CASA GRANDE, Arizona -- As the Colorado Rapids' new head coach, Anthony Hudson has so much on his plate.
He is forming a new roster and culture for a club that finished 21st out of 23 teams in the 2017 Major League Soccer season as it prepares for its first challenge of the year: a round of 16 series in the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League against current MLS champion Toronto FC.
"We're so focused on building the team, bringing in the last players to get the team set, putting the football plan in place, building the standards," Hudson told CONCACAF.com. "It's all encompassing. Toronto is very much in our sights."
The Rapids have bulked up with several newcomers, including two New Zealand international defenders -- Kip Colvey and Deklan Wynne - and U.S. international defender Edgar Castillo, on loan from Monterrey (Mexico). Most of the remaining additions are from Europe.
"To build a team, you've got to get the foundation right," said Hudson, who coached New Zealand for three years. "You've got to start from the back. You've got to get spine of the team right. I also want experienced leaders."
The Rapids will open against Toronto FC at home on February 20, before traveling to Canada for the second leg seven days later.
"We want to win a championship here," Hudson finished. "That's the end goal for us. Part of being a team that is able to do that is a team that is ready and prepared and strong by the time we play Toronto."