As a young soccer supporter living in Brighton, CO, Dillon Serna's dream matched that of many young sports fans, to one day emulate his heroes and stride out in front of his home crowd for his favorite club. Serna's hero growing up was a Colorado Rapids legend, and is why he now wears number 17 on his jersey.
"I've picked number 17 because I grew up watching Marcelo Balboa," Serna explained. "He had a big influence on why I played soccer.
"Growing up he actually taught me how to do bicycle kicks, but just looking up to him and watching the Rapids while growing up is why I've had 17 my whole youth and why I picked the number now."
The 20-year-old signed as a Homegrown Player on January 14, 2013. His Rapids debut came in the final game of last year's regular season, when he managed just 13 minutes as a substitute in the 3-0 loss at the Vancouver Whitecaps.
After impressing during preseason, Serna made his first MLS start in the opening game of the 2014 campaign in the 1-1 draw at New York Red Bulls. A training ground injury then forced him out of the following three games, before he emerged from the bench in Toronto and was involved in the winning goal.
And so, if he gets the nod from the coaching staff this weekend against San Jose Earthquakes (kick-off 4 p.m MT), then it would be a home debut for the young man who dared to dream.
"All three games that I've appeared in have been away, so it'll be a good homecoming for me," he said. "I'm just super, super excited. My family has been waiting for this.
"I don't think they were expecting me to get hurt the day before the Portland game, but now that I'm healthy there'll be a lot of people here watching, so hopefully I can play and help the team win."