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Colorado Rapids captain uses hair clippers to create confidence and trust

Colorado Rapids barber.png
Posted at 7:44 AM, Jul 01, 2024

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Professional athletes generally care very deeply about their hair.

This idea is captured by the hit streaming series "Ted Lasso," in which the captain of the AFC Richmond team is revealed to be a wizard with the hair clippers. But he will only give one haircut per person each season.

Ted Lasso haircut.jpg

But that's fiction, according to Zack Steffen.

Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Zack Steffen.jpg

“I’ve never had a teammate cut my hair before," the Rapids newly-signed goalkeeper said in a statement. That was true — until he landed here in Colorado.

Rapids Captain Keegan Rosenberry is the real-life manifestation of Ted Lasso's Isaac McAdoo.

“I started cutting hair in college," Rosenberry said. "I can remember in our dorm room, [in a] small little bathroom, [we were] cramped trying to move behind each other. It was a lot of fun.”

Colorado Rapids Keegan Rosenberry.jpg

“He’s precise and detailed," Steffen said, chatting away while Rosenberry runs clippers along his hairline. "Usually we do [haircuts] in the team locker room so there’s guys coming and going and commenting, wanting him to fail and mess up. Keegan just proves them wrong every time.”

At every step along his soccer career, Rosenberry has assumed the role of hair master — in college at Georgetown University, when he first broke into MLS with Philadelphia Union, here in Colorado, and even when he joined the US Men's National Team.

He remembers one of the most nerve-wracking moments when American star Jozy Altidore needed a cut.

Jozy Altidore.jpg

Altidore, as Rosenberry remembers, is a man who goes no more than a few days between cleanups.

But Keegan rose to the occasion, as he so often does, which is part of the reason the Rapids named him Captain prior to the 2024 season.

“I think it helps guys have a relationship with me and see the type of person I am," Rosenberry said. "I’ve said before I think you have conversations [during haircuts] that you wouldn’t otherwise.”

“It just shows his humility and his kindness and generosity," Steffen said. "He’s still willing to serve others and be a team player.”

He's clearly read "The Richmond Way" penned by Ted Lasso's Trent Crimm — a journalist in the show who captures the heartwarming ethos of the Emmy-winning show in an overview of Lasso's time with the English soccer club — because the barber's chair at Dick's Sporting Goods Park has become a space for deeper connection.

The Richmond Way Ted Lasso.jpg

“As men and people nowadays sometimes you don’t have these personal conversations that often and it’s a really cool way to do that," Rosenberry said.

As the captain, it's a platform to motivate, encourage and build trust.

“I think the on the pitch stuff obviously comes first," Rosenberry said. "I've built such a level of trust with teammates and staff being here for a long time. [I try] to do the right things at all times and lead by example, and I think that does relate to guys trusting me in the barber’s chair too."

“When you have somebody that you can trust with your hair, there’s nothing better," Steffen said.

Trust is such a critical component for a soccer team, it’s part of the reason why the Rapids are playing so well right now.

Despite a tough recent loss to LAFC (the No. 1 team in the Western Conference) at 9-4-8 on the year, the Rapids sit in fourth place in the west. The team has already eclipsed its win and point total from last season in 13 fewer matches.

And thanks to Rosenberry, they look good while climbing up the table.

Colorado Rapids captain uses hair clippers to create confidence and trust

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