After having an affiliation with the USL’s Charlotte Independence for the past four seasons, the Colorado Rapids announced today that they have come to a new agreement with the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. The two Colorado sides have met in the U.S. Open Cup three times, and the Rapids have sent players down to the Springs when they don’t want them to go all the way to Charlotte. Sometimes these players train with the Rapids in Commerce City during the week and just go down to Colorado Springs for game day.
Colorado Rapids Executive Vice President and General Manager Pádraig Smith believes that “this is an exciting time for soccer in the region and we believe that this affiliation will not only be beneficial from an on-field performance and player development perspective for both clubs, but will also create a platform that fosters the growth of the sport in the state of Colorado.”
Per the press release, “the Switchbacks’ roster will be made up of a combination of full-time players signed to Switchbacks FC contracts, four season-long Rapids loan players, plus additional players on short-term loans determined on a weekly basis. The Rapids reserve the option to recall players at any point during the loan.”
The Switchbacks’ coaching and technical staff will remain the same (including Head Coach Steve Trittschuh), but Brian Crookham, current Colorado Rapids Senior Director of Soccer Development, has been promoted to General Manager of Switchbacks FC as part of the affiliation deal.
You can watch the entire press conference from this afternoon below: