The end of the Rapids 2 season is right around the corner and many young players are finding their opportunity to record professional minutes as the season rounds to a close. Members of the Colorado Rapids Academy have stepped up in recent weeks to assist Rapids 2 in its push for the playoffs while first team loans continue to contribute to the Rapids first team. Here's a look at how these young players are making an impact at the MLS NEXT Pro and MLS levels:
Colorado native Darren Yapi has been a standout among young Rapids players this season. The striker has spent time with both the Rapids first team and Rapids 2 during the 2022 campaign, amassing 1,055 minutes for the second team and 11 minutes for the first team. Yapi has spent the season consistently training with the first team while serving as a regular in the starting XI lineup for Rapids 2. He has been a staple in the Rapids 2 attack, leading the team with 31 shots while also recording four goals.
Dantouma “Yaya” Toure
Dantouma “Yaya” Toure has been a key contributor to Rapids 2 this season, leading the team’s offensive efforts with 14 shots on target. In the team’s last three matches, Toure has managed to record five goals, including two back to back braces in Rapids 2’s matches versus Earthquakes II and Whitecaps FC 2. The striker currently leads the team in goals scored with seven to his name. In addition to his playing time with Rapids 2, Toure recently recorded his first MLS goal and the game winning goal in the first team’s 5-4 win over New York Red Bulls on August 2.
Academy product Adam Beaudry recently made his professional debut with Rapids 2, playing 45 minutes in the team’s match versus Premier League 2 side Wolves U-21. Beaudry has spent a significant amount of time training with Rapids 2 this season alongside regular appearances with the Rapids Academy U17 team. Beaudry has recorded four appearances as a substitute for the second team and has played 900 minutes for the U17 team in the 2021-2022 season. In addition, Beaudry was recently selected to participate in the inaugural MLS NEXT All-Star Game taking place on August 10, at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota.
Keith Chavarria is an Academy product who currently competes with the club’s U17 team as midfielder. During the 2021-2022 Academy season, Chavarria has appeared in 52 matches for a total of 4,630 minutes on the pitch. The 16-year-old has also contributed four goals this season, making him a standout among the Academy’s attacking presence. His performance in the attacking third this season earned Chavarria a selection to the inaugural MLS NEXT All-Star Game taking place on August 10, at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota. In addition, Chavarria has made two appearances as a substitute for Rapids 2 this season.
Homegrown defender Jackson Travis has been absent from his usual starting XI position with Rapids 2 after sustaining a core muscle injury halfway through the season. Travis recently underwent a successful surgery to repair his injury and will now look to begin the rehabilitation process, which is expected to take six to ten weeks, barring any complications.
Rapids 2 midfielder Dillon Serna started the season strong being the first player to sign a contract with the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro squad. Before sustaining a long term injury to his left tibia, Serna played in the Rapids 2 home opener against Sporting KC II and recorded 90 minutes of play and added three shots. The veteran midfielder underwent a successful procedure to his left tibia in June and immediately began the rehabilitation process, which was expected to last eight to twelve weeks, barring any complications. Serna is now nearly eight weeks into his recovery and he is currently continuing his running progression back to 100% weight bearing. The goal over the next couple weeks will be to build on his lower body strength while slowly progressing back into individual technical work.
First team midfielder Oliver Larraz recently underwent a successful surgery in March on his lower right leg to repair an open fracture on his tibia. Following the surgery, Larraz immediately began the rehabilitation process, which was expected to last 12 weeks. The Homegrown Player has been continuously working on his return to training by participating in individual drills on the sideline.