Rapids sign Ecuadorian National Team defender Diego Calderón

26-year-old Copa Libertadores winner to join Rapids ahead of 2013 season

Diego Calderon with Ecuador National Team

Photo Credit: 
MLSsoccer.com

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Thursday, January 3, 2013) – The Colorado Rapids announced today that the club has signed defender Diego Calderón, a member of the Ecuadorian National Team, as an International Player. Calderón, 26, has spent the majority of his professional career with Liga de Quito in the Ecuadorian first division, winning three league championships as well as the prestigious Copa Libertadores.

Calderón will be eligible pending receipt of his P-1 work visa and International Transfer Certificate. Per league and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Diego is a versatile, talented defender who will come in and compete for a spot in our back line,” said Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo. “He can play in the middle or on the left, and has extensive experience, having won league and continental titles and been a part of his national team throughout World Cup qualifying. We’re excited to bring him into the group.”

WATCH: Calderon highlight videos and 2012 interview

Calderón joined Liga de Quito in 2003 and made his first team debut in the top division in Ecuador in 2005 at just 18 years old as the club won the 2005 Apertura championship. He spent a season in 2006 on loan Deportivo Azogues, making 11 appearances and helping the team gain promotion to the Ecuador Serie A. After returning to Quito, he became a regular in the lineup, making over 200 appearances with the club and winning the league championship in 2007 and 2010, the 2008 Copa Libertadores, the 2009 Copa Sudamericana, and the 2009 and 2010 Recoba Sudamericana.

With the Ecuadorian National Team, Calderón has been regularly called up in the last two years, making five appearances in friendlies and being a part of Ecuador’s group at the 2011 Copa America. He has been in the gameday squad for each of the team’s nine World Cup Qualifying matches so far; Ecuador has a 5-2-2 record and is second place, trailing only Argentina, with seven matches left to play.

The Rapids will start preseason on January 17, and are set to participate in the Desert Friendlies presented by Tucson FC and the Las Vegas ProSoccer Challenge against Chivas USA on February 15 as part of their preparations. To purchase season tickets for the Rapids’ 2013 campaign, call 303-825-GOAL or CLICK HERE.

Diego Calderón

Full Name: Diego Armando Calderón Espinoza

Number: TBD

Position: Defender

Born: October 26, 1986 in Quito, Ecuador

Hometown: Quito, Ecuador

Citizenship: Ecuador

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 175
Last Team: Liga de Quito (ECU)

Acquired: Signed by the Rapids on January 3, 2013 as an International Player.