Friday, November 5, 2010

Second Verse, Same As The First?

Colorado has gone to Columbus with a 1 goal lead in their 2-legged series. Tomorrow afternoon we'll find out if its enough. The Rapids get their second look at the Crew in just over a week when they face off at Columbus Crew Stadium tomorrow at 2pm MDT. The game is on Telefutura nationally and on KWGN locally. Class VI and the Pid Army are expecting upwards of 200 fans to gather at the Celtic Tavern in LoDo for the game.

If after 90 minutes Columbus has a 1 goal lead, leaving the series tied, there will be 30 minutes of overtime and, if the series is still tied, penalty kicks. The "away goals" rule is not used in MLS. The last two times the Rapids have been in the playoffs they went to PK's and won, both in Dallas in 2005 and 2006. The winner of this series will host the San Jose Earthquakes in the Eastern Conference Final next Saturday.

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

Columbus' injury report hasn't changed from last week, still missing their starting GK, a starting forward, and a 3rd player. The lineup for the Rapids seems fairly obvious:

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

The old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". This lineup has done very well in the last third of the season and we should stick with it.

Key To Look For: Keep the pressure on the Columbus midfield, same as last week. Denying GBS and Gaven the ability to dictate the tempo kept Columbus on their heels last week. Mastroeni and Larentowicz need to continue their great play from last week and keep the midfield locked down.

Prediction: 1-1 draw, goal by Omar Cummings. I don't think we can get back-to-back shutouts against a Crew team pushing for an equalizer, but by pushing for that goal they'll leave themselves vulnerable for Cummings' slashing runs at goal. The Rapids will hold them to a draw and move on to hose San Jose at the Dick.

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