Back in September 2015, Sporting Kansas City filmed a spoof of The Bachelor. At the time, it was timely because Kansas City native Tanner Tolbert had recently been on the series. But now, looking back, it seems premature.
Because now Colton Storm has become the unofficial Bachelor of Kansas City, or at least of Sporting Kansas City. Scroll through his social media, and you’ll see countless requests for dates. And when this is mentioned to him on Tuesday afternoon after a training session with Swope Park Rangers—that Sporting should have waited to do The Bachelor spoof with him—he laughs and says coyly, “God, I wouldn’t have minded that.”
Which acts as a nice springboard for our conversation. Learn more about Sporting’s 2017 14th overall draft pick out of the University of North Carolina below.
I have a tattoo of the number 14, and I know you were the No. 14 pick overall.
Oh, wow. That's really good. I want to get more tats.
You will, especially if you keep hanging around Dom. And I see all over social media that you guys have quickly become quite close. Did that friendship form naturally?
Yeah, that first day I got in. I got in, what, three days before we left for Arizona (for preseason), and he was the only one in here doing extra lifts and stuff at the time. Right there, we already started messing around, goofing off in the weight room, and he was giving me pointers here and there. That turned into, going into preseason, still kind of getting to know him really. We weren’t as close as we are today, but he was giving me small pointers here and there on the field. And then off the field, just telling me to relax and separate my life from soccer.
It’s just kind of grown with him and Soony (Saad). I don’t know how or why we made a connection, but it’s been fun. He’s a really good guy.
That’s awesome. So, do you actually go on these dates that girls are asking for on Twitter and Instagram? Do you talk to them?
I haven’t gone on any dates with any of them who have asked me. I’ve responded to a couple. I know I’ve got some people asking how many retweets to get me to go to prom or a formal. Just because we’re in season right now, I’m so busy right now, but I try to respond and talk to them. Seems like there’s a good bit every day on Twitter and Instagram. It’s kind of funny.
It is funny. And I know they poke fun at you about it, too.
Oh my God. I mean, Dom can joke around with me, but there’s guys in the locker room that just go at me about it. Especially being a rookie, and I’m like, ‘Holy crap!’
How’d you say your new life in Kansas City is going?
I really like it. It was an adjustment for the first week, I’d say. It was really cold and raining every day. I was living in a hotel for a solid two weeks. Just until I got my feet under me, it was kind of tough because we returned from Arizona and all of my teammates were pumped to get back to their families, back to their houses, and I was heading back to a hotel.
Now that I’ve moved into my apartment finding my way around, like I can get to and from the training grounds without using the maps on my phone. So I was like, ‘Oh, this is nice.’ I’m liking it a lot right now and definitely having a close friend like Dom or Soony is awesome because friendships help you get through the good times and the bad times even more.
Right, absolutely. What's something Sporting fans will be surprised to learn about you?
Surprised to learn about me? I’m trying to think. I mean, most people know about my back tattoo with the lightning bolt. And I mean, Dom kills me with that. He has some tattoos, but he just goes at me about that.
Not your best work?
He likes that it was for a brand and nobody else is going to have that, I wouldn’t think anyone else would, but he jokes around with me a lot about that. And so does this guy (points to Kevin Ellis).
But one thing that people would be surprised to know would probably be that I grew up my whole life in the suburbs and country of Mechanicsville, Pennsylvania. Everyone thinks, being from Pennsylvania, everyone thinks Philadelphia or Pittsburgh. And, I mean, I was about an hour out of Philly but still, I am in the country. There are fields around me, there’s apple orchards, there’s all of that around me. I think that would be the biggest surprise for people.
How old were you when you got that tattoo?
I think I was maybe 16 or 17. I know I wasn’t old enough because I had a friend sign off on the paper. I went in (the tattoo parlor) and they were like, “Oh, this is your parent's’ signature?’ And I was like, “Yeah, yeah. They’re good with it.”
Were your parents mad?
