Last week I took some time to think about who from the Colorado Rapids could go on loan to our USL affiliate in Charlotte and I thought that players such as Caleb Calvert, Charles Eloundou, and John Berner could go there. This was more or less confirmed from a variety of sources:
Source confirms Charles Eloundou is in Charlotte working on preseason conditioning. Expected to return to #Rapids96 next month.— Chris Bianchi (@Rapids_News) March 11, 2015
and then there was this:
Those news items are more or less what the thinking has been this preseason. I like Berner, but he was not going to get much time in Colorado this year, so it made sense to send him to Charlotte. He also got the start against Atlanta in a friendly this weekend. Eloundou had Visa issues getting back from Cameroon and is certainly not at a point of fitness so time with the Independence will do him good. And Calvert always was going to be a candidate to go on loan to continue the development of his game.
In regard to Eloundou, I had originally pegged him as someone who could potentially spend significant time with the Independence but my thinking may be fluctuating a bit on that one. But with news that Deshorn Brown could be sold makes me reconsider this a bit. Eloundou was someone that the Rapids have been extremely high on and perhaps a possible Brown sale opens up more playing time for the young Cameroonian. However, he has to get fit and until that happens he will not be playing significant minutes for the Rapids or the Independence. Eloundou is a player that can get wide and make runs using his speed and skill. Yes, he is a bit raw, but this is a kid that has all the potential in the world. I would like to see him get a chance as nothing is more frustrating then to see a guy get waived who has never really gotten that shot to prove his worth.
In thinking about the Rapids roster, it has been reported that Ben Newnam is still in training with the Rapids. The versatile midfielder/defender is under contract with the Independence and so for him to be added to the Rapids roster would require a loan or sale from the Independence. Newnam has impressed in his time here so there is some debate about whether he will eventually be added to the roster or go back to Charlotte. The Rapids would seem to be set in both the midfield and defense, so I worry whether Newnam would be a player that does not get into the 18, let alone the Starting XI.
In addition to Newnam being in camp, veteran defender Jeff Parke was training with the club this week.
And the Independence played Atlanta Silverbacks this week. As a Rapids fan I remember vividly watching that US Open Cup match last year where the Silverbacks defeated the Rapids 2-1. So obviously I was hoping to see the Independence beat the Silverbacks, especially since they are coached by former Rapids boss Gary Smith. Alas, it was not meant to be as Charlotte lost by the same 2-1 score. But it is good for Charlotte to play teams above them in the US Soccer pyramid and although this was a loss, it will help the club as they continue to build for the franchise opener on March 27.