The affiliation between the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC and the Colorado Rapids was made official on October 30th, 2018. Since then, both teams have worked to integrate many parts of their soccer operations. While gearing up for the 2019 season, scouting and player recruitment have been a major area of emphasis. Both rosters are being built with the benefits of the affiliation in mind. The Rapids know that players on their roster will have the opportunity of gaining valuable minutes in the USL Championship while the Switchbacks have the opportunity to build a roster with players that could have experience in Major League Soccer (MLS).
Recently, Head Coach Steve Trittschuh and the Colorado Pride Switchbacks U23 Head Coach, Diego Zaltron, attended the MLS Combine in Orlando, Florida and were part of the Rapids preparation for the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.
"It was great having Tritt and Diego with us for an extended period while we prepared for the draft," said Switchbacks Team General Manager, Brian Crookham. "It was incredibly valuable to spend time discussing player evaluation and looking at ways we can construct both rosters in a complementary manner. Every move each of us makes affects the other. It is a big puzzle trying to coordinate available roster spots, salary budgets, international spots, and even things as simple as training opportunities."
The first two rounds of the MLS SuperDraft were held on January 11th and the Rapids are feeling optimistic about their selections for the future. "It will take time to fully evaluate draft success but we are very excited for the talented young men we were able to select this year. On top of that, we feel good about the relationships being built between the coaching staffs of each club. It was a very successful week overall," said Crookham.
*Photo Credit to Luis Aguilar, Colorado Rapids*