Saturday night’s Rocky Mountain Cup showdown had a little bit of everything.
It also featured what’s becoming a consistent trend for the Rapids this season: its young players playing a key role in the team’s success.
Homegrown defender Sam Vines, 21, helped put the game away in the 49th minute after getting on the end of a low cross from Younes Namli to make the score 3-0. The goal, Vines’ first in MLS, followed up on his midweek assist that helped the Rapids rally to a stoppage-time draw against the Houston Dynamo.
Six minutes later, Jonathan Lewis forced an RSL turnover that culminated with Homegrown midfielder Cole Bassett assisting 19-year-old Braian Galvan to his first Rapids goal—on his first touch of the game, no less.
Bassett, 19, would get on the scoresheet himself in the final minutes of the match after Jeremy Kelly, the Rapids’ top pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, weaved his way through several defenders and squared a low pass for the Littleton, Colorado, native to strike home. Bassett has now recorded two goals and three assists from six appearances this season, while Kelly notched his first MLS assist in just his third appearance as a pro.
With Vines’ and Bassett’s contributions, the 5-0 win over RSL marked the fourth consecutive match that a Rapids Homegrown Player has directly impacted the scoreline via a goal or an assist. If these performances are anything to go by, the future looks bright for the young Burgundy Boys.
The Rapids will look to keep the positive momentum from Saturday’s result going when they travel to FC Dallas on Wednesday, September 16, for their fourth regular season match in a span of twelve days.