It was announced today that four Colorado Rapids players have been loaned to the Charlotte Independence. Forward Caleb Calvert, midfielder Ricardo Perez, defender Sam Vines, and goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra are all heading to the Rapids’ USL affiliate. The Rapids have the right to recall the players at any time during the MLS regular season.
Rapids Executive Vice President and General Manager Pádraig Smith said that “getting meaningful minutes in a competitive environment is crucial for development. Charlotte will provide them that opportunity, and we look forward to watching how each of these players adapt and improve while there. It’s a great opportunity.”
Charlotte Head Coach Mike Jeffries drove the point home, but also explained that playing time is not guaranteed. “It’s important for young players to come into an environment where they have to compete and have to earn a spot,” he said. “Nothing is handed to them in any way, shape, or form. I think we pride ourselves in being that type of environment where it doesn’t matter where you’re coming from. It’s about what you do and how you perform day-in and day-out. That’s what makes the decision if you play or not. I think our relationship with Colorado is such that they agree and buy into that. It’s a good situation and long-term, developmentally, it is important for those guys to earn their time on the field and to have to fight and compete, every day.”
Homegrown player Sam Vines was just signed to the Rapids in February, but did spend some time with the Independence last year as a Rapids Academy player. Calvert has been loaned to Charlotte in each of his four seasons with Colorado. Perez was loaned to the Colorado Springs Switchbacks for a portion of last season, but this is his first stint in Charlotte. Dykstra was recently acquired from Sporting Kansas City, so this is also his first trip to the USL side.