preseason match, and will also participate in the Las Vegas ProSoccer Challenge and the Desert Diamond Cup presented by Tucson FC. To purchase season tickets for the Rapids’ 2014 campaign, visit www.ColoradoRapids.com or call 303-825-GOAL.