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Colorado Rapids form partnership with Black Hills SC

Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids have formed an unprecedented partnership with a youth soccer club in South Dakota.

The Rapids have affiliated with Black Hills Soccer Club to form 'the first youth sports organization in South Dakota with a partnership with a professional team'.

Black Hills have linked up with Rapid City Youth Soccer League to join three other teams - Rio Rapids in Albuquerque, N.M. and the Carolina Rapids in Charlotte, N.C. - under the umbrella of the Rapids adidas Alliance.

"We're unbelievably proud of where we put our badge," Colorado Rapids Senior Director of Youth Development Brian Crookham said at last week's announcement.

"As we looked at this (partnership), we wanted to make sure … that we were putting our name on people we trusted and that everything we brought to the table was of value to the club as well. We wanted to make sure that we had the best possible partners for the Colorado Rapids, and we feel like that's the case now.

"We want to create environments in any community that we work in where we provide a model for youth development.

"We want the experience of every player to match their needs, to match their ability and their desire … it doesn't matter if you're a 5-year-old boy or girl, high school boy or girl, or an aspiring professional. We want to make sure the pathway is there."

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