Colorado Rush has long been a power in youth soccer. With numerous regional affiliates, and a multitude of alumni playing in colleges around the count
Colorado Rush has long been a power in youth soccer. With numerous regional affiliates, and a multitude of alumni playing in colleges around the country and some even at the professional level both domestically and abroad, Rush Soccer is an organization you’re sure to hear of if you somehow haven’t already.
In recent years, the club has launched a senior team to participate in adult competitions in order to provide a pathway to professional soccer for the up and coming young talents being nurtured at the club, but also to give those seasoned veterans an outlet to compete in tournaments like the famed Lamar Hunt United States Open Cup, and continue to achieve at a competitive level.
SoccerNation recently caught up with Adam Hudson, the “40 Year Old Open Cup Virgin,” to get a sense for where he is in his career, what the Rush organization means to him, and what the impending Open Cup run means for him.
What does the Open Cup mean to you?
Hudson: Well to be in a national tournament like this with its storied history at my age is something I still have to sit back and thank God and the players around me everyday that I was given an opportunity. I look at this tournament like the FA Cup just in an American style with amateur teams allowed to take down the giants of the bigger leagues and that is a feeling that cannot be replaced. Well, my kids growing up would trump that, but this is the love and passion I have for the game.
How would you describe the competition to a friend who follows European soccer but knows nothing about the American game?
Hudson: I have to say the passion and pace of play are emerging to a more European style but we still have a long way to go. If you look at MLS games and the supporters that come out to watch, we have adopted our own songs and chants which make the games fun to go to.
Describe the dynamic of your Rush UPSL team. You’ve got a decently large spectrum of experience right?
Hudson: We have a national team player, a few MLS vets, former college players from different divisions to players like myself who just played amateur league. We have our play makers, finesse players, the guys that just work their butts off as role players and our game changers who can be anyone one a given week. The experience on this team is massive and we all share the knowledge and feed off each other to get better.
How do you embrace your role in the team?
Hudson: My role is simply, don’t screw up too much! Haha. I’m obviously on the very back end of a career that I can be proud of but I think me just being out there shows the guys they can have a long time with this game. I’m just happy to be on the same field with these guys and I know I not as good as the guys I play with but I try to create a spark, be a leader and encourage the guys to keep pushing themselves every game and at training, most importantly have fun!
How many different positions have you played over the years and where do you feel most comfortable?
Hudson: I have played every position including keeper (I’m the emergency back-up). I’m comfortable in any position on the pitch. When you love the game as much as I do your blessed to be out there with all the fellas and the camaraderie that comes with it. I’ve been a pretty good athlete my whole life and my knowledge for the game has allowed me to be able to put me on the field wherever the coach needed me. Any position including the bench is good with me!
Would you rather win 1-0 or 5-4? Why?
Hudson: I’ve experienced both and it seems like a simple question but hard to answer, they both come with positives. I’m going to say 1-0 for a few reasons. For one, our defense and keeper get the shutout and that’s always a huge accomplishment for any team. Secondly, when you are in a tight game and your competition is just as good as your team is, the level of play and intensity are raised and that makes for great football that anyone can watch. When that goal comes after a grind-it-out game, that feeling is something you cannot describe but only feel and now you have to protect that lead and really come together as a team to finish out that game.
How would you describe the growth of the game in America over time and where do you see things trending in the next 3-5 years?
Hudson: The growth of the game has been steady but very different from when I was a young lad. We just started out here in Colorado with a few clubs in various cities. The concepts were more focused on a real basic knowledge of the game trying to incorporate what the Germans, Dutch and even some English footballers excel at.
Nowadays there are huge clubs with academies, we went from the A-league to MLS that have different nations of players across the globe playing here in the states. Massive support at the pro level has increased dramatically. I would like to see more players that play in Sunday leagues like ours who have never played division 1 college soccer get an opportunity at the pro level. I’ve played with guys that should have been professionals for sure but never got a look because they didn’t have a college resume.
All in all, we are trending in the upward direction with this next generation of player that have only played soccer, and as a nation we do have some damn good athletes that are really getting the game and how its to be played. I think we will see more younger kids getting contracts for the big European countries to buy and help fund our footballers and the clubs that bring them up, I hope that happens it needs to happen.
How does Rush contribute to the growth of American soccer?
Hudson: It starts with giving them a place to play. Options for your youth to play at any level they want to compete in. Coaches that have played at the highest levels and have the knowledge and experience to pass onto the youth, the kids want to go where they have been. Teaching one philosophy from a youth to our UPSL team, the transition is seamless. Being a part of something bigger than we are, a community.
What would it mean to win the US Open Cup? Should there be more high profile “amateur” competitions around the country for teams like yours?
Hudson: I’ve had visions of winning the cup over the last several months, I got really emotional just thinking about what that feeling of my teammates would be like and what joy that would bring to them and myself but most importantly them. Can you imagine a team like ours holding that cup in the air and saying you’re the top team in the US, holy cow its giving me the chills thinking about it, we have an opportunity! Yes there should be because there is a lot of talent and the pro teams can benefit from picking players up from these competitions, win win for everybody.