Colorado Rapids acquired forward Calvin Harris from FC Cincinnati, the clubs announced Wednesday afternoon. In exchange, Cincinnati get $100,000 in 2023 General Allocation Money (GAM), $100,000 in 2024 GAM, and up to $175,000 in conditional GAM, pending performance metrics. Cincinnati will also retain a percentage of any future transfer fee.
“Calvin is a versatile and dynamic forward who has only begun to scratch the surface of his potential. He’s a player we monitored closely ahead of the 2021 SuperDraft given his qualities and we’re excited to bring him into an environment where we believe he can develop and take the next step in his career,” said Pádraig Smith, Colorado Rapids Executive VP & General Manager.
Harris is a Generation Adidas (GA) player and will occupy a Supplemental Roster Slot in 2023. He is 22-years-old and was selected second overall in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft. The Rapids picked third that year, selecting Philip Mayaka who turned out to be a bust. The Rapids likely scouted Harris as much as they did Mayaka. Perhaps they’re getting their top target out of that draft, albeit two years later and for a few hundred thousand in GAM.
In two years, Harris accumulated six starts and 24 appearances for Cincinnati, recording one goal and one assist. Harris struggled to get regular minutes in Cincy in part due to their DP striker core. Former Rapids player Dom Badji, an MLS veteran, barely got to 1000 minutes last year. Harris did not achieve his potential, but competition was tough with Cincy’s financial might. He missed a decent portion of 2021 due to knee surgery. The Demon Decan spent part of 2022 with FC Cincinnati 2 in MLS Next Pro, starting six games and scoring three goals.
This is another Distressed Assets FC pickup. It’s not clear what Harris is given how little playing time he has gotten. He couldn’t unseed double digit goal scorers Brenner and Brandon Vazquez. Outside of maybe Diego Rubio, every attacker on the Rapids would have had trouble with that. Maybe the Rapids can get something out of him Cincy could not. He’ll get opportunities to prove himself. Wolde Harris has a track record for improving No. 9s. He can start in certain situations. He’ll back up Rubio and Kevin Cabral, proving competition for Homegrown Darren Yapi.
As a GA player, his contract almost has the flexibility of a Homegrown. His guarantied compensation in 2022 was $100,444. This acquisition is low risk, high reward. Padraig Smith may have cooked up the first key acquisition of this Rapids offseason.