Winger Braian Galván is the third signing for the Rapids in a busy final week of the 2019-2020 offseason ahead of the players first report day on January 18. The 19-year-old is a product of Argentina’s youth national team system and is expected to bring a creative spark to the Rapids offense when he joins the team in July. While he's still under 20 years of age, Galván comes with plenty of professional experience, as he spent the past three seasons playing in the Argentine first division.
Galván’s age also puts him in line with many of his Rapids teammates, which compromises a squad that averages just over 24 years old. Training, playing and bonding with players his own age is something he is really looking forward to.
“Since I was 14, I’ve been in teams with veteran rosters and was always the youngest,” Galván said. “And now that I have the possibility to play with teammates of my age, or just a few years older, it makes me feel comfortable because they understand you since they’re the same age and are similar to you.”
Galván started playing soccer when he was six years old, and it didn’t take long for him to make waves. At 13, he signed with Atlético Colón, and, at 17, he made his professional debut.
In 2018, when he was still only 17, Galván played with Argentina's U-20 national team as the squad helped train the senior team for the FIFA World Cup. This gave him the opportunity to play against one of his idols, Lionel Messi. Growing up in San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina, Galván aspired to play like his country's greats before him.
“When I was little, I watched many videos of (Diego) Maradona. I watched all the videos of him when he was at Napoli, when he was at Barcelona, and I loved how he played. Nowadays, I watch Messi, who plays the same position, but as I said, I’d watch Maradona’s videos when I was little, and it would captivate me.
Galván strives to play a well-rounded game. He doesn’t specifically focus on one aspect of offensive production.
“I like 1v1s a lot—taking on opponents and providing assists. That’s what defines me. It’s great scoring a goal, but it’s also great to be able to help a teammate convert.”
Galván is quick to express how impressed he is with the Rapids organization. This helped him feel confident in his decision to join the team.
“I like it because it’s a team that hasn’t been around for that long but has very good players. It’s a great organization... It makes me very happy. And as I said, I hope that we can achieve many titles with this club because it’s been doing a tremendous job and deserves it.”
Galván is the latest addition in what has been a busy week – and a busy offseason – for the Rapids. On Tuesday, the team announced the signing of French forward Nicolas Benezet, and, on Wednesday, it announced the signing of Designated Player Younes Namli.
There is no doubt that this team is buzzing about what is possible with this squad in 2020. Head coach Robin Fraser summed it up best: Colorado is the place to be.
“I wouldn’t want to be coaching any other team right now,” Fraser said. “Because this is the sort of environment that I really enjoy. Young, hungry, exciting, willing to run.”