Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Back To The Playoffs

Tomorrow night the Rapids go somewhere they haven't gone in 4 years, the playoffs. As the #5 team in the West Colorado was switched to the #3 seed in the East to face #2 seed Columbus. The Crew finished just 4 points ahead of the Rapids overall, and their win on Sunday was their first in 6 games.

Game time tomorrow night is 7pm at the Dick. Despite the short notice and the weeknight game Class VI and Pid Army will be out in force with the tailgate starting at 5pm. The game will also be televised nationally on ESPN2.

Injury Report:
OUT: MF Ciaran O'Brien (L hip sprain); FW Ross Schunk (R ACL tear)
PROBABLE: FW Quincy Amarikwa (L ankle sprain); MF Jamie Smith (L hamstring strain)

Columbus is down their starting keeper and two other players. The lineup seems fairly obvious this week, if it ain't broke, don't fix it and despite our last minute meltdown on Saturday, the lineup ain't broke:

Kimura - Wynne - Moor - Wallace
Mullan - Larentowicz - Pablo - Smith
Cummings - Casey

I suppose if Baudet is healthy you could put him in for Kimura, but considering how well this group has worked this season I don't think the even of the playoffs is the time to make a change.

Key To Look For: Keep the pressure on the Columbus midfield. The Columbus midfield of Gaven and Schelotto played 90 minutes in a meaningless game on Sunday. Now they have to fly to Colorado and play on 3 days rest at altitude. Keeping them under pressure and wearing them out will take the momentum out of Columbus' game.

Prediction: 3-1 win, goals by Conor Casey and Omar Cummings. I'm not sure which one of those two will get the third goal. The Rapids will take advantage of not having to travel and the extra day of rest to push Columbus early and often. The Crew will hang in for a while and may even get even 1-1 but they'll fade late. Its important to remember that this is just the first half of an 180 minute match and we need to take a multi-goal lead into Columbus next weekend.

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