Youth Update: Rapids Academy Finds Early Success, USL Championship Kicks off 2021 Campaign
The Colorado Rapids Academy teams enjoyed a successful month of April that featured several big wins and moments of individual brilliance.
The U-19s rebounded from a 1-0 loss to Real Colorado with a 2-0 win over Sporting Kansas City on April 18. Then last weekend, the young Rapids earned a 1-1 draw against Real Colorado. 16-year-old Yaya Toure scored the lone goal for the Burgundy Boys and flashed his skill while he was at it. Toure, who signed a Homegrown Player contract with the Rapids First Team in March, has been getting minutes at various levels in addition to daily training sessions with the Rapids First Team.
The U-17s started the month with aÂ 2-1Â loss to Real Colorado, but quickly rebounded with a 2-0 win over Sporting KC and a 1-0 win over Real ColoradoÂ in which Alan Salgado scored the game-winner.Â
Colorado's U-15sÂ finished April on a high note, earning a 3-2 win over Real Colorado.Â Jacob Lahlou scored a header and a sizzling long-range strikeÂ and JoshuaÂ EliceroÂ added another to give the Rapids U-15s their first win of the month.Â They had previously tied Sporting KC, 2-2, and lost to Real Colorado, 1-0.
The U-14s closed out an undefeated month with a 1-0 win over Real Colorado, where Martin Flores Bravo scored the game-winner for the Rapids.Â A week before, the Rapids cruised to a 4-0 win over SportingÂ KC, andÂ started the month with a 0-0 draw to Real Colorado.Â
L, 0-1 vs Real ColoradoÂ on AprilÂ 10Â
W, 2-0 vs Sporting Kansas CityÂ on April 18Â
D, 1-1 vs Real ColoradoÂ on April 25Â
L, 1-2 vs Real ColoradoÂ on AprilÂ 11Â
W, 2-0 vs Sporting Kansas CityÂ on April 18Â
W, 1-0 vs Real ColoradoÂ on AprilÂ 25Â
L, 0-1 vs Real ColoradoÂ on AprilÂ 11Â
D, 2-2 vs Sporting Kansas CityÂ on April 17Â
W, 3-2 vs Real ColoradoÂ on AprilÂ 25Â
D, 0-0 vs Real ColoradoÂ on AprilÂ 11Â
W, 4-0 vs Sporting Kansas CityÂ on April 17Â
W, 1-0 vs Real ColoradoÂ on AprilÂ 25
Rapids' Players on Loan in USL Championship Kick Off 2021 Season
PHOENIX RISING FC
Andre Rawls and Jeremy Kelly, both Rapids players on loan, and the rest of Phoenix Rising FC open their 2021 campaign with a 4-1 win over former Rapids forward Niki Jackson and San Diego Loyal SC, a 2020 expansion team owned by MLS legend Landon Donovan.
Rawls played the full 90 minutes in goal for Phoenix, and Kelly replaced Aodhan Quinn in the 78th minute, slotting into the midfield. Phoenix has their sights set high this season, as they finished their 2020 campaign as Western Conference Champions, following the cancellation of the title game due to COVID-19. Next up for Phoenix Rising FC is a match at home against Oakland Roots SC.
COLORADO SPRINGS SWITCHBACKS FC
Abe Rodriguez, Sebastian Anderson and Michael Edwards all played a full 90 minutes in the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC season opener. Rodriguez earned the start from goal, while Edwards slotted in at center back alongside Anderson, who played in his natural position at left back. Anderson has had a busy few weeks, as he was called up to the Rapids prior to the team's Home Opener on April 24.
The Switchbacks suffered a 3-0 defeat against San Antonio FC, who is led by veteran and former Rapids player Axel Sjöberg.
The Switchbacks next game will be on May 14, when they travel to face Sporting Kansas City II before returning to Colorado for their first regular season match in Weidner Field, their new stadium in downtown Colorado Springs.
Their match on May 21st against New Mexico United will mark the highest elevation game in professional sports history in the U.S. Weidner Field is set to be the highest elevated professional stadium in the USL Championship and the United States at 6,035 ft.
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