This week, Auston Trusty spoke openly about the sour end to his time in Philadelphia Union. Now with the Colorado Rapids, his revitalisation will be crucial to the team’s success.
This was not how Auston Trusty’s career was meant to play out. A Philadelphia boy, in the academy from the age of eight, a full-time starter by 19, playing every single minute of the 2018 season after only making his senior debut in the season-opener, Trusty was meant to be both the face and the future of the Philadelphia Union franchise.
And then, halfway through the 2019 season, only his second as a starter, suddenly, swiftly, perhaps harshly, he was dropped, first from the starting XI and eventually out of the squad entirely. By the end of the year, he was the fourth-choice centre-back and facing an inevitable exit in the offseason.
Indeed, that is precisely what happened. Trusty moved to the Colorado Rapids earlier this offseason for potentially as much as $750,000 in allocation money and a sell-on clause.
The Rapids are banking on Trusty rediscovering that younger form. And given that Trusty is now out of Philadelphia, where he clearly was not settled, they might just see the best of the young centre-back.
Trusty’s slip down the pecking order was peculiar, to say the least. While he was not performing at the level of 2018 and Mark McKenzie and Jack Elliot performed excellently for much of the season, Trusty did little to suggest he absolutely had to be dropped, especially behind Aurelien Collin as the reserve option. In fact, this week, Trusty spoke about the messy divorce between him and the Union:
"“The season definitely went in the wrong way, from playing every single minute essentially in the last two years to being dropped from the team for the last quarter of the season. I don’t think that sits right with anybody. For whatever reason you’re not playing, whether it’s on or off the field, it creates a fire in my gut, really. I think everything going on, me leaving my hometown team and the way it went, it doesn’t sit right in my stomach.”"
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It is quite clear: Trusty is cheesed off with how things ended in Philadelphia, and he is now keen to put things right with the Colorado Rapids. And for the Rapids, getting the best version of Trusty will be crucial to their success.
After a startling end to last season that nearly saw them remarkably sneak into the playoffs, the Rapids are looking to make a real and sustained run at a playoff place this season. And they might just have the horses to do so. After scoring 58 goals last season, a figure bettered by only New York City FC and LAFC, there is one obvious place they need to fix: the defence, and Trusty will be key.
Lalas Abubakar will return at centre-back. After spending last season on loan in Colorado and performing wonderfully, that is excellent news. Alongside him, if Trusty can perform like the 2018 Trusty that broke onto the MLS scene so brilliantly, the Colorado Rapids could finally have a defence to match their prolific attack.
Trusty is a capable player and a growing young man. His time in Philadelphia came to a messy end, but as he now prepares for a new voyage in Colorado, if he rediscovers his best form, he might be back in the big time. And the Rapids will be following all the way.