LONE TREE, Colo. – This past Wednesday, Colorado Rush announced they will be joining USL League Two in 2020. The club will be the fourth team backed by the Rush global soccer brand in League Two. Last Word on Soccer spoke with club representatives at the announcement.
Colorado Rush Looking to Fill USL League Two gap in Colorado Soccer
USL2 and Rush History:
USL League Two (formerly the Premier Development League) is the third tier in the United Soccer League and fourth division overall in U.S. Soccer. The league is not considered a professional league and acts as a platform for college and young academy players to continue to develop. MLS and USL Championship teams that field a USL2 side field their U23 teams.
Colorado Rush started in the 1990s as a merger between Club Columbine and Lakewood United SC. Rush now has a network of teams and programs for three-year-olds to adults all over Colorado, the country, and internationally. Colorado Rush will join Cedar Stars Rush, Daytona Rush, Virginia Beach United as Rush-backed USL2 sides.
Filling a Recent Gap:
They won’t be the first team in Colorado in this division. Colorado Rapids had their U23 team in the PDL from 2000-08 and 2017-18. With the Rapids in MLS and Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in the USL Championship, Colorado Rush are filling a significant gap in the Colorado Soccer Pyramid. (Looking at you Fort Collins to get a USL League One team).
“We’re really excited to fill this game. There’s been a gap for players here locally. We’re excited to work with those teams. We’re excited to see our players move on to those higher levels. We hope that they’ll be out at our matches scouting our players and we hope to have a great relationship with them,” Rush Head Coach Joe Webb told Last Word on Soccer.
Rush will prioritize opportunities for Rush alumni but will look at local college players as well. This could provide a path to the pros for all of the above. At this time, the Rapids DA doesn’t have Rush immediately in their plans as far as player development.
“We pride ourselves on developing players and putting players through the [professional development] pathway,” said Webb.
The club is currently working on a residency setup so players without roots in the local area can move in locally for the season. Club staff are currently in communication with several Rush alumni at major D1 programs to fill out their roster for 2020. The Rush could look at re-establishing their own professional first team higher up the USL pyramid as well.
There is now a realistic path for young players in the area who aren’t ready to turn professional out of high school to continue to develop in a professional environment while attending college. This missing link fills a vital gap in the professional soccer landscape in Colorado and the United States.