Elite Development Squads (EDS)

The Elite Development Squad (EDS) program began in the fall of 2021 as a concept to address a number of failings seen in the general youth soccer talent development space nationwide, as well as our own local challenges in supporting elite player growth. The EDS program brings together players from across our five regions that have the potential and desire to progress into our Elite (ECNL) teams. To give these players the best Elite-level experience possible, CRYSC provides a high-quality training and player development environment, guest playing opportunities in ECNL squads, showcase events, and arranges inter-Club scrimmages between EDS and ECNL teams. Elite Development Squads provide a unique opportunity, distinct from ECNL boys and girls programming, for CRYSC athletes to play in their home region while still getting the chance to push themselves in pursuit of the next level.

The EDS teams now officially represent Rapids Youth Soccer as part of the newly developed US Youth Soccer (USYS) platform ‘Elite 64’ (E64). The Elite64 initiative will create eight leagues consisting of eight clubs across the country for 13U-19U boys and girls. 

We are also delighted that the newly announced Rapids Elite Performance Center at Regis University will be home to Rapids Elite Development Squad programming. EDS athletes will be able to make use of Regis’s premier facilities and resources, which you can read more about here.

Girls 11U-19U & Boys 11U-14U

  • August – Player ID Sessions
  • Early September – Team Formation / Invites
  • Mid-September to May (Mondays) – EDS Training @ Elite Performance Center (Regis University)
    • Girls 15U-19U finish in December

Boys 15U-19U

  • TBD – Player ID Sessions
  • January to May (Mondays) – EDS Training @ Elite Performance Center (Regis University)

Time and Space to Grow

Opportunity and age should not be a barrier to player development, they should be key pillars in how we consider ‘potential’ talent being developed. Ensuring that our players have access to these opportunities, at a time in their lives that suits their physical, emotional, and personal development within the game is an underpinning philosophy of this project.

In addition to our technical soccer curriculum and teaching philosophy, we aim to represent The Rapids Way in all our programming. The Rapids Way is much more than just what we do and how we do it. It encompasses who we are as a Club, from how we handle our administrative details to how coaches instruct players in training to how our players and families conduct themselves on and off the field. The Club’s mission and vision shape a philosophy, methodology, and culture that provide a framework for us to work in these key areas.

The Rapids Way is defined by the experience each player has from the time they enter the Club to the time they graduate.  From a technical perspective, we focus on establishing an individual foundation before teaching group actions and tactics. This includes the WPW philosophy and long-term development planning. The technical, tactical, physical, and psycho-social pieces of our soccer curriculum come together in the form of a distinct style of play, consistent from our most inexperienced levels to our elite levels in the Club.

The culture we create provides a system of support for all of our young players. We take pride in the professionalism exhibited by our coaching staff, from the way they teach to their demeanor and appearance at sessions and games. Our parents are well informed and respectful on the sidelines, during both games and practices, which in turn creates a fun, safe and enjoyable atmosphere for our players to develop. This is captured in our free-flowing and positive thinking style of play.

We have a saying in the Club, “Prepare your child for the path, not the path for your child.” This is the Rapids Way.

Jair Vasquez
13U-19U EDS Director
[email protected]

Matt Saul
11U-12U Elite/EDS Director
303.399.5858 x209
[email protected]

Christie Hurt
EDS & Futsal Administrator
303.399.5858 x107
[email protected]

Overview

The Elite Development Squad (EDS) program began in the fall of 2021 as a concept to address a number of failings seen in the general youth soccer talent development space nationwide, as well as our own local challenges in supporting elite player growth. The EDS program brings together players from across our five regions that have the potential and desire to progress into our Elite (ECNL) teams. To give these players the best Elite-level experience possible, CRYSC provides a high-quality training and player development environment, guest playing opportunities in ECNL squads, showcase events, and arranges inter-Club scrimmages between EDS and ECNL teams. Elite Development Squads provide a unique opportunity, distinct from ECNL boys and girls programming, for CRYSC athletes to play in their home region while still getting the chance to push themselves in pursuit of the next level.

