This weekend saw four Rapids players earn caps for their countries as the U.S. U-23 men’s national team took the pitch and Rwanda and New Zealand’s senior teams were in action on Thursday, November 14, and Sunday, November 17.
Jonathan Lewis and Sam Vines made their mark this weekend for the U-23s. Lewis played in both games of the United International Football Festival, which saw the U.S. fall 1-0 to Brazil, the 2016 Olympic champs, and claim a 4-0 victory over host nation United Gran Canaria. Vines saw the pitch against Brazil, playing the entire match.
This marked the U-23's last match of 2019. In March of 2020, the U.S. will look to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games through the 2020 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship.
Elsewhere, defender Tommy Smith featured twice in New Zealand’s matchups against the Republic of Ireland and Lithuania. Smith came on in the 75th minute on Thursday and played the full 90 on Sunday wearing the captain's armband against Lithuania, while New Zealand fell 3-1 and 1-0.
Abdul Rwatubyaye played the full 90 minutes in both games for Rwanda in the 2021 Africa Cup on Nations Qualifying tournament. Rwanda held close with Cameroon and Mozambique, but fell 1-0 and 2-0, respectively, and was thus eliminated from the competition. Rwatubyaye spent the majority of 2019 on loan to the Colorado Springs Switchbacks after the Rapids acquired him from Sporting Kansas City in May.