You can see the fire in Jack Price’s eyes when he’s on the pitch. The Colorado Rapids captain definitely leads by example, but admits he’s accepted a new perspective on life and football since arriving in Colorado and it is serving him very well, thank you.
“Five or six years ago, I wasn’t as good a professional as I could’ve been,” Price tells Burgundy Wave when thinking back upon his younger years prior to arriving in MLS. “You realize that the older you get, the more you do off the field, the more of a professional you are, it definitely reflects on the field. I think this year has been one of my best years in Colorado. The last two years I’ve played some of my best football, even before when I was at (Wolverhampton) Wolves, so it comes together.”
It sure has for Price, who’s leadership as a central midfielder has been the engine making Colorado go. But life has also come together for the Price family off the pitch as Jack and Lauren welcomed their son not long ago, something all of us parents can attest to changing your way of looking at things for sure!
“I’ve grown up a little bit,” Hugo Price’s dad tells us. “Especially having Hugo now, it makes you a better person doesn’t it in terms of living right? It think if you live a good life outside of football, then if you have ability that will come out. Thankfully I’ve got a lovely family — Lauren sacrifices a lot for me living out here away from family — I know it’s tough for her being a full-time mum, and I get to come out here and work — it’s fantastic. 100% I’ve grown up as a man.”
The Rapids are blessed with a great group of veteran players, such as Drew Moor, Steven Beitashour, Danny Wilson, Collen Warner, and Clint Irwin. In fact, Price wasn’t always sure he was captain material, admitting it wasn’t something he really thought about before being given the armband a few season ago by Head Coach Robin Fraser. “I wasn’t too sure when I first got it to be honest. I’ve been in changing rooms where I’ve had a lot of big personalities, and I’ve got my own opinions and I’ve got a big personality myself to be honest, but I never saw it coming. The gaffer when he gave to me was like, don’t change, just be yourself because that’s why you are chosen to be captain.”
“Obviously being captain the last two years has changed my mentality being a role model,” says Price, now 28 and leading a side with many players barely old enough to drink in its ranks. “Sometimes you think you’re bigger than yourself, and you need to say stuff when you don’t, but I don’t. I’ll have a joke and a laugh but when it’s serious, it’s serious. Gameday, I’ll try to get the lads pumped up in the huddle but I’m enjoying every moment of leading the boys out.”
Price doesn’t hide his feelings when talking about the team he is part of. Everyone in the Rapids organization has adopted a somewhat rare mentality in professional sports and buy-in to the common good. “It’s the best changing room I’ve been in, in terms of the way we all are together, the chemistry we have, the fun, the team-bonding we have, the nights out, the dinners. Honestly, it’s a group that I’m going to look back in a few years and be proud that I was captain of this group of lads.”
“I couldn’t think of any other group I’d want to lift MLS Cup with for sure. For this year we have to enjoy the moment because you don’t get these very often. The gaffer said this, there’s not many times you get a chance to win MLS Cup and we really have a big shot this year. We just need to go and grab it.”