The state of professional soccer in Colorado is now completely unified.
A move that was a long time coming was made official on Tuesday, as the Colorado Springs Switchbacks will become the direct USL affiliate team to the Colorado Rapids of the MLS. The move will not a complete, top down affiliation like minor league baseball affiliates but the Switchbacks will have Rapids players on their roster, help them train and play while the Rapids coaching staff can keep a closer eye on them. Both Switchbacks head coach Steve Trittschuh and Rapids head coach Anthony Hudson called it a win-win for the clubs.
“It’s not right on the doorstep, so there is the benefit of sending players down and letting them fend for themselves, learn and grow as individuals as well as players,” said Rapids General Manager Padraig Smith. “Ultimately we have the ability to send players down on a weekly basis, players can train with us and go back at the weekend and then come back.
To be able to have the coaching staff like they have down here, I think this affiliation is something that’s going to be very successful for us.”
“We all understand the value of this proximity and we understand the value of uniting the communities,” said Switchbacks President Nick Ragan. “We compete with a lot of other sports but what makes us different and what makes us stand apart? This relationship is going to help soccer stand apart.”