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MLS Spotlight: Auston Trusty ready for Arsenal challenge as he prepares to leave Rapids

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Auston Trusty is set to become the latest MLS product to embark overseas in the coming weeks, and although a new country, club, and league could bring nervousness to a young player, the 23-year-old is ready to embrace the challenge with open arms.

Trusty is in the final weeks as a Colorado Rapids player after securing a permanent transfer to English Premier League side Arsenal back in January. Although he has spent the first half of the 2022 MLS regular season back in Colorado, Trusty has one eye on making a positive impression in London as he prepares to join up with Mikel Arteta’s squad this July.

“My whole goal last year was to focus on myself and to do my thing on the field, and I knew if I did that then good things would come,” Trusty told SBI. “I had some interest from some various clubs and then Arsenal came into the picture and that is a club where you don’t really say no if they come calling for you. Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world and it has always been a dream of mine to get to Europe one day.

“I’m very honored to be in this position and to be one of their players,” Trusty added. “I think it would be on the bucket list of a lot of young kids to play for a team like Arsenal and it definitely was on mine. It’s also pretty cool to have another American like Matt Turner joining the club around the same time, it just continues to show the barriers that players from the United States have continued to break. Hopefully we can continue to make strides for American soccer.”

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Trusty’s move to Arsenal comes four years after making his MLS debut with the Philadelphia Union, the first key chapter of his professional career. After working his way through the Union’s academy, Trusty broke into Jim Curtin’s squad, teaming up with fellow homegrown defender Mark McKenzie in the heart of the Union’s defense.

Trusty totaled 56 league appearances for the Union, scoring two goals and adding one assist, but most importantly, earning valuable first-team minutes as a young player. Despite his time in Philadelphia being short, Trusty credits current Union head coach Jim Curtin and the academy coaches for preparing him for what’s to come.

“I think the Union did a great job and continue to do so when it comes to preparing young players for the professional level,” Trusty said. “As a young player, it was an easy transition for me to join the first team because of the work you put in throughout the academy and the work the coaches put in with you. They created a great environment for us in the academy and that carried over to the first team.

“It was definitely emotional leaving Philadelphia, but I enjoyed my time there and still connect with people there from time to time,” Trusty added. “It’s like a brotherhood, when I ever go back to Philadelphia and meet up with people. It’s a great feeling.”

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The COVID-19 pandemic hampered Trusty’s first season with the Rapids in 2020 as the centerback logged only eight appearances due to a shortened schedule. Since then, Trusty has played a key role in Robin Fraser’s squad, totaling 48 league appearances over the past 16 months, while also being named the Rapids defender of the year in 2021.

Alongside veteran defenders Danny Wilson and Lalas Abubakar, Trusty earned his debut in this season’s Concacaf Champions League while also remaining a consistent starter in MLS play. Trusty has continued to take major strides in the Rapids backline this season, sharpening the skills that caught the attention of Arsenal.

“I have learned so much from all of my teammates, not just the centerbacks, but everyone,” Trusty said. “Nobody in the team is afraid to ask or answer questions so that is a big boost for me in terms of learning on the field. It’s been such an exciting environment in Colorado and I think that has helped shape me into the player I am today.

“In terms of the centerbacks and fullbacks, we all have great chemistry with one another and all bring something different to the table,” Trusty added. “Everyone has different things in their game that I try to take and add to mine because it all can be useful on the field. It’s been a good relationship with everyone here and we really try to share ideas with one another to improve us as a whole.”

Trusty’s stellar rise at club level also helped him earn opportunities with the U.S. Youth national teams, featuring in the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup under then-head coach Tab Ramos. In total, Trusty has earned 18 caps between three different USYNT groups, while also earning three USMNT call-ups to date.

Trusty was included in Gregg Berhalter’s squad for a 1-0 friendly win over Bosnia and Herzegovina last December before also being called into the USMNT’s January camp in Arizona. The growing competition among the USMNT centerbacks has made a national team return a more challenging task for Trusty, but he is embracing the challenge.

“I might not have my first cap with the National Team, but that just adds more motivation for me to improve and to put myself back in consideration,” Trusty said. “I think the amount of competition in the current squad nowadays is great because that only pushes players to give it their all and to keep improving for the overall goal. I am definitely working on getting myself into the camps again.”

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Trusty has roughly three weeks before he moves to England for the start of Arsenal preseason camp, giving the American defender a few more opportunities to sharpen his game before taking on the biggest challenge of his young career.

“It’s a bittersweet feeling because it’s been great getting close to the guys here, but it’s also a great opportunity,” Trusty said. “I have many goals that I want to accomplish in my career and playing in Europe is one of them. My main goal though is to show that I can play over there because I know if I can focus on my game and do what I believe I can do, the rest will take care of itself.”

Comments

  1. Arsenal already sent him out on loan to the Rapids.
    He seemed to do okay.

    Why are you so afraid of challenges?

    That’s what life is like for a pro athlete.

    Those transfers where a 2.2 million, new young, unproven kid are guaranteed a starting spot with the first team for the entire season? Let me know the next time that happens.

