Commerce City, Colo. – After taking and passing his entry physical exams Monday morning, Chris Klute walked out to the main training field at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. It was a walk he had done before, only this time he was a member of the team.
In 2009 he had decided to leave Furman University to begin pursuing a professional career. His first trial was right here in Commerce City.
“I was only here for a week and it kind of fell through,” Klute told ColoradoRapids.com. “It was a different level and all new to me. The altitude kind of got to me, and I wished I had more time.”
His trial with the Rapids last a week and he then hooked on with the Atlanta Silverback’s Reserve Team. After a season, he wanted to give college another try, so he enrolled and played at Clayton University. It wasn’t for him, and the Silverback’s brought him back in their mix.
However it took over year and a change in coaches for Klute to become a regular on the NASL team. That happened this summer, when former U.S. National Team and MLS forward Eric Wynalda was named head coach of the Silverbacks and moved him up from the Reserves.
“It was a moral and big confidence boost for me,” Klute said. “I wasn’t playing at first but when (Wynalda) came in he started playing me, and my confidence and my ability to play just went up.”
The 22-year-old not only caught the eye of Wynalda, for whom he started 11 matches, but also MLS teams. Last week the Silverbacks agreed to loan the defender to the Rapids for the next year.
A member of the U.S. U-17 World Cup in 2007, one that also included 12 players that play or played in MLS, including up-and-comers Brek Shea, Zach MacMatch, Danny Cruz, Koffie Sarkodie, and the late Kirk Urso, Klute will now have his chance at top flight soccer.
“It’s been really a roller coaster for me,” he said of his soccer career, “But it’s going back up, and it’s really good."