As the Rapids prepare to host New York Red Bulls this weekend, forward Yannick Boli has been preparing and progressing towards the starting eleven and helping Colorado’s erratic attack become more dangerous. The Frenchman recently told The Voice of C38 he will be ready when called upon. “Honestly it’s not easy to make the lineup or the team but that’s one fact. My situation, I knew I had to come and work a couple of weeks. The great job with the physical coach-now I’m fitter than the first day I came here so now the situation is we need some points.”
Earlier this week Head Coach Anthony Hudson made it known that Boli was not what he considered fully fit, but was approaching that mark when deciding to start him or not. According to Boli, he could be closer than many think. “My (fitness) is not important-it is my mentality. I have to be ready for war. All I will give is for the team and bring something positive. If I can play 90 minutes or less, I have to be ready.”
Yannick says he’s had a pretty easy time fitting in with the rest of the side and its forward-thinking mentality so far. “I have all confidence,” he says of his striker teammates Dominic Badji, Joe Mason, and even Jack McBean. “You can see some good personalities. When one player speaks we can follow him, but I like it because when everybody starts to speak it’s difficult.”
“The shape of the team they like to bring forward other players. They push me, I have to push them, because I have some experience with a lot of big clubs so I can bring something. We have to follow one way and be focused.” That seems to be the common thread amongst the Rapids in 2018 is to follow Hudson’s plan as a unit….truly a one-for-all, all-for-one mentality that he is trying to instill.
Boli knows he comes to Colorado with a high amount of expectation from fans and the team. Supporters have been very vocal about a “star signing” up top and many are counting on Boli to be that guy. Yannick is aware of that and has the work ethic to make it happen. “I know a lot of people expect more from me, but this is football. You have to bring something positive for the team and after that the coach will make the choice. I have to be honest- with me, to work every day and give my best on the pitch each week.”
“I like to play football-to move, take space, come back and ask for the ball,” says Boli when describing how he’s fitting into the Rapids scheme and the attacking 3-5-2. Fans should be glad to see his striker mentality, but are becoming anxious at the minutes he’s being given come matchday.
“Of course I need to be in good shape because when you do this you use energy, but I’m pretty sure that with training I’ll be ready for this war,” Boli re-assures those asking questions. “ What the coach asks me to do for the team I’ll do. When my first start will be I don’t know but I’m ready in my head for this, so if I start I’ll be ready to help the team.”
Something else Yannick is ready for is to be joined by his family in Colorado as he tries to make a new home. “Denver is a nice city and I start to discover some places. I live around Cherry Creek so it’s pretty nice, so I’m just waiting for my family-my wife and 2 kids-to show them. In 2 weeks I think they’re going to be here. I need them because to cook is difficult,” he says with a wry laugh.
However, it also sounds like being in Colorado to begin his MLS career by himself may have allowed him the singular focus to get prepared and hungry for more time with the Rapids despite being a bit cut-off. “I have a friend from France who helps me sometimes, and players from the team help me but I feel good. We need points now and that’s the main thing in my head. I don’t have any excuses. I need to prove myself.”