Rapids nix option for midfielder Younes Namli

Rapids sporting director Paul Bravo says “it made sense” to decline Younes Namli’s option for next season as the team winds down its season.

“Given where we are in the regular season, and given the soccer league’s play schedule, it just makes sense for us to play out the season in the National Professional Soccer League,” Bravo said via text Friday.

Namli, a native of Morocco, is a key cog in Colorado’s midfield and scored the club’s first goal of the season, a goalkeeping gaffe that set up the club’s lone score. In 34 games, Namli led the team with eight assists and 14 points.

Rapids coach Pablo Mastroeni said Namli has a bright future ahead of him.

“I think Younes is an excellent player,” Mastroeni said. “Hopefully this is only one stepping stone in his journey in our club. Younes and I have conversations about a lot of stuff. He’s an outstanding player, and hopefully he goes onto bigger and better things and continues to showcase himself.”

The NPSL is the fourth and final pro soccer league for Colorado. The Rapids were a part of the Continental Premier League from 2005 to 2009, the USL Premier Development League from 2008 to 2010 and the new NASL after the U.S. Soccer Federation discontinued the previous two leagues. Denver closed its USL-Pro club this summer.

Tim Neville, the Colorado Nuggets’ director of player personnel, confirmed in an interview Friday with The Denver Post that the team is preparing to add a third assistant coach — perhaps a goalkeeper coach — to head coach Michael Malone’s staff. A third assistant would come on top of a roster currently stocked with experience beyond Howard Eisley, who has been with the team since 2016, and Graham Ryding, who joined the Nuggets this summer after 11 seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers.

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