MLS

Jürgen Klopp behind the style of Colorado Rapids coach

 Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp on board a parade bus after winning the UEFA Champions League final against Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid on June 2, 2019 in Liverpool, England.

Nigel Roddis

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Conor Casey, Rapids' interim head coach, is following the style of Liverpool FC's German boss, after the American played under his management.

There's one person in particular that has made a massive impact on new Colorado Rapids interim coach, Conor Casey. The man who has been the most influential in his coaching career to date is Liverpool FC boss Jürgen Klopp.

When Casey was a young player, he was under Klopp's orders at Mainz, something that came about in the most peculiar way; "I get a text from Klopp saying, 'come on now, help us out,'" a text that he received when a Karlsruher SC striker. And he went and helped out. "We ended up winning 1-0, I scored, and afterwards Klopp said 'I adopt him, and a week later I signed the contract with Mainz," the Rapids coach said to mlssoccer.com.

Conor Casey far left and Jurgen Klopp far right at Mainz in 2004

Jürgen Klopp behind the style of Colorado Rapids coach

Thanks to Casey's goal, Mainz earned promotion to the Bundesliga, something Klopp says will always be his most significant achievement. Conor spent three years under Klopp, and in that time he learned the foundations of his own coaching style.

Klopp's influence

Conor Casey is just starting his coaching career, inheriting his first head coach post as interim manager of the Colorado Rapids, after joining the franchise as an assistant coach in 2017. The Rapids were at the bottom of the MLS, but since Casey took charge, he has led the club to back-to-back wins.

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Casey has adopted a lot of Klopp's tactics including his style of man-management and positivity, or as he said "supporting your players and trying to be a positive force for the team. The other part is the transitional nature of how we trained - distances, spaces, reactions and a lot of different drills to train that."

And even though Casey doesn't want to describe his style as Jürgen Klopp's style, the American strategist always goes back to what he learned in Germany.

"It was amazing to play under Klopp, his enthusiasm, personality, rapport with the players, essence, and positivity is something I still remember and took with me from my time there. I've had a lot of influences, but Klopp is a big one for sure I'm not that type of personality, but I certainly believe in the positive messaging and reinforcement. I believe that's the right way to coach. And tactically, yes. It was a long time ago, but he's evolved a lot in his tactics," Casey concluded.