Monday, June 4, 2012

Rapids Face SporKCs For Spot In USOC Quarterfinals

Colorado left this afternoon for the short flight to Kansas City for tomorrow's U.S. Open Cup 4th Round game. Game time is 6:30pm and there will supposedly be a stream of the game available on the Rapids website though exact details have not been announced. They also have not announced the travelling roster yet, but they did post a picture of Kimura and Freeman boarding the bus. Our injured contingent of Pablo, Casey, Cummings, Mullan, and Wynne have also been ruled out.

The winner of this match will host the winner of tomorrow night's match between the PDL (4th tier) Michigan Bucks and the USL (3rd tier) Dayton Dutch Lions. That's the U.S. Ope Cup quarterfinal and will be held on June 26th. If the Rapids win it would be their first home USOC match in 5 years, hosting a team at least 2 tiers below them with a spot in the semifinals on the line.

That, combined with this being the only game between the USOC match last week (which many first-teamers didn't play in) and the game in Vancouver 11 days from tomorrow, is a good enough reason to run out the healthy first-team players. KC's coach Peter Vermes has said he plans to play his first team, though with international callups and injuries they're missing almost as many starters as we are. Oscar Pareja was a little more guarded today, saying that he plans to take the game very seriously but not committing to anything. With a spot in at least the quarterfinals on the line and a probable shot at the semifinals this game should be taken very seriously. As we saw last week hosting a lower league team is no guarantee of a win but the odds don't get much better than that. I know some fans have said this tournament isn't worth risking injury to our starters but I completely disagree, especially at this point.

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