Colorado Rapids announce USL affiliation with Colorado Springs Switchbacks

The Colorado Rapids announced a new affiliation agreement with USL side Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Tuesday. It marks the second USL affiliation for the Rapids, having spent the last four seasons with Charlotte Independence.

“This is an exciting time for soccer in the region and we believe that this affiliation will not only be beneficial from an on-field performance and player development perspective for both clubs, but will also create a platform that fosters the growth of the sport in the state of Colorado,” said Colorado Rapids EVP and general manager Padraig Smith.

Switchbacks FC head coach Steve Trittschuh, and the current technical staff, will retain their roles in the club. Additionally, Brian Crookham, Colorado Rapids senior director of soccer development, will serve as general manager of Switchbacks FC as part of the affiliation.

"Professional soccer competition at both the USL Championship level and the Major League Soccer level is ever improving. We need new and efficient strategies to compete, communicate, and inspire. This affiliation lays a strong foundation to accomplish these goals and is ultimately a huge win for Colorado soccer," said Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC president Nick Ragain.

Per the affiliation, the Switchbacks’ roster will be made up of a combination of full-time players signed to Switchbacks FC contracts, four season-long Rapids loan players, plus additional players on short term loans determined on a weekly basis. The Rapids reserve the option to recall players at any point during the loan. The Switchbacks finished in 11th place in USL's Western Conference in 2018.

In 2018, 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.