2017.06.16 DA Best XI

Rapids Development Academy 10th anniversary: Best XI

As the Colorado Rapids celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Development Academy, find below a Best XI lineup from those that have gone before.

Andrew Epstein (goalkeeper): a back-to-back NCAA Championship winner with Stanford, where Epstein has been studying electrical engineering. He made two saves in the penalty shootout win over Wake Forest last December to secure a successive title for Stanford. He graduated this year and is currently enrolled in graduate school.

Patrick Slogic (defender): Started his professional career with the USL Rochester Rhinos then spent two seasons at the Rapids’ USL affiliate Charlotte Independence, before departing at the end of 2016. Most recently an energy market analyst for a company in Boulder, having graduated from Cornell University with a degree in environmental engineering.

Shane O’Neill (defender): a homegrown signing, O’Neill has just enjoyed promotion to the Eredivisie in the Netherlands with NAC Breda. He was there on loan from Cypriot club Apollon Limassol FC, and was the captain of the side which had spent the past two seasons in the Eerste Divisie.

Kortne Ford (defender): a more recent homegrown player, Ford signed pro forms in January out of the University of Denver. He scored his first MLS goal in the 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City on May 27.

Ryan Kawulok (defender): acquired by Portland Timbers in the 2012 Supplemental Draft where he spent the 2012 and part of the 2013 season. He was waived by the club in May of 2013, having played against the Rapids during preseason in Tucson. He is now a sales representative based in Kansas City, MO.

Davy Armstrong (defensive midfield): the club’s first-ever homegrown signing, Armstrong spent four years with the club and is currently in his third season with Colorado Springs Switchbacks in the USL.

Steven Emory (defensive midfield): a member of the Academy in its first year (2007), Emory played one U.S. Open Cup match with the Rapids, against Chicago Fire, in 2011. After time in Finland, he has most recently been with Cerner Corporation as a sales executive in Kansas City, MO.

Zach Bolden (right midfield): he was selected by the Chicago Fire in the 2014 Superdraft with the 61st overall pick, out of the University of Denver. Bolden had played at the Combine, and went up against Eric Miller in one contest. He was released by the Fire in February, 2014 and is now working as an account executive at Red Canary in Denver.

Ricardo Perez (center midfield): like Ford, Perez signed as a homegrown player back in January. He made his competitive debut in the 3-2 win over Oklahoma City Energy FC on Tuesday night in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. He has spent time on loan at Colorado Springs Switchbacks, and is yet to feature in MLS, though he was in the 18 for the trip to New York Red Bulls (March 11).

Dillon Serna (left midfield): a homegrown signing, Serna is in his fifth season with the club. He has made 58 appearances (29 starts), with seven goals and five assists.

James Rogers (center forward): selected in the third round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft (53rd overall), by Sporting Kansas City, Rogers was waived in June of that year, having appeared in six preseason matches and featured in the gameday roster on four occasions in MLS.

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