"All change at Colorado Rapids"
It's been all change since I last penned my column for tribalfootball.com. Fernando Clavijo has left us as coach, Gary Smith has stepped in and yours truly had a short stint at Chivas USA a couple of weeks ago for their Superliga challenge.
I think the majority of the lads in the locker room expected the departure of coach Clavijo, especially after a week filled with interruptions and a few little things going on around the club. Coach Clavijo had a family emergency back in his home land and he left on very short notice. It's always terrible when something like this happens to anyone's family and I believe Coach Clavijo felt it was time to look after his family first and take some time away from the game.
I personally, along with all the lads at the Rapids, want to wish Fernando the very best of luck in the future and all the health and happiness for his family as well. He did a lot for the club over the four years he was here.
There wasn't any big hoopla with Coach Clavijo's departure. He called a meeting for all the players and staff before training and passed on the news that he was leaving and Gary Smith was taking charge. From there, like at any club, things just happen and the players have to adjust quickly. It's not a huge change for us as Gary has been very hands on from day one as our assistant coach.
Gary has been wonderful with setting targets and motivating us for the rest of the season. We are on a three game road trip at the moment, DC, Real Salt Lake and Dallas and we have set ourselves a points target for these games and then a goal of points to reach for the end of the season - and we believe this will be good enough for us to sneak into the playoffs.
With the League being so tight everything is still up for grabs. We just need to make sure we keep winning at home and picking up points here and there when playing away. If we can do that, we will be in the playoffs with a good shout.
Corey Gibbs has joined us after a stint in England with Charlton Athletic. Corey has settled in well, he is a great lad and a great addition to our squad. Not much has been said about his time at Charlton. We had a little chat about it as we had some mutual friends from players we had both played with in England. But I think from Corey's point he had a tough time with injuries in England and has begun a new chapter in his career now.
He just wants to look forward and get on with what he does best.
I've been asked about chat linking Terry Cooke with a return to England at Derby County. I am not sure that anyone at the club is really aware of this. Cooke hasn't said too much, as you don't, but as far as he is concerned it's all rumours at the moment and he has a contract at the Rapids till the end of the MLS season.
Personally, I feel I have been doing very well of late, I feel fresh, very fit and ready for my chance in the coming weeks. I was back in the squad this weekend against Real Salt Lake, and we have three reserve-team games in the next three weeks against Salt Lake and two against Dallas, so there is a great chance to prove myself further and show Gary Smith what I can do.
I was called into Chivas USA four weeks ago when they sold Brad Guzan to Aston Villa for the Superliga games against Pachuca and Santos of Mexico and New England Revolution. It was a great experience for me, with some of the best teams in Mexico competing in this tournament over the week, with the winner taking home $1million in prize money.
Then, two weeks ago I was at DC United for their game against Kansas City - which we won 2-0.
So, things can move very quickly in MLS. A change of gaffer, opportunities at other clubs, it's a great system to work in. I started from zero earlier this year, but people around the league are getting to know what I'm about. I know if I keep working hard, my chance will come.