Dominique Badji - Colorado Rapids - closeup

The Colorado Rapids announced on Wednesday that they have extended their USL affiliation with the Charlotte Independence through the 2017 season.

The Rapids and Independence have been affiliated since the 2015 season. The Rapids have gotten big contributions this year from several players who have spent time at Charlotte, including October MLS Etihad Player of the Month nominee Dominique Badji and dynamic midfielder Marlon Hairston.

“We are delighted to be extending our partnership with Charlotte Independence for another season,” Rapids technical director Paul Bravo said in a statement released by the club. “Charlotte has proven to be a valuable environment for our players to further develop their skills as professionals during their loan stints. Charlotte have been excellent partners and we look forward to working with them again in 2017.”

The No. 2 overall seed in the Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs, the Rapids will begin their postseason run on Sunday, when they’ll take on Western Conference third seed LA Galaxy at StubHub Center. Colorado will host LA in the decisive second leg at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Nov. 6.

After missing the playoffs in their inaugural season in 2015, Charlotte qualified for the USL postseason as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference this year.