TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Transfer

Colorado Rapids left back Sam Vines, a member of the Gold Cup-winning US men's national team, is moving to Belgian side Royal Antwerp, the clubs announced Thursday.

The 22-year-old USMNT defender heads to Europe on a three-year contract with a one-year option.

“Sam has proven himself to be one of the top young players in MLS and this is the right moment for both him and the club to take this step,” Pádraig Smith, Colorado's executive VP & general manager, said in a release. “His career progression and success at both club and international level is a testament to the investment our club has made in developing young talent and our ‘Drive to Youth’ philosophy.

"This philosophy is the foundation on which we will continue our march to consistently compete for trophies and we believe Sam’s journey can be a positive example for the next generation of young players in Colorado. We are incredibly proud of Sam and the player he has developed into, both with our club and with the US men’s national team and wish him all the best in this next chapter of his career. We know he will make himself, his family and Colorado proud.”

Vines signed for the Rapids as a homegrown player ahead of the 2018 season before inking a fresh deal in March 2021.

As MLSSoccer.com's Tom Bogert noted in a July 15 report, Sam Stejskal, Paul Tenorio and Jeff Rueter of The Athletic first broke the news, reporting that the agreement could reach up to $2 million and the Rapids will retain a sell-on clause.

The move is the culmination of efforts by the Rapids' front office to find Vines a landing spot in Europe, with teams from Belgium, Germany and Spain reportedly interested in his services.

During his time with Colorado, Vines had two goals and four assists across 53 appearances (49 starts). On the international scene, he's scored once in eight appearances.

The move gives Vines a shot at European competition: Antwerp, which finished second in the Belgian Pro League last season, will compete in this season's edition of the Europa League.

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