The EDS teams now officially represent Rapids Youth Soccer as part of the newly developed US Youth Soccer (USYS) platform ‘Elite 64’ (E64). The Elite64 initiative will create eight leagues consisting of eight clubs across the country for 13U-19U boys and girls. 

We are also delighted that the newly announced Rapids Elite Performance Center at Regis University will be home to Rapids Elite Development Squad programming. EDS athletes will be able to make use of Regis’s premier facilities and resources, which you can read more about here.

Dates & Deadlines

Girls 11U-19U & Boys 11U-14U

  • August – Player ID Sessions
  • Early September – Team Formation / Invites
  • Mid-September to May (Mondays) – EDS Training @ Elite Performance Center (Regis University)
    • Girls 15U-19U finish in December

Boys 15U-19U

  • TBD – Player ID Sessions
  • January to May (Mondays) – EDS Training @ Elite Performance Center (Regis University)
Philosophy

Time and Space to Grow

Opportunity and age should not be a barrier to player development, they should be key pillars in how we consider ‘potential’ talent being developed. Ensuring that our players have access to these opportunities, at a time in their lives that suits their physical, emotional, and personal development within the game is an underpinning philosophy of this project.

The Rapids Way

In addition to our technical soccer curriculum and teaching philosophy, we aim to represent The Rapids Way in all our programming. The Rapids Way is much more than just what we do and how we do it. It encompasses who we are as a Club, from how we handle our administrative details to how coaches instruct players in training to how our players and families conduct themselves on and off the field. The Club’s mission and vision shape a philosophy, methodology, and culture that provide a framework for us to work in these key areas.

The Rapids Way is defined by the experience each player has from the time they enter the Club to the time they graduate.  From a technical perspective, we focus on establishing an individual foundation before teaching group actions and tactics. This includes the WPW philosophy and long-term development planning. The technical, tactical, physical, and psycho-social pieces of our soccer curriculum come together in the form of a distinct style of play, consistent from our most inexperienced levels to our elite levels in the Club.

The culture we create provides a system of support for all of our young players. We take pride in the professionalism exhibited by our coaching staff, from the way they teach to their demeanor and appearance at sessions and games. Our parents are well informed and respectful on the sidelines, during both games and practices, which in turn creates a fun, safe and enjoyable atmosphere for our players to develop. This is captured in our free-flowing and positive thinking style of play.

We have a saying in the Club, “Prepare your child for the path, not the path for your child.” This is the Rapids Way.

Contact

Jair Vasquez
13U-19U EDS Director
[email protected]

Matt Saul
11U-12U Elite/EDS Director
303.399.5858 x209
[email protected]

Christie Hurt
EDS & Futsal Administrator
303.399.5858 x107
[email protected]

Program Description

With the club already having ECNL for the Boys and Girls, providing a program to allow for players to stay in their home Region, while still getting the chance to push themselves in pursuit of the next level through the EDS was a key part of the project design. The EDS Pools (12-22 players for our 11U-12U Ages, 16-24 players for our 13U-19U ages) are then narrowed down to a ‘travel roster’, which participates in one event each season, allowing the team to compete against the Region’s best.

A few details on EDS programming:

  • EDS player pools (12-22 players for our 11U-12U, 16-24 players for our 13U-19U) are narrowed down to a ‘travel roster’, which participates in each USYS E64 fixture (unlimited rosters), allowing the team to compete against strong clubs in the Mountain Region as well as National Showcases.
  • Elite Development Squads train weekly from August through March, giving the players a regular training environment and supplementing what they get in their own ‘full-time’ team.

EDS Teams

$425 | $600 13U-14U | 15U-19U
  • Aug-Nov and Jan-June
  • Train 1x Per Week
  • Indoor Winter Training Space at Regis University
  • Outdoor Winter Training (Weather Permitting)
  • Game Fee is $25 / Game

Selection Process

The selection process for Elite Development Squads (EDS) is unique in that a pool of players for each age group is selected in August/September for 11U-14U boys (11U and 12U boys South EDS only)  and 11U-19U girls, while the high school boys pools are created in November/December. In addition to this, there is a constant ‘open door’ policy that calls upon the Directors of Coaching Club-wide (via Select coaches) to invite players they feel have developed to the standard required at EDS into a tryout process at any point during the season.

