Aaron Horton was the Crew's first home grown player, but he has struggled to get playing time this year. He didn't make an appearance for the first team and wasn't in the top tier of reserve players. The 20 year old saw action during several reserve matches and did score against Stoke in the midseason friendly. He even was loaned out to the Dayton Dutch Lions, but wasn't able to make an appearance in his short time with the club. His development has stalled.
Yesterday's brief blog entry by Adam Jardy brings Horton's status into sharper focus. He appears to be a player on the very fringes of the roster. Coach Robert Warzycha was very direct when discussing the young forward:
You have (rookie) Ben Speas, who comes every single day and tries to get better and you have Horton who is trying to be here but I don't think his desire is to be the best that he can.
That's likely the worst opinion a coach can have for a player. Most managers don't have time or sympathy for players that are just wasting their time. A star player might be able to get away with it, but someone on the end of the depth chart will struggle to keep their spot on the roster.
Horton is the youngest player on the squad and has repeatedly talked about his desire to learn from the veterans on the squad. He did allow his immaturity to get the best of him, if ever so briefly, after the Crew's reserve match when he tweeted his frustrations at not getting any real playing time during the game. The tweets were soon deleted, but it's indicative of the frustration of not making progress and the hard realities of the professional game.
While the exact nature of Horton's contract is unknown, it's likely has a couple of team option years in his contract. Given Warzycha's comments, it wouldn't be a surprise that the team might decide to decline them and part ways.
Final Grade - 3: Being buried at the ends of the depth chart and getting on the head coach's bad side is an easy way to lose your spot.