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Atlanta United vs. Colorado Rapids: Three Questions with Burgundy Wave

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A pair of struggling sides meet at the Benz on Saturday. What’s going on with the Rapids, though?

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at Colorado Rapids Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

In the two previous times that Atlanta United and the Colorado Rapids have met up, things have gone the way of the Five Stripes. Josef Martinez’s goal in the 67th minute was the difference in a 1-0 win at Bobby Dodd in 2017, while Atlanta dominated the Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park last September with three first-half goals en route to a 3-0 win.

All that to say that there’s been quite a gulf in class between the third-year club and one of the charter franchises in MLS since the former entered the league. But with Atlanta struggling to find its form early on, that just might serve as motivation for a desperate Colorado team looking for its first win.

I had a chance to chat with Abbie Lang, the managing editor of Burgundy Wave, to get her thoughts on the state of the Rapids thus far and her memories of a certain former World Cup veteran goalkeeper that’s hanging the cleats up at the end of the 2019 season.

Colorado are a team searching for its first win of the season. What’s the overall sentiment surrounding Anthony Hudson, and how long does he realistically get before management decides to move on?

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Chicago Fire Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Fans are not happy with Anthony Hudson. His record with the Rapids so far is a dismal 8-25-9 and things are not looking any better. In my opinion, the match this weekend will be huge for whether he stays or goes, but even a win doesn’t mean that everything is going to be okay. Last year a big reason for keeping Hudson was because Pablo Mastroeni was still on the payroll. I have heard that might not be the case this year, and if that’s true, I think Hudson is out sooner rather than later if things keep trending they way they are.

Unfortunately for the Rapids, they’ve been shipping goals at an alarming rate (23 GA in just 8 matches). Does that fall more on the talent the front office has assembled or on the technical staff?

It’s hard to tell who it to blame, honestly. The FO brought in Keegan Rosenberry on the right side and he’s been the only consistent player in the backline. He’s been doing well for the most part, but we’ve had six different CB pairings in eight games and two different left backs. Dillon Serna has experience there but had a rough couple of games so they moved in Sam Vines, a young homegrown player who spent last year in the USL. Sam does okay, but has a lot to learn and is often caught out of position. I think we have a couple decent CB options, but with everything else so out of whack, they make silly mistakes or have a slip in focus and then the ball ends up in the back of the net. It’s a mess back there, but supposedly the Rapids are trying to address the defensive issues before the transfer window ends.

All that being said, it’s ultimately up to the coaches to find the best fit and develop the strategies for the starting XI and Hudson hasn’t been doing that.

I can’t get through this Q&A without mentioning Tim Howard, and I expect that it will be a nice moment shared between him and his fomer USMNT teammate Brad Guzan. What will you, as someone who’s followed the Rapids as long as you have, remember the most about his time in Colorado?

One of the best sports moments I’ve ever experienced in person was when the Rapids beat the LA Galaxy in PKs at home to go to the Western Conference Finals. Tim Howard saved LA’s last TWO penalty shots and I’ve never heard it louder in Dick’s Sporting Good Park. Howard was in form, the Pids were playing well, and it was amazing.