In order to create these pools, we ask the Directors of Coaching across the Club to work in close collaboration with the coaches at Select level teams to identify and nominate those who they feel have a skill set that would allow them to push towards the ECNL program as they grow. In order to ensure the purpose of the program, ‘Time and Space to Grow’ is achieved, the flexibility to bring players into the squads is maintained throughout the year as we understand that the biology, psychology, and general passion for a sport can change and evolve at any point, and we want to ensure that those players have the opportunity to be part of an Elite pathway when that happens.

Rapids Youth Soccer =

Developing Talent Solution

The EDS Program provides a solution to the current problems found in the elite development pathway. By providing another level of elite programming we give players more time and space to grow while providing exposure to elite environments.

CRYSC Player Pathway

The inclusion Elite Development Squads in the player pathway will provide support for emerging talent and players not quite ready to sustain involvement in the ECNL program. Throughout a player’s involvement with EDS, they will have multiple opportunities to scrimmage and play competitively against high-level teams, including Rapids ECNL teams. The Director of the EDS program is in constant dialogue with the Directors of the Elite boys and girls ECNL teams with a view to understanding the opportunities to expose EDS players to the ECNL environment and give them a pathway to make a move to the next level. Additionally, if an ECNL player is not appropriately placed or doesn’t feel comfortable in the Elite program, then there is a level very close by that they can continue to grow and develop with high-quality players.

The EDS project is focused on providing players with an opportunity for extra development in a positive environment that we believe will stand them in good stead wherever their playing future lies.

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Destinations
Front Range In House
9v9
11v11
4v4/5v5/7v7
Soccer Start
Recreation
WPSL RAPIDS
COLLEGE
Champions League
Centennial League
Select Soccer
Competitive
RAPIDS TRAINING CENTERS
Player ID Position Spcific
Player I.D
Futsal
United Futsal
ELITE DEVELOPMENT SQUADS
ECNL
Youth Club Elite
COLORADO RAPIDS
Colorado Switchbacks
Academy
Futures
Colorado Rapids
PLAYER MOVEMENT
Congrats to joshperez154 and asherc_4  for being selected as ECNL’s All Conference 1st Team members for the 21-22 season! 
#ecnlboys 
#CRYSCBoysECNL
#rapidsyouthsoccer
🙌⚽️🙌 Good luck to our Rapids 07 & 08 ECNL boys at the @theecnl National Event in South Carolina this weekend!! #CRYSCBoysECNL #OneClubOneCommunity @ecnlboys
🔥‼️🔥 CONGRATS to Rapids 04B ECNL & Grandview High School’s @ben.beckman4 on winning the 2022 Boys @gatorade Player of the Year in CO!! Ben’s monumental performances from the back helped Grandview to a 15-4-1 record, a 1st-ever boys State Championship, & individual all-state honors! Way to go & best of luck at @stolafmsoc next season 🙌 #GatoradePOY #OneClubOneCommunity #CRYSCBoysECNL
🔥⚽🔥 A big CONGRATS to our Rapids ECNL players Asher Christus, Joshua Perez, Clayton Thomas, Jonah Elstad, Graham Goodson, Benjamin Beckman, & Jack Pucciano for being selected as Mtn. Conf. 1st Team winners for the 21/22 season! #CRYSCboysECNL #OneClubOneCommunity
🔥⚽🔥 A big CONGRATS to our Rapids ECNL players Joziah Garron-Guillen, Joshua Hazlett, Alexis Salas, Amman Muzaffar, Lucas Montera, & Charles Scott on being selected as Mtn. Conf. 2nd Team winners for the 21/22 season! #CRYSCboysECNL #OneClubOneCommunity