His signature was a little shaky and he may have forgotten a letter or two but, for Dillon Serna, signing a contract with the Colorado Rapids was one of his greatest achievements.
On Monday, Dillon Serna, who graduated from Horizons High School, just 11 miles away from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, became a Rapids player.
Brian Crookham, Rapids Academy Director, stood close by Serna, proud of the Rapids newest homegrown signing.
“Dillon has earned himself this spot and on the U.S. national team and the opportunities that he had there to go accelerate his development,” the director told Goal.com. “He earned himself the opportunities to play with the reserve team and stretch his development there. He changed his high school class schedule so that he could be here every day with the first team players. Those aren’t easy things to do. It takes a lot of sacrifice on your personal life and everything else, and so for me to watch Dillon go through that process, I’ll be thrilled for Dillon when he’s playing meaningful minutes for our club. It’s awesome that he’s progressed to this point, and that’s the next step for him, and he’s got it in him.”
Crookham, who has worked with the Rapids full-time since 2007, realizes the influence the MLS Academies have on young players as well as how it benefits American soccer.
“When you see a young player who is extremely talented,” said Crookham, “which there are a lot of them, then you hope that an environment can bring out those qualities. . . . We think that Dillon has a future with the club. We think that Dillon can play meaningful minutes at meaningful times in those games. That’s the goal for Dillon. That’s where we really see this going.”
Serna is expected to bring a little spark to the club. After spending a semester at the powerhouse University of Akron, the 18-year old is known for his nice left foot and versatility. He is ready to work towards the goal of playing games that matter in times that matter.
“It’s really exciting for me,” Serna told Goal.com. “I know I need to come in here and work hard, prove myself to earn a spot. I am going to do that every single day.”
Tim Gardner contributed additional reporting.
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