“We’re thrilled to see Cole and Sam recognized for their hard work,” said Pádraig Smith, Colorado Rapids Executive Vice President & General Manager. “2019 was a good year for both of them as they built on the promise they showed in their rookie seasons and continued to show why they’re a big part of the club’s future.”
All MLS players age 21 or younger before Oct. 6, 2019 were eligible for consideration for the annual rankings, which were based on the following criteria: technical ability, tactical IQ, physical attributes and future potential.
Bassett, 18, made 20 appearances for the Rapids during his sophomore season with the club, recording two goals and two assists. The Littleton, Colorado, native joined the Rapids as a Homegrown Player in 2018, becoming the youngest club signing at the time. Bassett showed his potential during his rookie season as he also set club records at the time for the youngest player to make his Rapids debut and youngest player to score for the club. Bassett received multiple call-ups to U.S. youth national teams in 2019 and recently spent over a week in England training with Arsenal’s U-23 side.
Vines, 20, cemented himself as the Rapids’ starting left back in 2019, making 26 appearances in his second season with the club. Like Bassett, the Colorado Springs native also came through the Rapids’ youth system before signing a Homegrown Player contract with the club in 2018. Vines has also been a regular with U.S. youth national team squads throughout his career.
Both Bassett and Vines were named to the 2019 MLS Homegrown Team that defeated C.D. Guadalajara’s U-20s in July, with Bassett converting the winning penalty kick to give his side the first MLS Homegrown Team victory in the series since it was first contested in 2014.