Columbus Crew SC today announced that it has acquired defender Chris Klute from the Colorado Rapids as part of the transaction executed during the First Round of the 2015 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, held yesterday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Crew SC traded down in the opening round, sending its 14th overall selection and allocation money to the Rapids in exchange for Klute and the 19th overall pick. The United States Men’s National Team player will join the Black & Gold roster effective immediately. Per club and MLS policy, additional details of the deal were not disclosed.
Klute joins the Black & Gold after three seasons with Colorado. In total, he has made 57 appearances (55 starts) over his MLS career, with 56 of those appearances coming over the past two seasons. In 2013, he led the Rapids in assists and earned the club's Defensive Player of the Year award. Additionally, Klute was previously called-up by the United States Men's National Team senior roster on January 3, 2014 for the winter training camp last year.
As part of the transaction, Crew SC used the acquired 19th pick, selecting University of Connecticut and Jamaican National Team defender Sergio Campbell in the First Round.
“Chris is a player we've been tracking for the last year," said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. "We identified him as a player that can fit well into our system of play. He's a very dynamic fullback that likes to get into the attack and his versatility makes him an option on either side of the field.”
Klute, 24, logged 2,132 minutes over 25 appearances (24 starts) for Colorado in 2014. He led the club in crosses from open play (51) and tackles won (67), as well as ranked third on the team in touches (1,634). In 2013, Klute made a career-high 31 appearances (30 starts), registering seven assists to lead the club. He won the club's Defensive Player of the Year award, as voted upon by his teammates and technical staff, and received mention in consideration for the MLS Best XI.
The Grand Prairie, Texas native originally joined the Rapids late in the 2012 season after being acquired on a loan from North American Soccer League side Atlanta Silverbacks, making his MLS debut on October 27 in a 2-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo. He was signed by the Silverbacks to begin his professional career on June 21, 2012. He made 12 appearances (11 starts) with Atlanta before joining Colorado. Before turning professional, Klute played in college for both Furman University and Clayton State University.
On January 3, 2014, the defender was named to Jürgen Klinsmann's 26-man roster for the 2014 United States Men's National Team training camp of that year. He was one of 10 defenders named to the camp, joining MLS standouts such as Matt Besler of Sporting KC and Omar Gonzalez of the LA Galaxy.
Previously, Klute made appearances for the U.S. Under-20 and Under-17 sides, helping the U-17s qualify for the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea. In that tournament, Klute started in a Group Stage match against Tunisia.
The Black & Gold begin their 20th season on March 7 at Houston and return home for the Opening Match at Crew Stadium on Saturday, March 14 against Toronto FC. In celebration of the 20th campaign, the club is offering free customization to any fan that pre-orders his or her 2015 jersey. Once the jerseys have been revealed to the public, fans can select either the primary or secondary jersey along with any name and number they wish to add at no additional charge. This offer will be available at the Crew SC Shop at Crew Stadium or CrewSCShop.com. The pre-sale opportunity ends February 28.
TRANSACTION: Crew SC acquires defender Chris Klute from the Colorado Rapids as part of the transaction executed during the First Round of the 2015 Major League Soccer SuperDraft. Crew SC acquired Klute and the 19th overall selection from Colorado in exchange for the Black & Gold’s First Round (14th overall) selection and allocation money.
Name: Chris Klute
Born: March 5, 1990 in Grand Prairie, Texas
Hometown: Grand Prairie, Texas
Acquired: Acquired by Crew SC on January 16, 2015 as part of the transaction executed during the First Round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft on January 15, 2015 which sent Klute and the 19th overall selection to Columbus in exchange for the 14th overall selection and allocation money
Previous Experience: Colorado Rapids (2012-2014), Atlanta Silverbacks (2012-2013)