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Rising FC adds 2 players on season-long loan from MLS’ Colorado Rapids

Phoenix Rising goalkeeper Andre Rawls (left) listens to manager Rick Schantz during training on March 23, 2021. (Phoenix Rising FC Photo)

Phoenix Rising FC announced a couple of roster additions on Wednesday, both of which will be coming to the Valley on loan from MLS side Colorado Rapids.

Defender Jeremy Kelly and goalkeeper Andre Rawls will be joining PRFC on a season-long loan for the 2021 USL Championship campaign.

However, Colorado retains the right to recall either player at any point during the remainder of the MLS regular season.

Kelly, 23, was drafted No. 9 overall by Montreal Impact in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft out of North Carolina. He was then traded to Rapids where he would make his professional debut during the MLS is Back Tournament last summer. Kelly managed to notch one assist in eight matches (one start) across 246 minutes — predominantly as a right back.

“Jeremy comes to us with an amazing pedigree,” manager Rick Schantz said in a press release.

“He is multi-talented and will bring an extremely high quality of play to our team. Jeremy is calm and composed. He is also a very good passer. I was impressed with him after one training session.”

Rawls, 29, should sound familiar to Rising fans. That’s because Phoenix is the single club he’s played against the most in his professional career, totaling five appearances while on loan at Orange County SC (2018) — including the 2018 Western Conference Final — and Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (2019).

“Andre is an outstanding goalkeeper,” Schantz said in the release. “He is very athletic and intelligent. He reads the game well and can play with his feet.

“The competition between Andre and Zac [Lubin] will be fierce, but will make both of them better. I couldn’t be more excited to have Andre join our team.”

Rawls started in goal for PRFC in Wednesday’s preseason friendly against League One side Union Omaha. The goalkeeper finished his 30 minutes in net without allowing a goal.

Phoenix Rising now has 18 players signed to its roster ahead of the 2021 USLC campaign (not including academy contracts):

Goalkeepers: Zac Lubin and Andre Rawls

Fullbacks: Darnell King, Joey Calistri, Deklan Wynne and Jeremy Kelly

Center backs: Joey Farrell, Tobi Adewole and James Musa

Midfielders: Jon Bakero, Kevon Lambert, Aodhan Quinn and Arturo Rodriguez

Forwards: Solomon Asante, Rufat Dadashov, Santi Moar, Ivan Gutierrez and Prince Saydee