Hudson: Colorado Rapids can't overcome "massive gap in class" in MLS

The Colorado Rapids entered Week 9 as the only team yet to win a game in league play this year, but they were also facing an Atlanta United side that hadn't won at home in 2019.

Yet despite employing a decidedly defensive approach at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Rapids still suffered their their sixth straight loss after a narrow 1-0 defeat, leaving them winless in nine matches (0W-7L-2D).

Following the match, Rapids head coach Anthony Hudson was asked what went wrong, and his conclusion was that fundamentally, there is a "massive gap" between his team and their opponents.

“We come to a place where a team full of superstars and big money players and massive, massive gap in class, and we’ve set up a different way," he said after the game about the Rapids' tactical set-up. "I think we’re a little unfortunate not to come away with at least a point in the game. I’ve just said to the players in there that I think they’re incredibly unlucky. I think the effort they put in today was big considering the position we’re in to come here and to really limit them.”

Hudson made it clear that the rebuilding project he's leading in Colorado is very much a work in progress and results will require time.

“We still have several players that are being paid that are not actually with us — not actually here," he said. "I think potentially we’re the only team with one DP [Designated Player] who’s in goal and not two or three up front. That’s going to take a bit of time to address that situation.

"We are fighting at the bottom with a bottom group of players and we have to find a way to pick up results whilst also being a team that tries to play a certain way. And we just have to find that balance.”

Hudson elaborated on the stated gulf in class between his team and other squads with bigger names.

“The only way it’s going to be a quick fix is if you wave a magic wand at it and throw lots of money at it. Clearly we’re not doing that. I’ll go back to this: Every single game we go into, whether it’s Nani, whether it’s [Wayne] Rooney, whether it’s [Lucho] Acosta — every single week there are players in this league making a difference and the gap in quality is huge …

"There are teams with a lot more quality than us. And that’s what we’re competing against. And no one talks about it.”

So with the Rapids winless through the first quarter of the season, Hudson admitted he did not see a special trick to turn their fortunes around.

“This is a slow rebuild. That’s the bottom line,” Hudson said. “People think we’ve taken over a team that’s at the top of the league every year and competing for the championship … This is going to take time."