The Rapids have finally called up their best young developmental player, Davy Armstrong, to the Rapids after long bouts of him training with the first team throughout the year.
The Rapids Academy has been going for a handful of years now, gaining the services of Armstrong in 2007. He played for the Rapids' U-17 and U-18 teams while playing in high school with Rangeview, getting named Colorado player of the year in 2008. Immediately after the Rapids discovered him, he was given the "homegrown" label, an MLS-allowed label that prevents players from getting placed into the MLS Superdraft. Since that point, it has only been a question of when the immensely talented Armstrong would get pulled up to play with the big league squad, not if he would.
The homegrown central midfielder scored more than 50 goals in his high school career, which will be a godsend to the anemic Rapids offense if the kid can keep up his stuff against the big boys. Gary Smith seems to think so:
"At 18-years of age, Davy has already proved after training with our first team for a number of weeks this summer that he not only has the physical qualities that will certainly lend itself to progression and development in MLS, but technically he is also very proficient. More importantly, for a young player he has an outstanding attitude and mental focus to get the job done. I believe now that we have Davy in this environment full-time, we will see a much more polished and professional player ready for the first team."
Armstrong is the first player to ever get called up to the Rapids first team or "graduate" from the Rapids Academy. He rejected a scholarship offer from the University of Washington to play for the Rapids instead. We think he made the right choice!