Anthony Hudson has been fired and now Conor Casey has been named the new Colorado Rapids manager. This move does little to inspire confidence that the season can be salvaged.
Conor Casey is now leading the way, and if the reactions are predictive of future results, this could be the worst Wooden Spoon worthy season ever.
Padraig Smith has the title of sporting director, but these past few coaching moves gave the club little direction. Sure, the academy kids are being promoted before they can drive. And yes, a few old US Men’s National Team names are suiting up in Burgundy. But Hudson did little to utilize his roster, which, again, lacked direction, and it is uncertain whether Casey can do the same.
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There are the old vets who want to win one last time, mixed with academy players playing their first games with a crowd. Hudson also brought in players he was familiar with, despite MLS being above their level.
Going by the tweet above, Conor Casey was only familiar with and/or worried about his job description as a brute-force striker. The greater dynamics of build-up play were the least of his concerns. He did score the goals when wearing a Rapids jersey, but those only buy so much goodwill.
There is not much goodwill towards the Rapids front office or ownership these days. The luster from the Tim Howard signing dulls with ever goal conceded. However, if ownership is fine with the status quo, the fans’ angst matters little.
Since having reporters fired for criticism is no longer possible, Kroenke Sports has two options in a season that cannot get any worse: Let Casey finish the season as manager, perhaps winning enough games to earn a contract; Or, if the Rapids want to hire most of the European coaching targets, search for one in the summer as most of the potential candidates that will be available at the end of the MLS season would be inexperienced or coming off a string of bad results themselves.
Conor Casey is the elevated company man who will not rock the boat. He provides a touch of nostalgia. He has been learning the ropes as an assistant.
However, if he wasn’t all that interested in the game while playing, he has a steep learning curve. It will be hard to catch up in the standings while still catching on to the nuances of being a head coach.