Professional soccer coming to Breckenridge |

Professional soccer coming to Breckenridge

BRECKENRIDGE – Soccer in the High Country has never been like this.

On June 21, the High Country Soccer Association will sponsor a Premier Development League (PDL) game in Breckenridge between the Boulder Rapids Reserve and the Utah Blitzz.

The PDL features division I and II college all-Americans as well as international recruits that often go on to play in Major League Soccer.

The Boulder Rapids Reserve is affiliated with the Colorado Rapids; the two teams scrimmage every week and use the same facilities.

“If the Colorado Rapids want players they’re interested in and excited about, we recruit them and take them for the whole summer,” said Boulder Rapids Reserve general manager Peter Ambrose. “What we have become is a national force in the PDL.”

The Reserve play 18 PDL games throughout the season and nearly became league champions last year, losing 2-1 in overtime in the finals.

The team agreed to play a game in Breckenridge in order to enhance youth involvement in soccer and to sustain the future of the sport. The High Country Soccer Association, a nonprofit that runs youth and adult teams and leagues in Summit County, is exactly the type of organization the Reserve would like to see develop.

“We are the only PDL team left in Colorado,” Ambrose said. “There was one in Colorado Springs that folded last year and a Denver team that folded this year. The main reason they folded was because they didn’t involve the youth community. We knew the only way to do it was to bring it down to the grassroots level and bring it right into communities and say, “we’re going to play this game on your field.’ It’s a win-win situation. They get this upper-level soccer and we get to involve the youth soccer community.”

Reserve players will conduct kids’ clinics at 3 p.m. June 21 before exhibition play, which will begin at 4:30 p.m. The professional game will start at 6 p.m. at Kingdom Park in Breck. High Country Soccer Association representatives are excited about the event, the proceeds from which will benefit their youth scholarship program.

“There’s never been professional soccer in Summit County before,” pointed out Amy Machin-Ward, president of High Country Soccer. “We are always trying to build our association. The Rapids are really community-oriented. We try to bring the whole community together, between our (youth) Summit Striker teams and our adult teams, we want to create participation and give people who might not even play a chance to watch some (elite-level) soccer.”

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