Anthony Hudson on Yannick Boli: “He gives us a presence up top”

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Editorial (March 18, 2018) – The Colorado Rapids roster for the start of the season is finally complete. Earlier this week, the club announced the signing of Yannick Boli, an Ivorian striker. The deal used Targeted Allocation Money and Boli will occupy Colorado’s last available international roster spot.

Anthony Hudson on Yannick Boli: “He gives us a presence up top”

Rapids Head Coach Anthony Hudson spoke with Last Word on Soccer earlier this week after the signing was announced. Boli is clearly the missing piece and the last big signing they were going to make during this transfer window. The first year manager described the player coming in:

“He’s obviously an experienced striker. He’s strong, powerful. He suites how we want to play. He’ll compliment the players we have up there with him,” Hudson told Last Word on Soccer.

Dominique Badji, Jack McBean, and Niki Jackson have been workman-like in their time up top this season. The Rapids coaches still see them as contributing members, but Yannick Boli will provide some much needed quality up top.

“We need more of a presence up there. We need depth. We need experience. We need goals. We need a presence up top and he gives us a presence up top,” Hudson said.

When looking at highlights, he seems to fit the system. For an MLS comparison, he seems like a combination of Badji, Obafemi Martins, and Kei Kamara. He scores a lot of goals by getting in the run, splitting the center backs, and rounding the keeper to finish. That matches Hudson’s system well. He and Badji can play off each other that way.

The other type of goal he scores is by being a fox in the box, getting onto the end of a series of passes to score. His ruthlessness inside the box is much needed. He’ll either get on the end of service or create so much pressure, that Joe Mason, Stefan Aigner, etc. have room to score from distance.

The native of France likes gamesmanship and has an heir of CONCACAF in him. Boli is also dangerous on free kicks. All in all, he’ll provide a breath of fresh air to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in many ways.

There are some concerns about this signing. He just turned 30-years-old, so he’s no spring chicken. While his work in the Russian Premier League was decent, playing club football in China is nothing to write home about. Boli has to wait about 1-2 weeks for his visa and other paperwork to clear. This will again add a new face to training, something Hudson’s emphasized as an annoyance this past month.

If Boli performs up to the level of his salary, he could be just what the Rapids need once he gets fit and acclimated to his new team and environment. Like Hudson said, the Rapids need a presence up top. If Boli can provide that, they’re another step closer to being back in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

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