On March 24, the Colorado Rapids announced that they had loaned goalkeeper Andre Rawls and defender Jeremy Kelly to the USL’s Phoenix Rising FC for the 2021 season. Kelly, 23, made eight appearances (two starts) for the Rapids in 2020, for a total of 246 minutes. Rawls, 29, was the third-string goalkeeper and didn’t earn any minutes last season.
On Monday, the club announced that they have loaned five players to USL affiliate the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC for the 2021 season: goalkeeper Abraham Rodriguez, defenders Sebastian Anderson and Michael Edwards, midfielder Philip Mayaka, and forward Matt Hundley.
“These loans will give Abe, Seb, Matt, Philip, and Mike an opportunity to earn valuable playing time as they look to take the next step in their development,” said Pádraig Smith, Rapids Executive VP & General Manager. “All five are young talents with great potential and who we believe can grow into successful players at the top level. This requires consistent playing time, however, so we’re pleased to be able to provide them with the opportunity to gain more experience through our partnership with Switchbacks FC.”
This wasn’t completely unexpected for Rodriguez and Hundley, who spent last season on loan with the Switchbacks and Memphis 901 FC, respectively. It also makes sense to give Seb Anderson more minutes, as he featured in six games (five from the start) for a total of 317 minutes in 2020.
It is somewhat surprising to see Mayaka and Edwards being sent to the Springs, though. Many of us were thinking that the plan was for Mayaka to make a significant contribution in his first year. As a centerback, Edwards came into a position in which the Rapids already have some depth, but the FO still seemed pretty excited about him.
That being said, per the terms of the loan agreement, the Rapids can recall any of the players at any time during the regular season, so there’s still a possibility of seeing these guys in burgundy at some point in 2021.