Commerce City, Colo. – The final move the Rapids made on the day of the MLS Roster Freeze deadline last Friday was acquiring 22-year-old defender Chris Klute on loan from the Atlanta Silverbacks. For coach Oscar Pareja, Klute could also be one of the first pieces looking ahead to the next year.
“We were interested because (Klute) is a young player who has good qualities,” Pareja told ColoradoRapids.com. “He was playing well in his division, and we see potential in him. He’s a project but we think he’s a youngster that, with the time we have left this year, we can evaluate what he can contribute for us in the future.”
Klute comes to a team that has played various players at both outside back positions. Luis Zapata and Tyson Wahl have shared time on the left, and Hunter Freeman and Drew Moor have split time at right back since Kosuke Kimura was traded.
Pareja and Atlanta coach Brian Haynes, who was brought to the Silverbacks by Eric Wynalda, were MLS teammates at Dallas and coached by now Rapids assistant Dave Dir. Pareja also knows Silverbacks assistant and reserves coach Ricardo Montoya.
“The coaches (in Atlanta) gave us a very good reference, so that helped us as well,” Pareja added. “They believe he has a good work ethic, is anxious to get better and to work hard.”
Klute can play both wide positions but was also used as a center back in a handful of matches since moving up from the Silverbacks reserves team to the NASL side in June.
“He’s a young player that has played on the Youth National Teams and we think this is a good moment to give him a better look and begin building a foundation for next season,” Pareja added.
Klute is expected to join his new teammates for the first time at training on Tuesday morning.