The Colorado Rapids will participate in the Galway Cup in Ireland from August 5-8. The youth team is made up of 16 players (ten from the Rapids youth system and six from Alliance partner clubs) and will be coached by Development Academy coaches Mike Cromie and Jamie Smith.

Last year, the Galway Cup featured teams from six countries, including Mexico, Israel, United Kingdom, and the United States (D.C. United) with a total of 57 teams and 1,120 players.

Below will be a series of daily blog posts from the players themselves. For more information on the tournament click here.

Colorado Rapids Roster – Galway Cup, Ireland

# Last Name First Name Club
2 McCants Federico Rio Rapids
3 Zhang Roland Rio Rapids
4 Gilbert Bryce Carolina Rapids
5 Farmelo Brandon Colorado Rapids
6 Crookham Connor Colorado Rapids
7 Mitchiner Dylan Carolina Rapids
8 Perez Adan Colorado Rapids
9 Husk Luke Carolina Rapids
10 Padilla-Smith Kai Colorado Rapids
14 Wagoner Zion Colorado Rapids
15 O’Neill Mark FC Boulder
16 Savage NJ Colorado Rapids
21 Hansen Theodore Colorado Rapids
26 Goldstein Jared Colorado Rapids
27 Jimenz Valez Carlos Colorado Rapids
37 LaPoure Kyle Colorado Rapids

Galway Cup
Travel and Day 1
Written by: Connor, Brandon, Bryce, Jared

On Sunday morning we all gathered up at the United ticket counter got through security and waiting to get onto the plane. It was about a three hour 15 minute plane ride to Newark. We waited in Newark for 5 hours before getting on the plane to Ireland where we got dinner, ice cream, and breakfast. We were excited but we did go to sleep for a while on the airplane.

We woke up around 6:30 during our flight to Shannon international airport. After that we took a bus to Galway, it took a while to go through Customs and baggage claim but we eventually got through it. After a not too long bus ride to Galway, we got to our fancy dorms and unpacked. For each person they got their own room with a bed, desk, and bathroom all to ourselves. After lunch, we had an hour long training session with four vs four scrimmages. The rain was going on and off all day.

Then around 3:45 we left and went to a Galway United vs Dundalk game. This was the semifinal of the Irish League Cup. It was freezing cold and we were all half asleep. Coach Cromie had to keep waking us up to make sure we watched the game. We got the pleasure of sitting one row behind the president of Ireland. He was all into the crowd and cheering for Galway United. At dinner we all gobbled down our food. We had things like mashed potatoes, sweet corn, fried chicken and brownies. We were all so jetlagged that when we got back to the hotel we wanted to go straight to bed, we had to do our writing and it was apartment 2’s turn to do laundry. In the end, the day seemed to last just about forever!

Galway Cup
Day 2
Written by: Zion, Roland, NJ and Adan

Today, each and everyone one of us woke up to our door being pounded on. We reluctantly woke up, dressed, and got ready for a whole day in Ireland. Once we walked to breakfast, we ate delicious food, even black pudding. Then we quickly got dressed and went to a good training session.

We went to lunch and again ate great food. After a little bit of downtime, we took a bus (and our money) to downtown. The coaches gave us a little bit of freedom so we could walk around and shop in groups of four without them. After people bought what was desired in two hours, we took the bus back to where we are staying.

We did have to stand on the bus, though. After more downtime and team bonding, we walked to dinner and then took a walk. The coaches went to a meeting, and then our team had more downtime. We played a casual game of 4v4 and then went back to our rooms to sleep, awaiting tomorrow’s game.


Galway Cup
Day 3
Written by: Zion (the whole team helped)

This morning, the team woke up early to catch breakfast, which we almost missed yesterday. Once we ate our breakfast we walked back to the rooms in the regular rain.

We got dressed into our uniforms and met outside our rooms, and then walked to the bus stop. When the bus arrived we quickly boarded, excited for the game. When we arrived at the fields we went to our dressing rooms where the coaches informed us of the starting line-up. Then we went to the warm-up field where we prepared for the game. We headed to the game field where we saw Clare County.

Once the whistle blew we came out fighting. When the halftime whistle sounded the score at half was 3-0 (2 goals from Farmelo and 1 from Zhang). At the end of the game the score was 6-0 (with additional goals Husk, 2, and Perez). We went back to our rooms after the game and then headed to lunch. After lunch we had downtime, before going to dinner. After dinner we went to the City Center and walked around and checked out the stores. Then we walked back to our rooms and looked forward to our second game. We are also doing the laundry every night.


We also learned some interesting facts about Galway, Ireland:

Galway is the third largest city in the Republic of Ireland.

Galway is nicknamed the City of Tribes.

