COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – With their current losing streak now at six games, the Colorado Rapids are looking for all the help they can get. But with several players expected to return this weekend for Friday night’s match against the Vancouver Whitecaps, Rapids head coach Anthony Hudson is holding onto some optimism.
“What I can say is even in this little spell, the mood has been upbeat,” Hudson told reporters this week. “The players are doing all the right things; sticking together. They’re looking objectively at everything we need to improve. We just need a break. It’s going to turn.”
With several healthy bodies possible to return to the lineup, including right back Marlon Hairston (knee), defender Kortne Ford (MCL surgery) and Johan Blomberg (leg), Colorado will have the opportunity to field a stronger lineup than it has during its recent winless skid.
“It’s just a case of how many minutes we can give them,” Hudson explained. “We haven’t really had a bench, which adds competition in a positive way. Now we’re getting players back and we’re in a position where we can do that and drive standards higher.”
Rapids goalkeeper and team captain Tim Howard, offered words of praise for Ford, who he referred to as a “young leader” in the heart of Colorado’s defense. Ford’s presence has been missed in the center of the Rapids defense since undergoing MCL surgery back in early March.
“He’s got a lot on his shoulders,” Howard said of Ford. “He’s wise beyond his years. He’s tough as nails. He handles things in a very positive way. You can only lead so much when you’re in the training room or jogging around the outside. To get back in between the lines and push guys; people listen to him. I’ve only seen a few guys along the years that possess that, but he’s certainly one of them.”
Yet despite all the reasons for optimism on the training field and in the locker room, Hudson once again acknowledged the importance of getting back into the win column, as the Rapids fan base has become unsettled with the team’s recent run of form.
“If I’m a fan, I don’t want to hear talking, I want to see performances,” said Hudson. “I want to see the product on the pitch and that’s getting results. So, I appreciate that.”