Once again. Here we go again.
The first 30 minutes of the Colorado Rapids home match against Orlando City SC, the Rapids were the better team. This is their pattern—the Rapids do well coming out of the gate with Hudson’s game plan fresh on their minds. But when they get up and have to face the urgency of the opposition, they revert back and play as individuals, not as a team.
Enzo Martinez said as much in a post-game interview on Sunday:
It’s just a lack of focus. The first 20 or 30 minutes are the easiest, then we have 60 minutes going forward. So those are the times when we really need to buckle down and get it, and that’s not something you can really practice at—it just comes from within. We need to sit down and have a conversation and figure out how we’re going to overcome this hump that we keep facing every game.
He nailed it: focus must come from within, something that is not coachable. The Rapids are seven games into a 34-game season.
The men and women that run, coach, and play for the Colorado Rapids know what the issues are. The difference is that supporters want that satisfying result and the good feelings that come along with it, and can walk away at the end of the day. These men and women, again from the front office to the coaching staff to the players, are earning a livelihood. Heck, we see their salaries that (except for Tim Howard) do not compare to salaries from, say, the NFL, NBA, or MLB.
As Tim Howard rightly noted in his Voice of C38 tailgate interview, the team has been in every game this year. This is small consolation for many, given how many points the Rapids have left on the pitch, but Howard makes a fair point. If proper adjustments are made both tactically and internally, this season could turn around and be quite competitive.
Is Stefan Aigner on the trading block?
Our friend Rapids Rabbi passed along this little gem that has everyone going ‘hmmm.’
I hope Hudson has taken steps to patch it up. If he has (we will never know) and things still are working, then unload him. Now, granted, I saw his petulance when Badji scored rather than pass him the ball and how he did not celebrate with the rest of the team. That was telling. But if Hudson has taken all the steps he can, unload him. Set a tone.
The Primary Transfer Window closes Tuesday, May 1 at 11:59 p.m. CT.
Gashi’s Groin—Back Too Soon?
Many Rapids supporters (including this guy) gave an extra cheer when Shkelzen Gashi’s name was mentioned in the Starting XI. Yet, his removal at the half came about because of an aggravated groin injury. Hudson then admitted at a post-game interview that he was “sort of forced into” starting Gashi due to injuries and other things going on. (Editor’s note: Hudson was also referencing playing Boateng on the wing, and the full quote is “I think it was disappointing with the changes because we were sort of forced into them.”)
Thankfully, Joe Mason returned, and Marlon Hairston and Kortne Ford are training and will hopefully return soon as well.
The Rapids travel to Kansas City to the Cauldron to play Sporting Kansas City (Saturday, 6:30 pm on Altitude), followed by a home match against New York Red Bulls (Saturday, 5/12 at 7 pm), and then are off to New York City FC (Saturday, 5/19, 11:00 am). That’s a tough three-game stretch. If the Rapids can pull some points out, the post-Memorial Day schedule should soften.