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Colorado Rapids, Charlotte Independence end four-year affiliation

The Colorado Rapids have announced on Tuesday that their affiliation agreement with the Charlotte Independence of USL will not be renewed, ending what was a four-year relationship.

“Charlotte has been a fantastic affiliate for us,” Rapids senior director of soccer development Brian Crookham said in a statement. “Coach Jeffries and his staff have created a professional environment that has allowed us to challenge and develop our young professionals at a key point in their development.”

This season, Caleb Calvert, Andrew Dykstra, Ricardo Perez and Sam Vines went on season-long loans with Charlotte, while Dominique Badji and Marlon Hairston also spent time with the Independence in 2018.

Over the course of four seasons, 15 different players who made a total of 286 appearances and earned nearly 18,000 minutes were loaned to the Independence. Additionally, four Development Academy players were rostered to the Independence as amateurs during this period, most notably Vines, who is currently in the US Under-20 national team pool and made his MLS debut in a 0-0 draw at San Jose on Sunday.

“We want to thank Independence president and Managing Partner Jim McPhilliamy, Chief Financial Officer Bruce Cairnduff and general manager Tom Engstrom, as well as the Charlotte Independence ownership group for their tremendous support,” Rapids executive vice president and general manager Padraig Smith said. “While the formal affiliation will end, it is certain that we will continue to work together in the sport on future projects.”

The Rapids say an announcement on future USL affiliation plans will be made in the coming weeks.