Colorado Rapids

Fieldside Chat | Midweek check-in with Calvin Harris and Chris Armas 


Winger Calvin Harris

On the win against NYFC

It was another good game away from home, another three points in a tough place to go in tough conditions as well with a smaller pitch, the rain and everything like that. So it was a hard-fought three points where we defended really well. And we were very clinical with taking our opportunities.

On the confidence of the locker room to earn results despite key players being out with injury

I think every game, the confidence has just kept building. And not only with the results, but the way we've played defensively and offensively. I think players like Rafael [Navarro] as well, being in good form. His finish on the weekend was tremendous. So I think everyone just keeps getting better and better and as a team, we keep getting the points.

On making an impact whether he's starting or coming off the bench

I think every player wants to start the game and play as many minutes as possible. But whatever the job is, you do your best. Whenever I've been on the pitch or coming off the bench, I think I've been able to contribute to the team. And that's what I want to do. You just want to prove yourself every day, whether you're starting or not. I think there's also a team buy-in, everyone wants to produce for the team when they step on the field. So that's just really been the mentality from me.

On the defensive performances from every player on the pitch

Chris definitely stays on top of us making sure that we get back to defend. He promised us that when we do that we'll have more opportunities in front of goal as well and that's been very evident.

On facing San Jose for the second and final time this year after beating them 3-0 in April

Nothing really changes for us. The only thing that changes is we're playing at home so we have even more lift for the game. I think we're just gonna go into that game with the same mentality we've had in every single game we’ve played the season.


Head Coach Chris Armas

On the win against NYFC

I told the guys this morning when we got back in how proud I am of them coming from the Cincinnati game and their response. That's what I was most happy with, how we started that game, and then probably how we finished it 100 minutes later, against a good team in their building where they've been unbeatable, almost winning four in a row. We knew we'd be challenged on the day and our guys met the demands. We know we’ve got to get right back to work, but for what it's worth, the guys get to feel the joy of a victory for the last 48 hours or so. We never get too high, but it's important that they feel that emotion together. I'm really happy with this last one.

On the confidence and harmony seen within the team recently

Oftentimes I'm just watching and learning from the best teams and coaches––that could be in our league, could be around the world––but when the whistle blows on match day that we know how to ramp it up. If you have this ability to ramp it up on game day, then that becomes the norm. You can be light-hearted, you can enjoy training, but when the whistle blows out there it is game on. You can see that it's becoming who we are, that we know our roles and the players are clear on what they do. We hold them to it and they’re now starting to hold each other more accountable. We were talking about early starts with the guys–– if we we have a good start, we got to finish stronger and now, it’s about trying to extend these periods of time that we can be more online and more engaged.

On the coachability of the team despite sports being heavily ego-driven

I have a coachable team. And I credit my organization––Pádraig Smith, Fran Taylor––they've given me a roster. We talked about the profile of the roster and they knew I was probably not the right guy to bring here if it wasn't a hungry, open, moldable, attentive roster because I don't know coaches that can teach that. Of course you can work, no one's ever the finished product, but you need a level of hunger. Hunger is important for any team to gain success and then have a chance of sustaining success. It's really important and we have those ingredients here.

On Rafael Navarro's development as a true striker

For a striker, it's so important that he can score the penalties, which are never easy. He's a scrapper, a feisty striker that gets two in the San Jose as well. His quality, we get to see it every week. His teammates know how good he can be around the goal. But for him to take the ball the way does, beat a player, create a little space for himself and to hook it into the upper corner like that, it’s great. His dad's in town, it means that extra special something for him, it's good for his confidence. I hope that that [goal against NYCFC] gives him even more confidence to take people on, shoot the ball. Hopefully it'll have a trickle down effect on his hold up play that he's been working hard at, bringing guys into the pitch. He works hard at it, he earned it and deserves it.

On the injury updates to Connor Ronan, Jonathan Lewis and Djordje Mihailovic

They all look good in training today. With Djordje, it's not about how does he get through the training, it’s about after. How does he recuperate? Does it linger around? Does it need more time? We'll also take a closer look at Connor and Jonny too because they put a lot into the training today. Hopefully they're all in training tomorrow and they're all available with Djordje available for the weekend. We’ve got to trust the medical team and see what the real minutes look like. Connor and Jonny should be on the big spaces for the first time tomorrow, which will also be telling. You can see that all three of those guys––when they're in it, the quality that they have, they really help that part along.

On facing San Jose for the second and final time this year after beating them 3-0 in April

The approach won't be different. We’re very aware of how good they can be. So we're not surprised at that result [against LAFC]. They're gonna win a lot of games this year because they're dynamic in attack. They have weapons up the pitch. They are organized and well-coached. The team fights, they're very, very good on set pieces. The approach will be with urgency again, with a lot of respect. I won't have to convince our players that they’re a good team. We went to that building and we won the game. We could have been finished in the first half. In certain moments they were dangerous in transition, they hit the post a few times on the night. Sure, we get big credit for going there and getting the result but that's a good team. We'll prepare as normal and reset itn knowing we cannot let anything slip––in our bodies, in our minds, in our preparation. We will work hard over these next days to get the guys ready physically and mentally.