This afternoon, the Colorado Rapids announced that they have signed 18-year-old Sam Vines, a homegrown player from Colorado Springs. The young defender inked a three-year contract and will be added to the supplemental roster.
Vines joined the club as a 13-year-old and has earned call-ups to the U14, U15, U16, U18 and U20 US Youth National Teams. He was named to the National Development Academy’s Best XI in 2017, and earlier this year Rapids Director of Soccer Development Brian Crookham told Burgundy Wave that he believes Vines is “one of our top homegrown prospects.” Crookham added that Vines is “one of the best passers” in the entire Rapids Academy program and “deadly on free kicks.”
Vines has been planning to go pro instead of going to college since he was 13. “I made the Under 14 National Team and that’s when I just decided I wanted to be a professional player,” he told Burgundy Wave. He’s been playing with the first team during spring and summer break for at least the past year and feels like the guys have helped him mature as a player by seeing how they act on—and off—the field.
Rapids Executive Vice President & General Manager, Pádraig Smith said “this is a special signing for us. Not only is Sam a very talented young player with a bright future, but having come up through our academy system we know firsthand how much effort both he and his family have put in to getting to this point. We look forward to helping him reach his potential.”
In January, the Rapids created a video about Sam Vines. Check it out if you haven’t seen it already: