Commerce City, Colo. (June 4, 2018) – The Colorado Rapids are about to embark on a three games in eight days stretch. They’ll be doing so without a fully healthy squad.
Axel Sjoberg Concussion Protocol and other Colorado Rapids training updates
Last Word on Soccer spoke with Head Coach Anthony Hudson after training on Monday. The Rapids will have a short week of training this week. After a morning session tomorrow, they will travel to Nashville for their Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match against Nashville SC and then onto Houston to take on the Houston Dynamo this Saturday.
The Rapids have several question marks for this week. Kortne Ford and Marlon Hairston have both missed over two months with injuries. After missing several weeks, Johan Blomberg made his first appearance with the team last Friday in a match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Axel Sjoberg started in that match as well but left with a head injury. Joe Mason was unavailable due to a knock picked up in training. Sources tell Last Word on Soccer that occurred on Monday of last week.
Back to fitness:
Blomberg and Hairston were both in full training on Monday and are available for selection this week.
“We had an in-house game on Saturday, which was an opportunity to get some players some minutes and stake a claim in the team for Wednesday,” Hudson told Last Word, adding “Marlon’s further ahead than Kortne. Marlon played in the game on Saturday and he got through it very well. Marlon’s in a position where he’s able to start or come off the bench; he’s going to feature.”
Blomberg started in the league match on Friday but was subbed out in the 62nd minute.
“We need to get the balance right. What we don’t want to do is throw him out there and force him through games. But certainly, we’re going to manage his minutes and push him,” said Hudson.
Given the schedule, expect both to play at some point in the next two weeks. I’d expect Hairston to make his first appearance as a substitute while Blomberg probably gets another start to see if he can go 70 minutes or so.
Wait and see:
Ford has been a regular in team training the last two weeks but did not participate in the in-house game on Saturday. He has yet to play in an MLS game this year. If the Rapids had just one game this week, I’d list him as doubtful or out.
Given the schedule congestion and the fact that another center back in Axel Sjoberg is out, I’d list him as questionable this week. He could play a few minutes simply out of necessity at center back.
No timetable yet:
Sjoberg and Joe Mason are out for this week. Mason’s hamstring is still bothering him. He trained on the side with a member of the medical staff on Monday. There’s no timetable for his return. Hamstrings can be lingering issues, but given he hasn’t missed a day of training, it might be sooner rather than later.
Sjoberg is still under concussion protocol. It normally takes a concussion to be diagnosed within 24-48 hours after the collision. Fortunately for the Rapids, Hudson says this one isn’t as bad:
“It’s not as serious as a full a full concussion but you have to play out the protocol.”
At this point, Sjoberg’s availability is out of the organization’s hands.
Since you’re probably wondering:
I haven’t seen Stefan Aigner at training other than the first 15-20 minutes and the end of training in several weeks. Presumably, Aigner is available for selection but like the last two weeks is just not that high on Hudson’s depth chart right now.