'Cool' rookie Hairston off the mark in MLS

There is a calm sort of confidence to Colorado Rapids' rookie midfielder Marlon Hairston. Simply put ... he’s just cool. That cool confidence was on full display when he returned to the pitch for the match against the LA Galaxy on August 20.

It was a long ball from Edson Buddle to Deshorn Brown that set up the play. Galaxy defenders lost sight of Hairston who was flanking Brown on the right. When Brown’s shot ricocheted off of Jaime Penedo’s gloves, Hairston was there to follow with a low, clinical strike from a difficult angle. Not flashy by any means. Just … cool.

“It’s something that I’ve been striving for throughout the season,” he told reporters after the tough 4-3 loss to the Galaxy. “But more importantly now, I’m just focused on the success of the team.”

Between former Rapids midfielder, now head coach, Pablo Mastroeni and the reigning MLS Rookie of the Year, Dillon Powers, there are plenty of great examples for Hairston within the organization.

“What I’ve tried to tell him is to play as confident as possible. I think he’s done that pretty well,” Powers said, of the advice offered to the rookie.

The Rapids are high on Hairston, who has started six of the 16 matches he’s played this season. Fresh off celebrating an important career milestone of his own, veteran striker Buddle lauded Hairston’s performance: “He has a bright future. I congratulated him and I think you’ll see more goals from Marlon.”

Hairston will have plenty opportunities to add to his tally, and the Rapids will welcome his contributions with tough road matches at Seattle and Los Angeles looming ahead.