When Major League Soccer announced the end of the Reserves league and that all MLS teams would either need to field their own USL Pro franchise in 2015 or affiliate with a club, there was much speculation as to who that would be. There was some speculation that that would be Switchbacks FC in Colorado Springs or possibly that the team would field their own USL Pro team (much like LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake are doing). But some exciting news drifted out of Charlotte, North Carolina as a brand new USL Pro affiliate, the Charlotte Independence, was named as the Colorado Rapids USL Pro affiliate going into the 2015 season.
I know that some supporters would have liked to see some of our young talent closer to home, but this partnership makes a lot of sense. The Rapids already have a partnership in the area with the Carolina Rapids, and this is significant as the Rapids brand is already in the area. But aside from that the most significant aspect of this is some of our younger talent getting regular playing time. Imagine players like Davy Armstrong, Gale Agbossoumonde, Grant Van De Casteele, and John Berner getting regular time on the pitch. This is nothing but a massive win for the Rapids, but also the Independence as they are going to get up to five players on loan which helps to build their team.
So what do you think Rapids fans? Are you excited to welcome the Independence into the Rapids family? Share your thoughts below!