The most famous person born in Galway was Hollywood actor Peter O’Toole.

Galway Cup
Day 4
Written by: Zion (with everyone’s help)

Today we did our normal morning routine. We woke up, got dressed, and met outside our rooms to walk to breakfast. As we were walking we noticed the weather was much warmer than the previous day. After breakfast we had a light pre-game training. We also played soccer tennis.

After training we put on our uniforms and headed to lunch. After lunch we went back to the dorms and grabbed our bags. When we left the dorms we headed to the bus ready for the game, we headed to the fields with another team ready to play. When we arrived at the fields we headed back to the locker rooms and prepared for the game versus Kildrum. In the locker room we were informed of the starting line-up. In the first half the score was 1-0 Kildrum. Luke scored a last minute goal to tie the game, and then the whistle was blown. That tie means that we win our group.

On the bus ride back, we rode with the Kildrum. It turned out to be a rather calm ride, despite the tension in the air. We all ate our leftover sandwiches and subs that we saved from lunch. Afterwards we had free time, when we did laundry and relaxed. We went to dinner, and on the walk back we were informed of a broken window in room 145 (Luke, Kyle, Carlos, and Theo’s room) that was caused by a ball from some other boys who were playing in the courtyard. Anyways, it’s the end of the day, and we’re about to have one of our last team meetings and head to bed.


Galway Cup
Day 5
Written by: Kai

We got up at 7:45 once again and went to breakfast at the cafeteria. Today was the second day straight that the sky was blue and it wasn’t raining! We ate light because we had a game, but because our game was going to force us to skip lunch, we all made sure to grab extra for after the game. After breakfast, while we were waiting for everyone to finish up, Kai had some oranges; so naturally, there was a competition in the hallway juggling fruit between Fred and Luke. Some of the teams were watching us. Went to rooms and relaxed for a minute before we left.

After a quick pep-talk from the coaches, we left for game. We played a lot better and created a lot of chances against a physical team called Colega. Mark O’Neill scored on a free kick and we were able to defend the lead. Theo was amazing in goal and went flying over the pack to catch a cross at the very end of the game. We were relieved. After the game, the coaches told us how they thought we deserved to win the game, but how now, we needed to look ahead at the final. “To play in the game we came here for.”

Before the bus ride, while many of us were filling water or going to the bathroom, Luke’s mom saved many of us that hadn’t brought extra food by bringing some cheese and crackers and what-not. We got on the bus to go back to Corrib village, many of us wishing we had brought more food.

The majority of us were starving, we cleaned up and went to dinner. After dinner we walked to Eamon Dearcy Stadium to watch Galway United play Derry. Derry defeated them 4-0 but everyone had a good time. The game ended at 9:45pm and we were really tired but we walked back with the Northern Ireland national team and they were really cool kids.

Tomorrow we play Belvedere in the final!


Galway Cup
Day 6
Written by: Kai and Connor (with help from everyone).

We woke up early for breakfast because the game was at 10:55 today. We were excited but most of us were nervous too.

The Belvedere team was really good and had a midfielder that was the player of the tournament. They always tried to play good soccer against us. Mark scored again on a free kick one minute into the game and Kai scored in extra time and we won the championship.

After the game we cleaned up and went to the City Center to finish our shopping. It was raining the whole time, pouring sometimes, but we had fun just seeing everything and talking to all the people. A lot of them knew we won and a guy in one of the shops even had a Kevin Doyle Colorado Rapids jersey.

The coaches took us to eat pizza at an awesome place called Dough Brothers. The manager came out and took pictures with us. We weren’t done in time to catch the shuttle bus so we walked back to the village. Everyone was exhausted but happy.

The coaches came through our rooms for room checks after we packed. We leave early in the morning and can’t wait to get back to the US.

Coaches notes:

We are proud of this group and feel they represented the Colorado Rapids and each of the home clubs – Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club, Carolina Rapids, Rio Rapids and FC Boulder – with class both on and off the field.

These young men were very popular with other teams at the event and always carried themselves very professionally. This is a great credit to the parents and clubs who support them every day.

Although not mentioned in their writings, many discussions were had about the questions they were asked (Obamacare, religion and driving on big highways to name a few), the historic sites they saw and the interactions with others from different cultures who turn out to be very similar at heart. They even picked up a couple of new phrases that they can repeat!

It is worth noting many who made this trip a success, the coaching staff, Colorado Rapids President Tim Hinchey, the staff at Macron Galway Cup, Salthill Devon FC and National University of Ireland Galway. Special thanks to Colorado resident and Rapids supporter Noel Hickey for sharing his homeland with us. Finally, to Oliver Daniels and Pete Kelly for their tireless efforts at making the event a success.

It was a pleasure to travel with this group and we look forward to watching their growth in the future.