The Rapids Reserves will close out their 2014 season on Monday, facing the Seattle Sounders Reserves at 11 a.m. on Field 20 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
It’s been quite some time since their last match, on August 23, when they defeated the Dayton Dutch Lions 2-1. While the fixtures either side of Monday's game were cancelled, this meeting with the Sounders will still be important for the Colorado Rapids, and young players looking to prove themselves before the end of the season.
“Last time we played this Seattle team it was a great exercise,” said Steve Cooke, the head coach of the Rapids Reserves, of the 1-1 draw on April 27. “There were a lot of experienced players and senior players on their team. We’ve got one academy player, four trialists and some players that have been in the first team picture and need minutesor are coming back from injury.”
The academy player and four trialists that Cooke mentioned are Quentin Pearson (U-18 Development Academy), Patrick Slogic (former academy player, played four years at Cornell University and currently with the Rochester Rhinos), Paulo Delpiccolo, Bilal Duckett and Ben Newnam.
“Quentin has been outstanding. I’ve known 'Q' for a little while now in the Development Academy, where he’s been a dominant force in virtually every game I’ve seen him play. He’s focused, and his concentration as a defender is excellent, while his ability to understand his role is outstanding.
Pearson is following in the footsteps of former Academy players, and now current Rapids first team members, Shane O’Neill and Dillon Serna. He has been training with the Colorado Rapids first team for several weeks to supplement his Development Academy training.
“To play at the pro level, he’s going to need to keep working on his technical work and increasing every aspect to his game. We hold him in very high regard and hope one day he can play in the first team.”
Pearson is committed to the University of Washington where he will report next summer after finishing his senior year with Niwot High School.
Duckett and Newnam came to Colorado for a short training stint having previously played for the Charlotte Eagles, and were recommended to the Rapids technical staff by executives from the Charlotte Independence, Colorado’s newly announced USL PRO affiliate.
“[Bilal and Ben] had a great USL season," Cooke added. "We’ve invited them here to see if they can contribute at MLS level, but also to have an evaluation format with this partnership that we now have [with the Charlotte Independence], where we can assess the level of their players and help that group to make strides and improve as they look forward to the 2015 season.”
The match on Monday will be free and open to the public. The Rapids hold a 2-3-3 overall record this season, and are 1-2-2 in MLS Reserve League play. For more information on the Rapids Reserves, as well as their results for the season, visit www.ColoradoRapids.com/reserves.