COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Colorado Rapids 2 announced today their full technical staff ahead of the club’s inaugural season in MLS NEXT Pro. Erik Bushey will lead the Rapids’ second team as head coach, while former Trinidad & Tobago international Brian Haynes will serve as assistant coach.
“We’re delighted to have Erik and Brian lead Rapids 2 in our inaugural MLS NEXT Pro season,” said Brian Crookham, Rapids 2 General Manager. “Erik and Brian bring a proven track record in developing young players, and their complementary skillsets and experience will be instrumental in providing a complete developmental pathway for players in the Rapids system. We’re excited to have them spearhead this important project.”
A longtime figure in the Rapids’ youth academy, Bushey has previously served as head coach of the club’s U-17, U-19 and U-23 teams, working with several players who have gone on to sign Homegrown Player contracts with the First Team and represent the USMNT, such as Sam Vines and Cole Bassett. Bushey’s coaching career spans over 25 years, during which he has directed club teams to five national championships, directed two development academy teams to top 8 finishes nationally, and in his club experience, has helped the development of over 40 national team players and over 20 professional players. Bushey holds a USSF A License and Academy Director License.
Haynes joins the club after serving as an assistant coach with USL Championship side Charlotte Independence last season. The Trinidad & Tobago native enjoyed a prolific playing career, making 91 appearances for FC Dallas from 1996 to 2000 along with stints in the APSL and NPSL prior to the formation of MLS, and featuring for his national team 21 times. Following his retirement, Haynes served as an assistant coach with FC Dallas, along with roles as head coach of the NASL’s Atlanta Silverbacks and the youth academies of Houston Dynamo FC and Inter Miami CF. In 2013, he was named the NASL Coach of the Year.
In addition to Bushey and Haynes, Rapids 2’s technical and support staff will include Zach Winterberg as athletic trainer, Derek Landry as strength & conditioning coach, Matt Gordon as video analyst and Padraic Farrell as director of team operations.
Rapids 2 will play in the recently launched MLS NEXT Pro, providing a defined pathway for players in the Rapids system to reach the professional ranks. The team’s roster, schedule and venue information will be announced at a later date.