Earlier this week, Colorado Rapids head coach Anthony Hudson featured on MLS’ ExtraTime Radio and talked to the guys about how he has grown as a coach and how tough last season was. You can listen to the entire interview here. Hudson comes on at 1:09:58 and his part lasts just over 17 minutes.
Here are a few of my takeaways.
- Hudson underestimated the nature of Major League Soccer. Hudson sought to explain what happened in the 2018 season, but words failed him at first as he searched for the right way to express how things went so wrong. Like many matters in life, there’s no way to understand unless you experience it—and MLS has unique challenges that most other leagues in the world do not. Even just the extensive travel of our vast country and playing in different climates (like Texas in the summer). The stereotype of MLS being either a “retirement league,” or even a “subpar league” must not cloud over this reality—one that Hudson now knows all too well after coaching two Champions League and 34 MLS matches.
- Proven MLS players. As a result, Hudson and the Front Office saw the benefits of bringing in proven MLS veterans who have the stamina that MLS travel requires and don’t require an adjustment period. Last year, the vast amount of European players brought onto the team had a learning curve (along with other questions regarding their talent and chemistry). In hindsight, we should have seen this coming.
- Pressing, aggression, edge. Repeatedly, Hudson noted he wanted to “press, be aggressive, have an edge,” which he believes Kei Kamara and Diego Rubio can both bring to the pitch. Both, he noted, are proven goal scorers who know the league and deliver in the league (which speaks to the previous point). Clearly, 2018 did not allow this for various reasons.
- Up the middle. He wants a 4-4-2 diamond where the Rapids play through the midfield. This is a markedly different strategy than how they played before, relying almost exclusively on wingplay in hopes of creating goals from well-placed crosses. That strategy yielded a meager 34 goals.
Hopefully, these changes will pull the Rapids up from the bottom of the table. With the home opener less than a month away, we’ll soon find out how the new guys are fitting in and what Hudson has actually learned.
Did you listen to the interview? Share your takeaways in the comments!