Oh my God, they were furious. My mom was like, “I can’t believe we raised you that way. That’s permanent!” And my dad was just, oh my God, he was furious. At the time, I didn’t really think it through. It was a spur of the moment thing. I was only thinking of the short-term effects, and my parents wanted me to realize I was going to have that for the rest of my life. They were outraged about it.
Was soccer always the obvious path for you?
I always loved soccer. I wrestled for six years, seven years, and I love wrestling. NCAA Wrestling Championships were just on, and I was watching following my friends. I’d say that was the only other path. That’s a strong love I have, and I still follow wrestling. It was kind of in my blood growing up, in my family.
Did you leave that behind in college?
High school. I went down to the residency program in Florida for the national team, and I was like, I need to stop this. I had back problems and stuff, always had to watch my weight. One thing after another.
I was going to ask what you’re other interests are, but you love wrestling.
Other interests, yeah, wrestling. But I love boating, wakeboarding. I’m a big water person.
Are there lakes around where you grew up?
Yeah, we have a lake and a house that we go to every single summer. We’d rent it for three months every single summer, and it’s about two hours away. It’s called Raystown Lake. It’s 38 miles and a man-made lake. I’ve been doing that since I was about two years old.
Favorite player growing up?
I went through spurts of everyone growing up. I went from Ronaldinho, who was everyone’s favorite when I was probably like 8 and 9. But as I became more familiar with U.S. Soccer, I loved Clint Dempsey. He’s an outdoors guy, loves the fishing and the wakeboarding, and I don’t see as many soccer players doing that. I like that. I’m somewhat similar to that. I love the outdoors, but I also love to play soccer.
And then I was at preseason in Arizona, and Clint Dempsey is standing there in the weight room by me. I was standing there and I wanted to be like, “Hey, let me get a photo with you real quick.” But I was like, “I am not doing that right now.”
Do you already notice changes within yourself since moving out here?
Yeah, I think so. In my play, my mindset is so different coming out every day. I try to not get ahead of myself. It’s still a game, never taking it too serious, never over-thinking this thing you’ve done since you were five years old.
And then as a person, within the first two weeks I really had to adjust. Just come to a new place. Not restarting, but being like the freshman all over again. That’s always tough to do that. It’s a process. As far as maturity, my mindset is just different.
What about Kansas City has surprised you most?
Honestly, how big Sporting is. Not just Sporting, but Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals. Two days ago, me and Dom went down to the Plaza and got some Mexican food. We were sitting there at like 8 p.m. and three different groups of people came were like, “Oh, hey!” Wanted a photo, or just wanted to say hello. And I was like, “man, that’s wild.” People are so involved in the Sporting community here, and I think that’s amazing. As soon as I got off the stage (at the MLS SuperDraft), my Twitter was crazy.
This atmosphere—I’ve been to other MLS games throughout my life, and this atmosphere is just incomparable.
What is your biggest dream now that you’ve set a foundation for your career?
My biggest dream would probably be just to start at my position for Sporting in the coming years. Obviously, I know it’s not going to happen in a day, a week, a month. There are a lot of very good players ahead of me on this team. So I knew coming into it that this was going to be a process.
So my biggest dream is just seeing the Storm jersey on me and on the field. My first ever Sporting Kansas City game was two weeks ago against FC Dallas and just seeing the fireworks go off, the names walking out on the big screens, and it gives you goosebumps. I mean, I can’t even imagine walking out of the tunnel and having my jersey on and walking onto the field knowing that I’m the guy that’s going to be playing at this spot.
That’s my biggest goal I set right now. I’m trying not to get too far ahead of myself. Like, “Oh, I want to make MLS Best XI. Oh, I want to be an All-Star.” I think it’s all about setting gradual steps.
Last question. Not serious at all. What's your favorite song right now?
Favorite song right now is called “Grind” by, um, like, N.P. or something. I don’t even know what it is. Honest to God, I was on Pandora the other day, and it randomly came on so I’ve been listening to it every day on YouTube.
If it’s not that, it’s definitely “Deja Vu” by J. Cole. Those are my two go-tos right now. And I’m that guy who puts it on repeat until I hate it. So I’ll probably hate them within two weeks, but right now, I’m obsessed.