Tim Howard: Colorado Rapids getting ‘back to basics’ as competition heats up

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COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (June 1, 2018) – The Colorado Rapids have lost six in a row. Tim Howard and company are looking to get back in the win column tonight against a dangerous but inconsistent Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Tim Howard: Colorado Rapids getting ‘back to basics’ as competition heats up

Captain Tim Howard and Anthony Hudson spoke to Last Word on Soccer before their match tonight against Vancouver. The team has struggled recently, especially with mistakes at the back causing goals. The Rapids have been hit with injuries in Kortne Ford, Marlon Hairston, and Johan Blomberg all missing time.

“We’ve got to apply ourselves better. We’ve made a lot of mistakes in terms of turning the ball over in bad areas. It’s back to basics for us. In the first part of the season, we were rock solid, limiting teams, pressing them higher up the field, suffocating them,” Howard said when discussing what the team needs to improve upon defensively.

The last six games, the defence has been mostly reactionary rather than preventative. Mistakes and tactical breakdowns have left the imperfect back three exposed, leading to goals. They’ll look to tighten up and fight the battle in the midfield against the Caps.

Both Howard and Hudson alluded to those three players coming back soon. When asked about Ford, Hairston, and Blomberg potentially coming back, he said “potentially. Then it’s just the case of how many minutes we can give them.” The manager was tight-lipped on who specifically might be available and who could start.

Hudson did, however, suggest that lineup changes and competition for playing time could be on the way:

“We haven’t really had a bench which adds competition and keeps people on their toes in a positive way. Now we’re getting players back and we’re in a position to do that. We now can drive standards higher.”

This bodes well in the eyes of Rapids supporters as many have questioned lineup decisions during this losing streak. A fully healthy roster could have Hudson having an open competition at several critical or underperforming positions. Blomberg, Hairston, and Ford all played significant minutes in the early parts of the season and could be starters once returning to health.