By Stephanie Gardner

In every area of life, there is something to be learned.  Most of the time, it can be learned from those more experienced.  Other times it can be learned from the youth.  This is the beauty of the historic moment that took place last week.  The Colorado Rapids signed on their first homegrown player. His name is Davy Armstrong (photo), #28.  Remember this name, because after watching him scrimmage with the Rapids, it was obvious that this kid is one of a kind.

He comes from a strong, supporting family who gave him the opportunity to play on soccer teams since the age of 4.  A family who had mixed feelings when they learned he had signed on with the Rapids.  “My dad, mom, and brother were so excited.  My sisters were concerned that I was hurting my future by not pursuing my education at the University of Washington.  But since I am still going to college here in Denver, they are now more open to it.”

Armstrong’s soccer hero growing up was Kaka, but it was obvious by what he had to say that his real hero is his dad. “Seeing my dad follow his dreams gave me the belief that I can follow mine, and they will come true.”

Since he is the youngest on the team, how do the other players treat him?  “It’s not too bad.  They give me a little hard time, but nothing too bad.  I haven’t had to go through any initiation or anything.”

There is something unique about Davy Armstrong, #28.  His teammates seem to be his biggest fans, along with all of his friends, who may now create the loudest cheering section at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. He is a well-rounded, effective team player who appears to not be overwhelmed with the expectations that are on him.

When asked what it will take to play first team for the Rapids, he answered, “Play hard in practice, and practice hard on my own.”  Focus, humility, determination, and talent are what makes Davy Armstrong one of a kind.  He hopes that this event will help pave the way for more homegrown players to sign on with MLS teams.

A professional athlete at the age of 18, Davy is young in our post-college career nation.  Yet the rest of the world figured out the benefit of this arrangement years ago.  The young, athletic, teachable youth teaming up with the wise, experienced, powerful veterans.  Be watching for the proof in the Colorado Rapids and Davy Armstrong.  You can’t ask for a better combination.

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