I don’t know what happened today, so I can’t point out the probable ironies, twists, and turns this story would have presented had it been published (see below). This is what I would have submitted, were it not for Miggy’s unexplained drop-out.

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Sometimes “and” is the best solution to an “either/or” dilemma.

When Miguel Jaime registered for the Sueño MLS talent search at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, he was already scheduled to play a game across town with his Colorado Rush U-18 Development Academy team. So he played the second half of his D.A. game on Saturday morning AND he performed well enough in Commerce City to make the final Sueño selection for Sunday.

Jaime shined on Sunday too, becoming one of six finalists who will represent the Colorado Rapids at the finale in Los Angeles from May 9-12.

Playing midfield for Cherry Creek High School AND the Colorado Rush U-18 D.A. squad, Jaime confuses both sides of the high school-versus-D.A. argument.

“Certainly a lot of D.A. players have a difficult decision to make,” explained Colorado Rush Technical Director and U-18 D.A.coach Erik Bushey. Noting the 10-month D.A. schedule, Bushey said many players decide against high school ball.

“He [Jaime] felt loyalty to both sides, and in the end he decided what was best for him, on a personal level and for his overall development. We respect his wishes,” Bushey said.

Scoring 16 goals and adding five assists while leading the Cherry Creek Bruins to the Class 5A state tournament semifinals in 2012, Jaime became the Denver Post/Max Preps Colorado Player of the Year, the Gatorade Player of the Year and an NSCAA All-American.

Bushey willingly shared the left-footer with Chelo Curi, head coach for Cherry Creek High School. Jaime maintains a “B” average, and Bushey emphasized that his midfielder values education and has committed to play for Florida Gulf Coast University after graduating in 2014.

The tradition of coaches watching out for Jaime predates Bushey and Curi. As a player grows, he jumps to increasingly larger ponds until he eventually leaps over the ponds themselves. Before joining Colorado Rush, Jaime played for the Riverside Soccer Club where the Director of Soccer, Richard Weston, arranged a three-week visit to train and play at Nottingham Forest. Jaime made an impression that may pay off in the future, but in the near term the experience helped him grow as a person and a player.

“When I first met Miguel, I recognized he has a well-balanced persona. He’s a wonderful young man with a positive outlook on life,” Bushey said. “And he’s a skilled player with the ball, dangerous on the dribble and creative with his passing. He’s a fun player to watch and a good teammate.”

Wait a minute….

If Jaime wins the top prize of Sueño MLS 2013, Bushey and Rush will face a situation where “AND” is not an answer. In the U.S. Soccer Development Academy structure, Colorado Rush and the Colorado Rapids currently compete in the Frontier Division of the Central Conference. Jaime would need to choose between the rivals.

Colorado Rush has provided a route to MLS for 14 players (think Brian Mullan, Conor Casey, and Todd Dunivant). More recently, former Rush midfielder Paolo del Piccolo signed a contract with Eintract Frankfurt in the Bundesliga. Still, Bushey acknowledged that the direct path to MLS for a player like Jaime runs through the Rapids Academy.

“We’re here to support the goals of our players,” Bushey explained. “Our end goal is to help players get to the next level.”

It’s one thing for a club’s Web site to claim it provides “an unparalleled personal growth experience through the game of soccer,” but it’s a higher testament to sincerity when a coach puts a player before his own club. That says a lot about Jaime too.