Jayson Baca was on target in three out of three games as the Colorado Rapids’ U-16/17s returned from the U.S. Development Academy Winter Showcase in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, with a 3-0-0 record, and without conceding a single goal.
The news was not so bright for the U-18/19s, though it could have been were it not for conceding late goals in all three of their contests - including goals in the last minute of two encounters.
Rapids’ senior DA side tied a pulsating opening game against Concorde Premier last Thursday. The match ended 4-4, with goals from Enoch Mushagalusa (2), Rafael Perez, and Carlos Vargas. Trailing 3-1 at one point, the Rapids scored three without reply, before giving up a leveler 10 minutes from time.
Vargas also scored in the second game, a 2-1 loss to Crew SC Academy. The Crew winner came in the 90th minute.
Matthew Hundley netted twice in the U-18/19s’ final match, which was a 3-3 tie with Toronto FC Academy on Sunday. The other goal came from Samuel Owusu. Hundley’s second, and the Rapids’ third, came on 82 minutes, and handed Chris Martinez’s young men the lead. For a second game in a row, though, the Rapids conceded in the last minute and had to settle for another tie.
The U16/17s wrapped up their Winter Showcase on Monday morning, defeating Portland Timbers 1-0, with Baca the scorer. His goal came five minutes from the final whistle.
They had previously defeated Concorde Fire 2-0, with Logan Hitzeman and Baca on the scoresheet. Erik Bushey’s team followed this with another shutout success. Baca’s 13th minute strike was the difference in a 1-0 win over D.C. United on Saturday afternoon.
In all, 76 DA clubs took part, playing 228 games, in front of U.S. Soccer technical advisers, scouts, youth national team staff, and a whole host of college recruiters.
More than 400 college scouts were in attendance, from all NCAA divisions, as well as those from overseas, keen on monitoring the region’s top talent.
This was the 11th year of the Winter Showcase, with member clubs facing unfamiliar foe. All games were against teams from outside of the Rapids’ conference, but count toward the overall regular season standings.
To keep up-to-date with the Rapids Academy, click HERE, or visit @RapidsAcademy on Twitter.