A trio of Colorado Rapids players will be headed to one of the Premier League’s top clubs for a training stint starting today. Chris Klute, Clint Irwin and Dillon Serna all recently finished their first seasons in Major League Soccer, and now the three are at Everton F.C., gaining experience at one of the most prestigious and oldest clubs in England.
“This is a great opportunity for our guys to get some extra training in during our offseason,” said Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo. “We all know Everton to be an excellent club, one that is fun to watch and enjoying an excellent run of form right now. It will be great for these young players to see how Everton trains and prepares, and for them to experience the culture in England.”
The three players arrived in England on Friday, and are expected to be with Everton through December 22 before returning to the U.S.
Klute and Irwin emerged for the Rapids in 2013, both coming to the club from playing in the minor leagues in previous years to stand out as among the league’s best in their positions. An attacking wing back, Klute finished as the team’s leader in assists, with seven, and Irwin became the club’s first-choice goalkeeper after an early season injury to Matt Pickens and tied the club’s single-season clean sheet record, with 10.
Serna made his MLS debut in the final match of the regular season, and the Homegrown Player from Brighton impressed the coaching staff in his limited minutes on the field. A member of the U.S. Under-20 National Team, Serna has shown potential as a wide or attacking midfielder and is eager to find more time on the field.
“All three of these players impressed us this past season, and we hope that this training opportunity helps them continue their development,” added Bravo. "We want to thank the people at Everton for allowing our players this chance to get insight into their great club, and to get experience at the highest level."
This is the second straight year that the Rapids have had players train in England in December, as four players traveled to Derby County during the last offseason for a similar time.