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Colorado Rapids to launch new ‘Rapids 2’

Rapids 2 will compete as one of the inaugural teams in MLS NEXT Pro.

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The Colorado Rapids announced Monday the launch of Rapids 2.

Rapids 2 will compete as one of the inaugural teams in MLS NEXT Pro, a new, lower-division professional league set to begin play spring of 2022, said the Rapids.

Brian Crookham has been appointed the general manager of Rapids 2.

"We’re excited to take part in MLS NEXT Pro as one of the league’s inaugural teams," said Pádraig Smith, Colorado Rapids Executive VP & General Manager.

"Rapids 2 will serve as a fundamental piece of our player development pathway by not only providing a competitive, professional environment for young talent to develop, but also giving us the ability to extend this opportunity to a broader range of players in our youth system during a critical phase in their development."

According the Rapids, the Rapids 2 will provide a professional platform to bridge the gap between the Rapids Academy and First Team.

The new team will be composed of Rapids Academy players on amateur contracts, players signed directly to Rapids 2 and players on loan from the Rapids First Team.

As part of the club’s participation in MLS NEXT Pro, the Rapids said they have concluded their formal partnership with Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC of the USL Championship.

"We’re grateful to the entire Switchbacks FC organization for being a wonderful partner over the past three seasons and for the key role it has played in the development of many of our young players," said Smith. "We look forward to seeing the club continue the great work they’re doing both on the pitch and in growing the sport in Colorado."

Additional details on Rapids 2, including full coaching staff, competition schedule and venue will be announced at a later date.

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