With a new head coach and an abundance of new faces, the Colorado Rapids open their 23rd MLS season Saturday at New England, another team with a new coach at the helm.

Anthony Hudson, a Seattle native whose father Alan played for Chelsea, Stoke City, Arsenal and the Seattle Sounders of the old North American Soccer League, promises to bring a “positive and aggressive” style of soccer featuring dual strikers and a three-man back line. Hudson coached New Zealand’s national team the past three years.

Coming off a horrendous season that saw them finish with the third-worst record in the league at 9-19-6, there is a strong likelihood that more than half of the Rapids’ starters on Saturday will be players who were added in the offseason.

“It’s been a really good preseason,” Hudson said. “There’s been so many changes and new players and faces and staff, trying to establish something new. To now get to the first game, really excited. Finally the games are here, and we’re all looking forward to it.”

Hudson concedes it will take time for his team to evolve into the form he is trying to build, but doesn’t want that to be an excuse for struggling early in the season.

“What’s important right now is getting results,” Hudson said. “That’s the main focus. The actual performance side, and how we’re going to look as a team, the style of play and that type of thing, that obviously is a work in progress. That will just keep improving and evolving over time.”

Two major new components are center back Tommy Smith, who spent most of his career with Ipswich Town in England, and Jack Price, a defensive midfielder who came to Colorado from Wolverhampton Wanderers. Hudson prizes Price for the way he reads the game and …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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