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Inside Auston Trusty’s mindset ahead of departure for Arsenal

Trusty is trying to make the most of his time in Colorado, leading a unit ready to battle for the Rocky Mountain Cup on Saturday

John Babiak, Burgundy Wave

Auston Trusty is setting himself for a few big months remaining in Commerce City and says with all that the defenders have to do in the Colorado Rapids system; it’s a path of continuous growth to keep him on schedule before he leaves MLS this Summer.

Trusty is set to join Arsenal soon enough after a winter transfer sent him from one KSE club to another. But his current KSE club desperately needs him as they look to build off of 2021’s strong season.

“My mindset is to get better every day,” Trusty told Burgundy Wave. “I watch my film, talk to my teammates, talk to my coaches; they’re all really honest with each other in what we need to do, what we need to work on.”

The Rapids are off to a 2-1-1 start in 2022. Trusty has made up a backline that’s only given up a goal per match.

“Myself and my teammates look at our game every single day,” Trusty said. “I don’t think any of us are done excelling in any position we’re in. We all have a lot to work on and that growth mindset is a key part of the team.”

Another part of this Rapids team, especially the group of defenders, is their willingness to play together as a unit, worrying about their own positions and that of their teammates around them. It’s something Trusty cites as key to success in the past and going forward.

“We have such good chemistry. I think you can see it in games,” says the 23-year-old defender. “It’s a fun group to play with. It’s how we are as a team all around.”

“I think you can definitely see it through our style of play and how we cover for each other, how we play, how some guys attack, and we cover for the guy going forward. It’s a lot more unselfish running. If there’s a spot open you’ve gotta go, gotta run so it’s good. You know the guy next to you is working his butt off every single day to cover for you, whether you’re stepping forward, dropping back, or taking the ball forward. We all try to do more than our job.”

That job is way more complicated than players like Trusty make it look on Saturdays as well. The list of things the players work on with the coaching staff during the week can make your head spin.

“It’s really just how to set your body, your positioning, your touches, your passes but also how you see the game; how many numbers are coming at you, how many numbers do you have on the side, opportunities when we’re up a man, opportunities when we’re a man down,” he explains. “It’s a lot of aspects we look at.”

Trusty has partnered with a pretty steady backline unit since joining the club in 2019. Danny Wilson, Keegan Rosenberry and Lalas Abubakar had already been in Burgundy while he hasn’t played a match without the leadership of Drew Moor, who returned a few days after Trusty was traded from Philadelphia. Sam Vines left for Europe last summer and now Trusty will join him this summer, signaling a change to what has been such a steady unit.

“It’s constant communication, constant checking your shoulders, constant looking and knowing when to step. A lot of it is just knowing the game itself,” Auston admits. “Everyone can pass the ball, but the key is knowing how to play, when to do stuff, the timing, when to step out….there’s a lot going on, especially for a center back.”

Because of that and a hectic schedule to start the season for Colorado after a very short off-season, Rapids players were able to get some time away from the club during last week’s international break. Trusty says it was nice, but when you live the game, the way players do, it can be a bit strange to be out of the grind so early into the season.

“We feel really rested. It was good for our bodies to take a rest from a hard pre-season, hard last season, I’m still not recovered from last season having a short off-season. The staff gave us four days off so everyone could do what they want. Some guys got time off with their families, went somewhere else, change of scenery, and just a reset for all of us. Time away, you start missing soccer more and more and more so it’s also beneficial for your body and mind too.”

“The four days off you like it, but you also hate it because you want to keep training. We train every single day, so when we have multiple off days we start getting really antsy, and you want to keep playing, so it’s good,” Auston explains, noting it’s a bit odd to disrupt the routine so early. “Not that the spark wasn’t there but you start missing your daily routine, the camaraderie with teammates, coming into practice saying hi to everybody, and going to battle on the field together every day.”

Colorado has begun 2022 mostly positive, with a couple of ups and downs, especially on the road. However, this weekend sees Real Salt Lake visiting in match one of this year’s edition of the Rocky Mountain Cup, and Trusty is feeling good about where the Rapids are at this early stage.

“I think we’re looking at it in a really positive way. We’re happy to have some moments where we can do better early in the season just so we can get them done now instead of having to figure it out later. We’re in a good spot mentally as a team, and physically we’re ready to battle.”

“If we all go out there, do our jobs, play as a team, I don’t think anybody can stop us.”