Colorado Rapids

Fieldside Chat | Midweek check-in with Cole Bassett and Chris Armas 


Midfielder Cole Bassett

On the win over Vancouver

It’s a weird one. We're happy with the win, but for me, especially as an attacker, you want to get goals and assists in that game. We didn't get enough in the second half. Personally, a little frustrated that we didn't score more. I think our progression as a team is, we've had a couple of times where teams have gotten red cards this year and we haven't buried a lot of chances, even though we've created a few of them, so I think that's the next step as a team. Obviously, we're happy with getting the win, moving into a tie for second place and then a big game on the weekend.

On preferring close wins or blowout victories

I'd say it depends on the game. That's the beauty of sports, you get both. A game like San Jose, if that goes in our favor I think all you guys are spectators and you love that. Maybe we went 3-2 in our favor and that's a close one, but it brings out all the emotion. For me tonight I would have loved to win four or five nil as a guy that loves to score goals and get assists. I came in and I was telling [Sam Vines] like, Gosh, that's a game where I could rack up a few. It just felt so easy to get in the final third and you got to take advantage of that when it does happen. And we didn't, so I'm pretty pissed about that. But there's a lot more games that we did get the win which is the most important.

On the impact of Connor Ronan back in the midfield

It’s tough because I love playing with [Oliver Larraz] , and I hope that we can find a way to get all three of us together on the field. Meanwhile, I have grown up with Oli playing together. I thought we've formed a really good tandem in the midfield. He's doing a role that maybe he doesn't want to do, in the sense of who gets to stay back a little bit more so I can push forward. So it's very selfless of him to play that position. He's done it really well. But at the same time, Connor is a great player as well, so it's fun. He can find me in those pockets, which there’s not as many guys on the team that I think see me in the way that he does. He's always able to find me in tight gaps, so it opens me up. I think you saw it at the end of the game. There's a lot more times where I was getting forward into the box because he's providing the passes and it allows me to turn and get forward.

On the significance of potentially winning the Rocky Mountain Cup this weekend

I think that was technically my first trophy in professional football back in 2020, when we did it at their place, so that'd be special to do it there again. You have a chance to go there and end it before they have a chance to come here. So I think if you have an opportunity to win twice in their building that would be pretty sweet. But they're on a roll right now. They're a very good team, there's a reason why they’re first in the West. We’ve got a quick recovery and we're going to have to have a quick match plan, but I know the coaches are already preparing for that and just going to get us prepared so that we have the best chance to win the game.

On facing Real Salt Lake twice on the road already this season

For us, it is a little different going to their place twice this year. It's not the norm in professional football to go away to somebody two times a year. But they're obviously our rival and we get to play them three times. I think they know what we want to do and we've got a lot of video on them. You can look back at that [first] game and see the tendencies of what we both want to do. But at the same time we both developed into much better teams than we were at that point in the season. I think that was early on. I don't know if they've lost since we came but they've just been on an absolute roll. So I think they're full of confidence right now, and we feel good in our camp. We want to go there and win but I'm sure they're gonna have the motivation of us beating them last time. They're gonna come out with a lot of energy and I think whenever we do get results versus them it comes down to that. It's nothing to do with the football, it's all about winning your duels and the energy that we bring into the game and making sure that we match it and then up it as the game goes on.


Head Coach Chris Armas

On the win over Vancouver

It was another tough game for us. We came out ahead on the night against a good team, it's nice to see the boys win in a different way, to manage the game the way they did. After halftime being up a man, I thought it was a mature performance in the second half, which is never easy just because you're up a man. I saw some good stuff there in the second half and we had a lot of control. Yes, it's a shutout, which is really important. It's a victory here for us at home. The fans once again came out. Pride night is so important to our club, to so many of our fans, and to our team. So yes, even extra special on the night. We look forward to a few days from now. We know what's coming up.

On the upcoming contest with Real Salt Lake to clinch the Rocky Mountain Cup

I wish we were hosting this one. This Rocky Mountain Cup is such an important cup to us as a team and to our fans. It would have been nice if maybe we played one on the road and then one at home, or one home and one on the road. To have the first two on the road, it's tricky but that's what it is. The fact that we have the slight edge at the moment is what it is, it's an edge. We have a lot of work to do to go there and get the trophy. However, I think you can go through an entire season and not really play for a trophy, and now we are 12 games in or so. The fact that we have a chance to bring one home this early in the season, that we've put ourselves in that spot, is a really big positive. We know Salt Lake, they're a really good team. We've played them and we've gotten a look at them, but they also have managed a busy week. What team do they put out? It'd be hard to predict that and then even prepare in detail without knowing exactly who they're putting out with two days [to go]. I think the most important thing is that we went there, we had a victory, and the guys have some confidence that we can go there again. To be clear, we will be going after that. It's important to our fans. After the match tonight, I can't say how many were chanting “Beat Salt Lake”, so we will go after them with everything that we have. I can promise our fans that.”

On the significance of winning the Rocky Mountain Cup to Rapids Homegrowns

If you ask those guys, they'll tell you there's extra motivation. Every game is a game, but it means a lot to our Homegrowns in our club, it's ingrained in their blood and what they've been brought up with through here. It means a lot to our club, our Unified Team is gonna go for it as well. We're going for it. Our Homegrowns are always extra motivated for that one. We have a lot of respect for what they're doing. But we will go there, no doubt to try to bring home the win.

On Connor Ronan, Jonathan Lewis getting back from injury, updates to Djordje Mihailovic's condition after being subbed off against Vancouver

Always good getting guys healthy, getting guys back on the field, getting the minutes to get deeper in the roster. I trust the guys that we have. You can see that that each of them brought what we thought. [Jonathan Lewis] all of a sudden becomes a guy in transition and in spaces can make something happen, and in those moments and we need to do better. But it's good to see him back out there. And of course, I think we can all appreciate Connor Ronan's quality that in that very moment, that he helps control things even more in the middle of the pitch, his decision-making and we've missed that. It was good that we could use that on the night. With Djordje Mihailovic, I haven't gotten all the details yet, but it looks like right after the shot he felt that heel [injury] which is what he was battling recently. I would say it's fairly minor and we'll have to see how that responds.