This spring, the Rapids Academy is saying goodbye and good luck to ten of their stars as they take on the next stage in their personal and soccer careers: college.

Learn more about our graduates, their favorite memories from the Rapids Academy, and their next steps!

isaac-nehme

Isaac Nehme

University of Denver - Fall 2022

What drew you to the University of Denver? 

For me, the University of Denver feels like home. I grew up going to the camps, I have known the coaches forever, and the campus is an hour from home. With all that and also the fact that I’ll be still very close to the Rapids, it was a no brainer for me and my family. 

How long have you been playing soccer and how long with the Rapids organization?  

I have been playing soccer for 14 years and I have been with the Rapids for 5 years now.

How has your time at the Rapids influenced your style of play and the next steps in your soccer career?

Over the last 5 years the Rapids have shown me what it takes to make it to the professional level and it has really shaped me into who I am today. How I train, how I recover, how I go about my life outside of soccer, it all has changed for the better and I am very thankful for the Rapids and how they have prepared for me the next step of my journey. 

What are your goals for the next step of your soccer career? 

At the University of Denver I want to maximize every opportunity I have. Whether that is on the soccer side or the education side I want to show off my full potential and work hard. Overall, my goal is to be back with the Rapids first team one day.

What is your favorite memory with the Rapids organization? 

My favorite memory with the Rapids was putting on the jersey for the first time and playing in my first game. Back in 2018 with the U15’s, we headed down to play our first league game against Sporting Kansas City and there was just a special feeling about playing for the badge for the first time. It’s definitely stuck with me throughout the years and has kept me humble and excited every time I get to put on that jersey.

joaquin-torres

Joaquin Torres                   

California Polytechnic State University - Fall 2022

What drew you to California Polytechnic State University?

I chose Cal Poly because I see myself progressing academically and as a player.

How long have you been playing soccer and how long with the Rapids organization? 

I have been playing soccer since the age of five. I joined the rapids academy at age 14

How has your time at the Rapids influenced your style of play and the next steps in your soccer career?

Rapids has influenced my style of play by making me a more technical player and having a  better sense of the game.

What are your goals for the next step of your soccer career?

My goals are to start games and get awards and achievements during my time in college.

What is your favorite memory with the Rapids organization?

My best memory at the rapids organization is just being with my teammates whether it’s in the hotel room, locker room or on the pitch.

cam

Cam Wilkerson                  

UCLA - Spring 2022

What drew you to UCLA?

I chose UCLA because of the program’s history and the coach’s style of play.

How long have you been playing soccer and how long with the Rapids organization? 

I’ve been playing soccer since I was 4, so 13 years.

How has your time at the Rapids influenced your style of play and the next steps in your soccer career? 

My time at Rapids probably influenced me the most in playing different positions. Moving forward it makes me able to see myself as a more versatile player.

What are your goals for the next step of your soccer career?

My goal is to play professionally.

What is your favorite memory with the Rapids organization?

My favorite memory with the Rapids was my first month here. Just getting to know all of the guys and connecting with my teammates.

collin-keller

Collin Keller                        

University of Denver - Spring 2022

What drew you to the University of Denver?

I was drawn to the University of Denver for their strong academic and athletic qualities. The team is a hardworking and supportive group that will push me both on the field and in the classroom. It is overall a great campus and a great environment that will help me to be my best self each day. It is also a great opportunity to represent the city of Denver, where I have lived all my life.

How long have you been playing soccer and how long with the Rapids organization? 

I have been playing soccer ever since I was little, and I have been with the Rapids Academy since u-11. It has been a long journey and I am grateful for all of the opportunities I have been given here with the Rapids.

How has your time at the Rapids influenced your style of play and the next steps in your soccer career?

My time at the Rapids Academy has allowed me to develop as a player and person. It has pushed me to develop in all areas of the game including technically, physically, and mentally. I have really grown as a player here and have developed a strong soccer brain and knowledge for the game. I have also added a level of fight and resiliency to my game that I will continue to carry with me. It has greatly prepared me for the next level and I am looking forward to show all that I’ve learned from the Academy in college.

What are your goals for the next step of your soccer career?

I would say a big goal of mine is to represent my city well and to play in front of family and friends that have helped me to get to where I am today. I can’t wait to represent them and go make a name for myself at the collegiate level. A big goal of mine is to also help the team in winning a Division 1 National Championship as I know we have the ability and qualities to do so.

What is your favorite memory with the Rapids organization?

I have been playing for the Academy ever since I can remember, so it’s hard to pick just one. I would say some of the best memories include winning the Galway Cup in Ireland during u-15s year, having an undefeated season and making it to the final 8 in national playoffs a couple years back, and playing in the Rapids stadium last year against Real. I would even just say all the years of practice and games with my teammates bring back a lot of great memories that I know will stay with me forever.

Nicholas Legendre

Nicholas Legendre                   

University of Notre Dame - Fall 2022

What drew you to the University of Notre Dame?

The strong academic tradition and the pursuit of excellence through athletics. 

How long have you been playing soccer and how long with the Rapids organization?

I have been playing since I was four years old. I have been playing with the Rapids for two years.

How has your time at the Rapids influenced your style of play and the next steps in your soccer career?

