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Colorado Rapids Sign Colombian LB Luis Zapata

Oscar Pareja's remaking of the Colorado Rapids took another step on Friday when the team signed left back Luis Zapata of Colombia. Zapata, 31, has been with the team for most of the preseason, and is expected to compete for significant playing time after spending most of his professional career in Colombia's first division. He is the third South American player the Rapids have signed since Pareja took over as coach.

"Luis is a talented and experienced left back, and his presence will strengthen our defense," Colorado Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo said in a team release. "We’ve had a chance to see how he fits into the team throughout preseason, and we’re excited to officially add him to the club."

Zapata played for Colombian giants Millonarios from 2001-08, but has failed to find a consistent home since then. More recently, he's played in Venezuela and Bolivia before returning to play 18 matches for Colombian side Deportivo Pasto, who was relegated.

For more on Zapata's signing, be sure to check out the Rapids blog, Burgundy Wave.