Colorado Rapids goalkeeper John Berner plus forwards Charles Eloundou and Caleb Calvert have been loaned to Charlotte Independence of the United Soccer League (USL). The loan agreements cover the duration of the USL and MLS seasons but the Rapids have the option to recall the three players from their USL affiliate club at any time.
“This is an important step in the development of these players," said Rapids Senior Director of Soccer Development Brian Crookham. “We feel the environment created in Charlotte will allow them to accelerate their growth with quality training and meaningful games.”
Berner, a St. Louis, MO. Native appeared in five contests for the Rapids last season finishing with a 1-1-3 record while recording two shutouts in goal. The 24-year-old goalkeeper was selected by the Colorado Rapids with the 35th overall selection (second round) of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
Eloundou appeared in 11 matches (four starts) for the Rapids last season, recording his only assist during an October 11 match against Chivas USA. Prior to joining MLS, the 5’7” forward spent the 2013 season with Coton Sport of Cameroon, one of the top clubs in the country. He has also starred for the Cameroon U-20 National Team, scoring eight goals in seven matches during the U-20 African Nations Cup qualifying in 2012.
Calvert, 18, was drafted by the Rapids in the Chivas USA dispersal draft on November 19, 2014. The Southern California native signed as a homegrown player with Chivas USA on July 5, 2013 becoming the youngest player ever to sign with the club at only 16 years, eight months. In the 2012/2013 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season, Calvert was the nation's leading scorer with 22 goals, earning him U-15/16 National Player of the Year honors.
“The most important role for our USL affiliate is to give the opportunity for youngsters to get valuable minutes and continue to develop. So we believe this will be an important opportunity for John, Caleb and Charles,” added Paul Bravo, VP of Soccer Operations and Technical Director. “Charles did not have any pre-season with us and our intention was for him to do that work at Charlotte. Being loaned and getting games is an ongoing part of that. We’ll make an evaluation on all three players on a week-to-week basis.”
Charlotte start their USL season at home to Charleston Battery on Friday evening.
TRANSACTION: Colorado Rapids loan goalkeeper John Berner and forwards Charles Eloundou and Caleb Calvert to Charlotte Independence of USL.