Entire Season Comes Down to This Saturday Night!
DENVER (ColoradoRapids.com)- The Rapids will travel to Dallas this Saturday October 28th for the critical second leg of the 2-Game Western Conference Semifinal series with FC Dallas. Kick-off is at 6:30 p.m. MT and Colorado need a victory to keep their season going.
The Rapids currently trail in the aggregate-goal series by 2-1 meaning Colorado have to win by two clear goals to ensure advancement. A one-goal victory after 90 minutes would send the game into an extra 30-minute time session. Should the series still be tied then the two teams would go to a penalty shootout to determine the winner of the series.
The Rapids have a stellar all-time playoff record against Dallas having never lost a playoff series vs. the team from the Lone Star state. The Rapids are 3-0-0 all time against Dallas in postseason series and will look to keep their unbeaten streak alive Saturday night!
(Re-live all the drama of last year's Rapids Game 2 Semifinal match and penalty kicks playoff win over FC Dallas by checking out the video clips at the very bottom of Rapids.com's Audio/Video page by CLICKING HERE!)
For the full match preview of Saturday's match including projected lineups the latest injury report miscellaneous game notes broadcast information head-to-head stats and more visit the Rapids MatchUp Page by CLICKING HERE.
The game will be shown live on Altitude and the Rapids will be hosting a special playoff viewing party at the British Bulldog located at Broadway and Stout Streets in Lodo for fans to gather and watch the game live in a great soccer atmosphere!
The British Bulldog will also be collecting clothing items during the viewing party to donate to Volunteers of America. It is highly encouraged that ALL FANS that come to the viewing party bring any and all clothing items to donate!
The Colorado Rapids look forward to seeing all fans out at the British Bulldog for this all-important game on Saturday!
Rapids at FC Dallas Game 2 Official Viewing Party Details:
WHEN: Saturday Oct. 28. Kickoff is at 6:30pm MT. Get there early to reserve your spot!
WHERE: The British Bulldog located at 2052 Stout Street in Denver (Broadway and Stout are the cross streets). Phone: 303-295-7974. Visit their website by CLICKING HERE.
COST: Free to attend but bring at least one clothing item for the British Bulldog's clothing drive!
Colorado Rapids at FC Dallas: Game 2 Match Preview
Sat. Oct. 28 Pizza Hut Park
Kickoff 6:30 p.m. MT
REFEREE: Abbey Okulaja. SAR (bench): Greg Barkey; JAR (opposite): George Vergara 4th: Ricardo Salazar
COLORADO RAPIDS - OUT: FW Luchi Gonzalez (groin);MF Terry Cooke (R groin); QUESTIONABLE: DF Aitor Karanka (R hamstring); PROBABLE: DF Dan Gargan (R ankle)
FC DALLAS - OUT: GK Jeff Cassar (R hip) QUESTIONABLE: FW Carlos Ruiz (R quadriceps)
SUSPENDED: COL: FW Thiago Martins (through Oct. 29)
WARNINGS (suspended if yellow card in next game played): DAL: Carlos Ruiz ... COL: Kyle Beckerman Dan Gargan
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: COL 14 wins 51 GF; DAL 20 wins 70 GF; 7 ties
2006 HEAD-TO-HEAD: DAL 3 win 9 GF; COL 0 wins 3 GF; 1 tie
AT PIZZA HUT PARK:
6/24: DAL 1 COL 0 (Cooper 32)
7/29: DAL 4 COL 1 (Rhine 8; Nunez 71 74; Cooper 90 - Beckerman 34)
MLS CUP PLAYOFFS: COL 3 wins 11 GF; DAL 2 wins 10 GF; 3 draws
FC DALLAS UPDATE:
-The biggest decision before the first leg was who would start in goal for FC Dallas. Despite missing the final four matches of the regular season head coach Colin Clarke tabbed Dario Sala - and the Argentinian responded with six saves as the Hoops ran out 2-1 winners.
-"He made some big saves and kept us in it. He had a good game. He was sharp Clarke said. "It wasn't surprising. He had worked during the week and looked good. Our only concern was the calf being 100 percent and that he didn't hurt it or pull it. That would have been it for his season right there."
-Said Bobby Rhine: "I thought he looked really sharp. He made a couple of big saves. Even on the goal he made a great save on the first shot. I thought he had a good game back there."
-After scoring the first goal FC Dallas weathered a storm over the remainder of the first half that only saw Colorado pull level. But Abe Thompson's goal gave the lead for good.
-"I thought our boys were absolutely magnificent. They showed a lot of character. We got the early goal and then they came at us and caused us some problems. But we held in there and come out in the second half and did a great job Clarke said. "It's halftime and we are 2-1 up. There is still a long way to go."
-Once again it was the skill of Ronnie O'Brien that led to the game-winner. "I looked up and Abe had about 10 yards of space on the back post. I thought he was offside but I was able to get the ball to him O'Brien said. "He had a great touch and a great finish so he gets all the accolades for the game-winning goal."
-Said Clarke: "That is [Ronnie O'Brien's] strength. He has great vision. He picks up his head and whips in a great cross."
-The Hoops still have to put aside memories of last year when the Rapids were able to grind out a 2-2 draw over 120 minutes in the second leg (following a goalless first leg) Colorado eventually advancing on penalty kicks.
-"Last year is the playoffs that hurts the most because it was this group of guys Clarke said.
-Carlos Ruiz was held out of full training this week suffering from a thigh strain. But the all-time MLS Cup Playoffs leading scorer says he will be in the lineup on Saturday.
COLORADO RAPIDS UPDATE:
-The Rapids are facing their biggest road test of the season. But away from Denver they've not seen much success. They won just twice on the road in 16 games -- last on Sept. 2 (going 0-2-3 in their final five away matches).
-Both road victories came by 1-0 scorelines -- which would guarantee only a penalty kick shootout in the second leg. The Rapids also haven't won in Dallas since May 2001 (12 meetings in all competitions) and haven't won by two goals there since July 1999.
-Still said midfielder Pablo Mastroeni to the Denver Post: "I'll give it to you in very plain simple English and that is quit thinking and just play. That's it. No thought just go out there and play end of story. There's no theme there's no rhyme there's no motivation there's nothing - just go out and play. I could be articulate about it if you want. We've been articulate all year and it hasn't gotten us anywhere."
-The Rapids must also find a way to stop an FC Dallas attack that scored 28 goals at home (third-most in MLS) while also posting the best home record over the regular season.
-"We've had the worst defense in (MLS) this year and you want to say it's not reflective of who we are but I think it is goalkeeper Joe Cannon said to the Post. "Those mistakes are things that we've made all year long. It's just disappointing and frustrating because I feel the potential of the group is so much better."
-Rapids boss Fernando Clavijo could have some injury concerns. Terry Cooke the league's assist leader is out for the second leg with a groin injury and while Jacob Peterson is expected to be ready in the other wide midfield role he has been slowed by a thigh injury.
-Central defender Aitor Karanka was forced from the field after just 28 minutes with a hamstring injury but Clavijo will have Mike Petke back from a first-leg suspension.
-Right back Dan Gargan has also been slowed by a knock suffered in the first game.
-Chris Wingert came in for Karanka in the first leg and could reprise that role; along with Hunter Freeman and Eric Denton Wingert is a candidate to play as fullback if Gargan cannot play.