Anthony Hudson says Tim Howard "a big part" of 2019 for Colorado Rapids

Despite a difficult first season in charge of the Colorado Rapids, coach Anthony Hudson said he expects goalkeeper Tim Howard to remain with the club for his final season of his Designated Player contract and continue to be an important part of the club in 2019.

"He’s a big part of next year," Hudson said. "He’s a big part of building this team. He’s a big part of building the culture.

"If you’re not going to buy a superstar player every year, which not everyone has the luxury of doing that and relying on those types of players, then you have to build a team. You have to build a team that’s based on values, and works a certain way, and is together, and everyone works for each other. We’re building that, and Tim Howard is right at the heart of that."

Speaking after a 2-1 victory over FC Dallas on Decision Day presented by AT&T on Sunday, Hudson credited Howard for maintaining team morale during a campaign in which the Rapids endured separate losing skids of eight and even games while finishing second from bottom in the Western Conference.

"Tim has literally held the team together," Hudson said. "He’s binding everyone together. He’s finding ways constantly to make sure this club moves forward. People see him on the pitch. I can assure you off the pitch, he’s an unbelievable captain and he wants this club to succeed. And he’s doing everything he possibly can."

Howard returned to MLS from the English Premier League in the middle of the 2016 MLS campaign and has made 75 of his 160 total MLS appearances for the Rapids. He will turn 40 next March as the new league campaign begins.