Buying Into the System: Colorado Rapids Trust the Process

Editorial (March 28, 2018) – The Colorado Rapids have yet to win a competitive match in 2018. They have made incremental improvements in many aspects, but have yet to play a complete 90 minutes. Head Coach Anthony Hudson isn’t concerned about results this early in the season. The Colorado Rapids trust the process. And that’s ok right now.

Buying Into the System: Colorado Rapids Trust the Process

The theme and mantra for Hudson in 2018 has been about building squad chemistry and implementing his system. He hasn’t focused on individuals or individual results. He’s worried about fitness, familiarity, and tactics as his full squad finally comes together.

“We know we have more in us. Overall, there’s a lot more to come. Tactically, we need to get more cohesion,” Hudson told Last Word on Soccer after Colorado’s 2-2 draw against Sporting KC over the weekend. “It’s still another step in the right direction. There’s a lot to build on from tonight.”

His thought process was similar to the first leg loss and the second leg draw to Toronto FC in CONCACAF Champions League. Fitness got better. Players were figuring out the system. The results weren’t there, but the ideas and thought process became more visible.

Pundits and Rapids supporters might have been angry or confused that a new manager was treating the tournament as an exercise rather than trying to win. In principal, they have a point.

If the squad buys in, nothing else matters:

In the bigger picture, the Rapids need to improve and make a run at the playoffs in 2018. If that’s going to happen, the club needs to implement and execute Hudson’s system and change the Rapids Way successfully. In that, the front office and the players need to be on the same page as Hudson.

Early signs show they are: “It’s still early days. Partnerships take awhile to develop. We’ll have improvements both personally and collectively going forward,” Tommy Smith told Last Word on Soccer.

Every interview when this topic comes up, players are quick to mention how they’ve improved every week. They’re finding chemistry and the best is yet to come.

The second leg against Toronto was better than the first. Several squad changes probably affected the visible progress against New England Revolution. But the match against Sporting was better than that.

For them to keep making improvements, they need to buy into Hudson’s vision. So, if Hudson trusts the process, the Rapids have to trust the process. The players have clearly gone all in. The season will show whether Colorado’s bet on an unconventional manager pays off.

Coming to fruition:

For those feeling restless, Hudson did indicate when the fruits of the process could start to ripen. “The best of this team is going to come in four or five games.”

April 21 at Real Salt Lake and April 29 hosting Orlando City SC. If the process is working, Hudson should be talking about points not procedures after those matches.

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