My time with the Rapids has influenced me by making me a quicker decision maker on the field. I have now been exposed to a much higher level of play and I feel like I'm ready to be pushed to that level. 

What are your goals for the next step of your soccer career?

I'm looking forward to helping Notre Dame compete for national championships while preparing myself for a chance at a professional career. 

What is your favorite memory with the Rapids organization?

My favorite memory with the Rapids is the experience of playing with top quality players and learning from them.

sam-ovesen

Sam Ovesen                      

Penn State University - Spring 2022

What drew you to Penn State University?

I enjoy the team and coaching staff and believe that it is the best place to aid me in my future with soccer.

How long have you been playing soccer and how long with the Rapids organization? 

I have been playing the game for 14 years. I started with the rapids when I was 13 years old playing for Marcelo Balboa, then continuing my growth through the academy for 5 years.

How has your time at the Rapids influenced your style of play and the next steps in your soccer career?

Playing for the rapids has helped me to grow as a leader on and off the field. The coaching staff along with many other staff members have influenced my development positively over the past 5 years. I have become more technical, mentally strong, and experienced while with the rapids. Highly competitive games have helped to raise my game and prepare me for the next level.

What are your goals for the next step of your soccer career?

 I’m aiming to become a first year starter at Penn State, then to progress and become a professional player in the future.

What is your favorite memory with the Rapids organization?

Playing in the first ever MLS Next game inside Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Playing in the stadium with my boys was an amazing experience. We came away with a big win, that was streamed for anyone to watch.

Vlad Walent

Vladimir Walent                       

**Wake Forest University - Fall 2022     

**What drew you to Wake Forest University?

What drew me to Wake Forest was the soccer, the campus and the environment.

How long have you been playing soccer and how long with the Rapids organization?

I have been with the Rapids organization since my U15 year.

How has your time at the Rapids influenced your style of play and the next steps in your soccer career?

My time at the Rapids has helped me become a better player both on and off the field. It has also better prepared me for the next step in my soccer career.

What are your goals for the next step of your soccer career?

My goal for the next level of my soccer career is to just ball out at the collegiate level and be ready for whatever awaits me.

What is your favorite memory with the Rapids organization?

My favorite memory with the Rapids organization was during my U17 year when I found out we won our group in the Generation Adidas Cup, which meant we played really good competition.

matt-mcpherson

Matt McPherson              

Dartmouth University - Fall 2022

What drew you to Dartmouth University?

I chose Dartmouth College because their students and alumni are driven and authentic, and as an athlete when I first connected with the coaches I saw my opportunity to make an impact in a great Men's soccer program. I was drawn to Dartmouth because of the great community.

How long have you been playing soccer and how long with the Rapids organization? 

I have been playing soccer for quite a while. I have memories of being as young as 3 kicking around a ball but did not start playing as a part of a team until around when I was 5. This year is now my 5th year with the Rapids.

How has your time at the Rapids influenced your style of play and the next steps in your soccer career?

My time with the Rapids has greatly impacted and improved my style of play. I learned a lot of valuable lessons about playing with a team and what it meant to be together on the field. My next steps have always been leaning toward what can make me the best soccer player I can be and what I can do to reach that professional level which the Rapids organization has been very eye-opening to the work that these high competitive levels require.

What are your goals for the next step of your soccer career?

As I go on to college, I will continue to play soccer at a very competitive level among great coaches and players. My goal is to continue building to become a better person on and off the field and keep pushing my dream of becoming a professional player.

What is your favorite memory with the Rapids organization?

My favorite memory with the Rapids organization would have to be around this same time last year at playoffs with the U19 team. I had the great opportunity of joining their squad and felt very welcomed while being 2-3 years younger than most players, although our push for the trophy was unsuccessful, I saw a great group of guys work hard for each other to reach one main goal. That experience is one I will never forget and that feeling of being a part of a family with a team I got to know throughout the year was definitely my favorite.

Maclovio Swett

Maclovio Swett                 

University of North Carolina - Spring 2023  

What drew you to the University of North Carolina?

I chose North Carolina because of its historic program and the soccer they play itself. When I first started looking at colleges my number one pick was always North Carolina and when I visited I knew I wanted to go here from the community itself to soccer. I believe the coaches really believe in me and I have their trust.

How long have you been playing soccer and how long with the Rapids organization?

I’ve been playing soccer since I was four always playing up with my older brother. I got recruited when I was 11 from Storm and have been with the Rapids from U12 through Rapids 2.

How has your time at the Rapids influenced your style of play and the next steps in your soccer career?

The Rapids have influenced my style of play by having a chip on my shoulder to always want to win and to be very technical and diligent with how you play from your first touch to my movement to find the ball.

What are your goals for the next step of your soccer career?

My next steps are to win a National Championship at North Carolina and hopefully play professional out of college with a degree.

What is your favorite memory with the Rapids organization?

My favorite memory with the Rapids are trips with the team and going undefeated my U15’s year as well as making my professional debut at age 17.

james-doige

James Doidge                     

University of the Incarnate Word - Fall 2022 

Defender James Doidge is heading to San Antonio, Texas and is slated to perform for the University of the Incarnate Word.