Colorado Rapids: Caleb Calvert
Here’s another team that struggles to find and develop their own domestic players. The Rapids have only one under-20 player on their roster, striker Calvert, making this selection all-too easy. Sam Hamilton and Kortne Ford just missed the cut at 21, and without a USL team to help find young players, the only possible selection was Calvert.
The 20-year-old counts as a Homegrown for MLS roster purposes, but not as one brought up by the Rapids, as he was developed by Chivas USA (RIP) and selected in their dispersal draft by Colorado. Calvert has received opportunities on the field, making eight appearances last year and six appearances already in 2017, including two starts. He has a goal and a red card, albeit a very stupid red card.
The Rapids are weak at his position. 35-year-old Alan Gordon is their starter, and while he’s great, he’s also 35. Kevin Doyle has never cut it, and Dominique Badji needs to do more than run past defenders and occasionally score on breakaways. The opportunity is there for Calvert, and now he has to take it.
Colorado, like Columbus, are behind the curve. They don’t have a USL team, and as of yet haven’t been able to play young players consistently. Dillon Serna, a Homegrown, is starting to get time (figure out his best position, Pablo), and Ford has played very well at center-back this season, so maybe there’s hope yet.