Real Colorado

Salida soccer players Flyn Brown, left, and Quinn Bosanko enjoy a moment together while playing for Chaffee County United. The two players recently made the Real Colorado U19 Development Academy team.

Two Salida soccer players recently scored spots on the Real Colorado U19 Development Academy team, giving them the opportunity to travel around the country playing the game against top talent and gaining exposure.

Spartans Quinn Bosanko and Flyn Brown both made the team after successful invite-only tryouts. Bosanko is a midfielder while Brown plays right wing.

“It’s fricken awesome,” Bosanko said about making the team. “It’s the highest league for youth teams in the U.S.”

Bosanko graduated this spring, but is only 17 years old. He said he had a couple offers from smaller colleges, but “not a lot of great offers” so he decided to play for Real this year to get some more exposure.

“Salida is 3A ball so you don’t get a lot of exposure,” Bosanko said. “When you hit this (level) of competitiveness and reliability, it’s more credible.”

Brown, meanwhile, said he’d be the youngest player on the Real team. Brown and his mom have rented an apartment near the team’s facility, where Bosanko is also living, and he will finish his last two years of high school in Highlands Ranch to be part of the team.

“I’m super stoked,” Brown said. “I’m most excited to get more looks; soccer is one of my passions and I want to go far.”

He did say, however, that he would miss his friends and high school team in Salida, as well as skiing and boating and climbing and other outdoor activities.

“I’m definitely sad to leave them and leave Salida,” Brown said. “It’s what I want, but it’s tough to let go of the side things.”

To get where they want to go in the sport, however, moving to play on Real Colorado is a big step forward.

“My goal is to play professionally and a second goal is to (play) division one,” Brown said. “Making this team, my chances are way up. Recruits don’t look at high school teams, they look at traveling teams.”

Bosanko also said he’d like to play professionally, in college or on the U.S. national team. Right now, however, he said his goals are getting the technical side of his game up, getting his name out there and having fun with it.

 “It’s an unbelievable opportunity for both of them,” SHS head boys soccer coach Ben Oswald said. “They’ll get exposure they won’t get anywhere else.”

The team basically competes in a youth-version of major league soccer, playing the other top clubs from around the country.

“Real Colorado has put up some crazy players,” Bosanko said, noting that Real players have gone on to play in Major League Soccer and scored spots on the U.S. Women’s national team.

In the 2020 MLS super draft, 36 of the 77 players selected had played in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, including former Real Colorado player Jaret Townsend.

The players began training with Real Colorado last week. Bosanko said they started with position-oriented training and then played some 8v8 during their first practice. “It was pretty fun,” Bosanko said. “It was almost as competitive as a game in Salida.”

The team is tentatively scheduled to begin playing its first games in September, traveling around the country to states like California, Florida, Arizona and others in the national league.

“I’m extremely proud of both of these boys,” Oswald said. “I’m hoping both of these boys do well. It’s a steppingstone. My hope is they hit the next level and the next level and the next level. It’s pretty darn exciting.”