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Cole Bassett opens up on time at Fortuna Sittard and leaves door open to return to Europe

There was more going on at Sittard than you think.

MLS: Colorado Rapids at LA Galaxy Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Two weeks ago, the Colorado Rapids recalled Cole Bassett from his loan to Eredivisie side Fortuna Sittard. Burgundy Wave spoke to him during halftime of the United States’ World Cup game against Wales. Here’s what we learned.

“From Fortuna, yes. Besides that, I still don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. There’s some stuff in the air,” Bassett said when asked if he saw the loan termination coming.

Things were clearly not well at Sittard. He did not meet the minutes threshold stipulated in the loan. It no longer made sense for any party for him to ride the bench there.

“It wasn’t easiest. But that’s football. That coach (Sjors Ultee) was really making a push to bring me in. When it finally got done, it was disappointing to see him leave after three days, three training sessions. Having to adapt so much to a place where you thought you were going to go and play all the time, it was unfortunate. We got unlucky with the move. It was all that we wanted it to be at the start. We didn’t know as much about the club as we thought.”

Ultee was fired after Bassett’s first appearance. Getting recruited by a manager who really wanted you then that manager gets fired a week later is tough. Julio Velázquez was appointed as his permanent replacement.

Bassett seemed to allude to more going on behind the scenes. This could be in reference to Velázquez, who clearly did not rate him, fairly or unfairly. Perhaps there was some misleading by the club prior to the move or whilst he was there.

“I can’t say everything about what happened and the narrative. It’s hard for people behind the scenes that didn’t see everything to realize what it was. It’s in the past now. I don’t want to look back on my time at Sittard to where it affects my career.”

In any case, Bassett returns to the welcoming arms of a club that will do right by him and a manager who believes in him. The 2022 Rapids midfield was a mess. He believes he can immediately improve on that as a starter that will help him and the club turn things around in 2023, should be be here.

“Since I’ve left I’ve become more reliable on the ball. If you talked to Robin and asked him straight up when I was leaving, he would say it’s that. I’ve become more comfortable on that ball and more confident in possession. Coming back, I’d like to add that. Maybe that means playing a deeper role, next to (Jack Price).”

The 21-year-old looks back at his Dutch adventure as feedback rather than failure. He did multiple times allude to going back to Europe soon.

“I’m really glad I went over there. Hopefully I go back one day whether it’s in a couple years or soon.”

A loan to an actually soft landing spot back in Europe could be pursued and preferred over starting the year in MLS.