clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Burgundy Boys on Loan, Week One

The 2018 USL Season is kicking off this weekend, and for loanees of the Rapids, their first taste of action is on the horizon.

MLS: Portland Timbers at Colorado Rapids Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rapids may be enjoying their second bye week of the young Major League Soccer season (thanks, schedule makers), but for the United Soccer League, things are just starting. And for five current Rapids players, there will be an opportunity to impress coaches and make a return to the first team.

As you are probably aware, the Rapids are affiliated with Charlotte Independence of the Eastern Conference of USL. This is the fourth year of the affiliation between the ‘Jacks’ and the Burgundy Boys and they play all of their home matches at the Sportsplex in Matthews, North Carolina.

The Rapids will also send players on loan to Phoenix Rising FC and Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in the Western Conference of USL.

The five current Rapids players that are on loan are:

Mike da Fonte—Defender—Phoenix Rising FC—loaned in February 2018

Caleb Calvert—Forward—Charlotte Independence—loaned in March 2018

Ricardo Perez—Midfielder—Charlotte Independence—loaned in March 2018

Sam Vines—Defender—Charlotte Independence—loaned in March 2018

Andrew Dykstra—Goalkeeper—Charlotte Independence—loaned in March 2018

The five players are in different stages of their development, and the partnership with the Independence has been fruitful. Over the course of the four years players such as Dominique Badji, Marlon Hairston, John Berner, Calvert, and Dennis Castillo have spent time in Charlotte and have made impacts on the first time in Commerce City. In addition, loan spells for several other Rapids players with both Phoenix and Colorado Springs have aided in their development. Bottom line, the partnership is working.

And for players such as Calvert, Perez, and Vines the time in the Queen City will be crucial.

Each week we will be taking a look at these five players (and more if that happens) and updating you on their progress and what we are noticing. But for week one, here is what we will be watching for:

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Charlotte Independence vs Ottawa Fury FC

Location: Sportsplex at Matthews (Matthews, NC) at 5:00 PM MDT

What to Watch For: I will be curious to see who starts in goal for the Independence. Dykstra started on Saturday against Old Dominion (yep, I was there), but Charlotte made a big splash with the signing of Brandon Miller, former USL goalkeeper of the year, in the offseason. Also, Calvert and Vines were fun to watch last year and this preseason and I will be curious how the fit in as they make their return to Charlotte.

How to Watch: All USL games are streamed on YouTube and this match can be found here

Orange County Blues vs Phoenix Rising FC

Location: Champions Soccer Stadium at OC Great Park (Irvine, CA) at 8:00 PM MDT

What to Watch For: Well, da Fonte did not have the best year for the Rapids and at times looked very out of place. Now, was that to do more with the upheaval in Commerce City, or is he just not an MLS caliber player? This is a big year for him because he is playing for a chance to get back to MLS, whether that is in Colorado or not.

How to Watch: All USL games are streamed on YouTube and this match can be found here