Transfer Tracker

Colorado Rapids acquire USMNT defender Sam Vines from Royal Antwerp 

Sam Vines - Antwerp to Colorado - transfer


The Colorado Rapids' offseason makeover has led to a reunion, as the club announced Monday they have acquired defender Sam Vines from Belgian top-flight side Royal Antwerp.

The US men's national team left back originally departed Colorado for Antwerp midway through the 2021 MLS season. Now, his new deal lasts through 2027.

"We are incredibly happy to bring Sam back home to the Rapids. He is an exceptional player who has gained valuable experience abroad in Europe, and we’re thrilled to add his talents to our group," said Rapids president Pádraig Smith.

"His career progression and success at both club and international levels are a testament to his quality, hard work and the investment our club has made in developing young local players and our 'Drive to Youth' philosophy."

The 24-year-old became a Rapids' homegrown player ahead of the 2018 MLS campaign, producing 2g/4a in 53 matches before his transfer to Antwerp. He is a 2021 Gold Cup champion with the USMNT and has one goal in nine caps.

At Antwerp, Vines tallied 2g/2a in 58 matches across all competitions. He battled injuries while in Belgium, suffering both a broken collarbone and a broken tibia.

"From our first conversation, I knew Sam would be an ideal fit for our system and style of play," said head coach Chris Armas. "His motivation level is high, he’s a winner, and he loves to attack both sides of the ball. It’s equally important that Sam is also a humble, team guy that fits into our club culture."

Vines is Colorado's latest offseason signing with USMNT experience, following midfielder Djordje Mihailovic (transfer from AZ Alkmaar) and goalkeeper Zack Steffen (transfer from Manchester City). They've also added free-agent midfielder Omir Fernandez after his New York Red Bulls days and acquired both left back Miguel Navarro (from Chicago Fire FC) and midfielder Jasper Löffelsend (from Real Salt Lake) via intra-league trades, among other moves.

This ongoing roster overhaul, which follows a last-place Western Conference finish in 2023, builds towards a Feb. 24 regular-season opener at the Portland Timbers (10:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).