The Colorado Rapids continue their commitment to developing academy talent with the signing of 16-year-old Green Valley Ranch native Darren Yapi. He has agreed to a five-year Homegrown Player contract with a club option for an additional year.
At 16 years and 104 days old, the forward becomes the youngest player to ever sign a pro contract with the Rapids, an honor that was previously held by Sebastian Anderson. Yapi is also the 14th Rapids Academy player to sign a Homegrown contract with the club and the 10th since 2017.
Yapi joined the DA in 2016 with the U-12 side, scoring 64 goals in 95 appearances over the next few years. He trained with the First Team in 2020 and then signed a contract with the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on July 31, 2020. His professional debut came the next day. Yapi was 15 years old at the time.
“Darren’s ability and quality has been evident throughout his time in our academy,” said Pádraig Smith, Rapids Executive VP & General Manager. “He’s worked hard to earn his first pro contract and is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential. He possesses all the necessary qualities to reach the very top of the game and we’re excited to see Darren’s continued growth at the club.”