After a long road trip with two matches heading further East and further behind in the Western Conference, Colorado now begins a crucial stretch with 6 of the next 7 matches at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. If ever there is a time to make up ground this time period will be it.
Rapids midfielder Jared Watts, who missed the Philadelphia match on the weekend, explains the issues with playing on the road versus the friendly confines. He’s hoping that Colorado can now take advantage of those issues for visiting teams and string together wins in Commerce City.
“You go on the road, you want to try and win but it’s different. It’s uncomfortable,” said the stalwart Centerback. “You’re not at home, you’re not in your routine, you’re not sleeping in your own bed-as crazy as it sounds-it’s those little things.”
“You see you want to get your points at home, like that’s the focus. You win games at home, you get your points. (On the road) You’re away from your family and your comfort zone. It’s just a natural thought process for a player. Not all guys will admit it but it’s very different playing on the road. I think it’s an adjustment you’ve got to make-being comfortable being uncomfortable. We have an advantage when we play at home.”
“Put it this way, when you play on the road you’re expecting the other team to come out and make the game. When you’re home you feel like you’re on top of the game already psychologically because it’s a team coming in that aren’t aware of their surroundings.”
That’s exactly what fans and Watts want to see is the Colorado side that pummeled visiting San Jose two weeks ago. When asked what will be important against SKC, Jared shared this simple formula. “Take the game to them to where we’re pressing for the game. Really make sure that we start the right way.”
“Kansas City’s going to be a tough team. Historically they do decent on the road and we know they’re on good form this year. Attacking-wise they’re good, they have some speedy players up top, they can interchange and hurt you on the break. It’s going to be on us to really take the game and go forward, take chances.”
Watts knows Colorado fans are frustrated with where the Rapids sit in the standings and the tough losses endured so far in 2017, especially off the success of 2016. However, he explains that they are in a good position mentally to use that as even more motivation than usual. “It’s really kind of a reset and refocus. When you come off a bad result it’s kind of a little bit easier to get up for a game because it’s expected that you’re going to bounce back, more focused, and more dialed-in.”
As for giving the Rapids faithful, and many disgruntled, fans reason for hope Jared admits the team is equally disappointed but they will continue to fight to do everything in their power to fix it. “(Fans) are frustrated, we’re frustrated too. We’re working hard. It’s not like guys are putting their heads down. Frustration is ok, it’s healthy especially if results aren’t happening and you’re not playing well but I think it’s just to continue to use that frustration as fuel to keep improving.”
Source: Blog Post