3. Auston Trusty
The Colorado Rapids’ 2019 season seemed doomed early on, going 0-9-2 in their first eleven games before a 1-0 win over the LA Galaxy on May 19th on the road. The entire club strategy was flawed. Anthony Hudson was fired on May 1st. In came Robin Fraser in August and the Rapids went 7-5-2, turning into one of the more dangerous attacking teams in all of MLS.
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But a problem that persisted all season long still haunted them during the encouraging Fraser run: defending. Yes, the Rapids could score them at a high rate, but they were conceding goals at a higher one. In-season adjustments were made, starting with the acquisition of Lalas Abubakar from Columbus Crew SC on loan, but he alone wasn’t going to take the Rapids from outside the playoff picture to inside it. This was recognized as an offseason need and after permanently acquiring Abubakar from Columbus, the club went out and signed Auston Trusty from the Philadelphia Union also.
Trusty was a Philadelphia Union homegrown signing back in 2016 and has made several appearances in the U.S. youth ranks. He received his first senior team call-up back in 2019 for a friendly against Panama. Trusty is one of the best young defenders in the league, but he saw his playing opportunities decrease as the 2019 season went on and was eventually frozen out of the squad entirely. Nevertheless, he is a starting-caliber center-back and should be counted on right away to anchor the backline alongside Abubakar.
But we saw Abubakar play almost an entire season with the club, so we know what he brings to the pitch. Trusty’s impact, on the other hand, is up in the air. Though he has potential to be a solid MLS defender down the line, can he make the most of this fresh start? The Rapids have resurrected several careers of late, including Abubakar’s. Will Trusty be the next?