    Reply
    • here’s the deal. there is a wide expanse of teams between barely able to play for the USMNT and signing top 5 EPL, which about ensures a loan warrior outcome for anyone not named pulisic. i assume kroenke’s involvement both sides of the deal is the explanation why arsenal bothers to pay the money but then a coach has to put you on the field. one can “be ambitious” and “go to europe” without having to sign at roma, chelsea, spurs, or arsenal. there is a dimmer and not an all or nothing on off switch. which, if i treat it as on/off, the only person arsenal benefits is his agent. the test of ambition is not placing oneself completely over their head, and this is not going to help position him up front inside rail for 2026. this is another bryan reynolds where the brand name club UCL fanboys will applaud this now and then applaud the “fix it” loans and transfers later on, too. if it feels like a stretch for x to sign at y it probably is and they have probably bought years of loans for their nice salary and % of the transfer fee. (steffen, miazga, etc.)

      Reply
  2. Will be going on loan, but Trusty has some very good qualities. In a couple of seasons Trusty may be an EPL starter if it’s for Arsenal or another team. A CB to keep an eye on for 2026.

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    • here’s the deal. if you are signed to their academy and loaned as a teenager they are grooming you. if you are brought in age 23 that is a first team transfer, not an investment, and they expect something now. if you end up loaned as a recent transfer age 23 you are a bust — at least as far as the parent club is concerned. i also feel like there is further basic confusion, that if i sign at arsenal but then am loaned to luton i am not getting arsenal level coaching for longer than a couple weeks. last, when one shows up at an arsenal type team that is likely to “expose” as much as it “draws from you.” the sheer amount of americans on loan suggests it is not some pure unadulterated springboard to success, that the majority of big club americans end up fed into the wood chipper. contrary to suggestions that it will elevate their game and they come back better. pulisic is like the exception to all these rules and he started out dortmund youth to begin with. i kind of think europe gets what you are when you show up, and you’re either ready or not. i think it’s horrifically naive to go sign there over about age 19 and expect them to indulge any developmental failures you have, and give you room to take off. the actual history suggests they sign a dozen players and the ones who are ready they keep. they are looking for already “ready” and not to be your “school.” if you want arsenal “school” transfer age 18 where they can run you through some age group ball and mold you. 23 is way too late to think that’s happening.

      that and i think some americans are horribly naive that they might sign some people to sell shirts or because the owner insists or to use as loan assets to make a revenue stream on annual fees waiting to see if anyone buys.

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  3. This is interesting as Arsenal fans are just as baffled. A left-footed athletic CENTRAL defender that has the attributes of a left back and is comfortable playing ON THE LEFT in a 3 man backline……with height, good feet, high defensive work rate, tackling ability and some pace. I think with his ability in transition, number of clearances he has per game and his pass completion percentage……. he will do more than well for any top team in the Championship / EFL. Just hope this is the start of something truly great for him.

    Congratulations and all the best Trusty!!!!

    Reply
    • Arsenal already sent him out on loan to the Rapids.
      He seemed to do okay.

      Why are you so afraid of challenges?

      That’s what life is like for a pro athlete.

      Those transfers where a 2.2 million, new young, unproven kid are guaranteed a starting spot with the first team for the entire season? Let me know the next time that happens.

      Reply
      • i don’t see how rapids->gunners->rapids again is really a challenge or proof the move worked. it’s the same team he was already playing for. almost like a pre-sign deal. the real question is what happens next. if arsenal loans him back out again he went to the wrong place.

        there are 24 championship teams. there are 15 worse EPL teams. there are a list of other countries including some that also have good second divisions. why arsenal out of all those options? i am not knee-jerk pro-MLS. i am pro-calibration. why not RB Salzburg. or championship. or leeds. or stuttgart. that is still ambitious, and perhaps friendlier to his gifts, without being nuts.

        all due respect dude but he hasn’t even mastered domestic soccer yet. maybe make yourself a NT starter or win the MLS title before claiming victory and moving on to the top of EPL like you’ve proven a thing. i mean we have an unsettled NT backline he still can’t crack that a dude fresh off an achilles is beating him to. oh, but, “arsenal,” must be good……

      • and lemme put it this way. a lot of folks on here feel like they have “rudy” on the brain. walk on to notre dame and see 3 plays your whole college career. but “i played for notre dame.” i’d rather go someplace who recruits me and wants me to play. and where i get 4 years of actual game memories. i would only go to arsenal if that was realistic. if i thought arsenal was just indulging kroenke or filling their numbers out, i would be at fulham instead. where mcbride and dempsey are heroes. fulham i might actually beat out tim ream and play. a lot of this is a cool head vs ego. americans now that big clubs aren’t biased against us, it’s like egos on parade. lost our darned minds. have fun with your quasi-rudy dream sequence. i would lose my mind seeing the field 3 times in my whole college career. that’s almost being tossed something from pity.

        and if i am going to A to be loaned to B and then C and D why not just sign at B, C, or D directly. where they can fully invest in me and act like they give a crap i showed up.

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