The Colorado Rapids announced today that the club has signed Rapids Academy midfielder Davy Armstrong as the team's first-ever homegrown player.
Armstrong, an Aurora, Colorado native, entered the Rapids youth system in 2007 playing for the Rapids' U-17 and U-18 squads and was identified by the club as a homegrown player - an initiative established by Major League Soccer to allow clubs to develop their own youth players without exposing them to the MLS SuperDraft.
The 2008 Colorado State Player of the Year concluded his prep career at Rangeview High School as the school's all-time scoring leader and assist leader. Armstrong was just as successful in the classroom, where he was a four-year academic honor roll student. He also led his club team; Rapids adidas Alliance partner the Colorado Fusion, to the 2005 Colorado state championship.
"We are excited to see Davy become the first Rapids Academy player to develop through our youth system and advance to our professional team," said Rapids Managing Director Jeff Plush. "When we launched the Rapids Academy three years ago, we did so with the vision this day would come and we look forward to continuing to identify and nurture many future Rapids first team players. This is a historic day for the Rapids organization and for all youth soccer players in Colorado."
"The goal of our Rapids Academy has always been to identify, develop and promote players within our structure," said Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo. "Today is a culmination of those efforts and we could not be more proud of Davy and our entire Academy staff to see the realization of one of our own players graduate to the first team.
"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," said head coach Gary Smith. "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."