COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Thursday, July 11, 2013) – The Colorado Rapids have acquired defender Chris Klute from the Atlanta Silverbacks, completing the transfer of the defender who had been on loan with the Rapids since last season. The 23-year-old left back has started Colorado’s last 16 matches, and currently leads the team with five assists. Per league and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Chris has been a great addition to our squad, both in terms of his play on the field and attitude in the locker room,” said Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo. “His development is a testament to his hard work and the effort of our coaching staff, and we’re eager to see his continued improvement this season and beyond.”
“I am very happy to be a member of the Rapids,” said Klute. “I would like to thank everyone in Atlanta for their help in getting me started as a professional, and the faith that the coaching staff here at the Rapids has shown in me this season. I’m looking forward to the future here in Colorado.”
“The success Chris has been able to achieve during his time in Colorado doesn't surprise me one bit,” said Eric Wynalda, Atlanta Silverbacks Technical Director. “He's extremely talented and has an enormous future, and I think we should all get used to hearing the name Chris Klute. This is only the beginning for him.”
Wynalda: Klute could be the next Eddie Pope
Klute originally joined the Rapids on September 14, 2012 on a one-year loan from the Atlanta Silverbacks of the North American Soccer League (NASL), making his MLS debut in Colorado’s final regular season game of 2012, playing 90 minutes in a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo. This season, Klute came on as first half substitute in the March 23 match against LA Galaxy due to an injury to Diego Calderón, and has started every match since. In his 17 matches (16 starts), Klute has notched five assists, one ahead of rookie Deshorn Brown for the team lead.
A native of Grand Prairie, Texas, Klute played 12 matches with the Silverbacks in 2012 before joining Colorado. He played college soccer at Furman University and Clayton State University, and was a member of the Dallas Texans youth soccer club. Klute also made seven appearances for the United States Under-17 National Team, including one at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea.