Game Preview: Rapids vs. Columbus
COMMERCE CITY, CO - The Colorado Rapids host the Eastern Conference-leading Columbus Crew on Saturday, June 5 at 7 p.m. at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Colorado comes into the game with a 5-3-1 (16 points) record, tied for fourth place in the Western Conference despite playing the least amount of games. Columbus lost for the first time last week to LA, and enters the game with a record of 6-1-3 (21 points), good for first place in the East.
- Colorado are 2-1-1 at home in 2010 and are coming off a 1-0 home shutout of Seattle last weekend.
- Columbus has yet to lose on the road this year (2-0-3). The Crew tied San Jose 2-2 in California on Wednesday night to extend their road undefeated streak to five games.
- Colorado are 14-9-8 all-time against the Crew. However, Columbus has had the edge over the past four seasons. Colorado’s last win against the Crew was on April 8, 2006, a 3-1 win at INVESCO Field at Mile High. Columbus is 4-0-3 vs. Colorado since that loss, having shutout the Rapids in four of those games.
- The Rapids are currently second in MLS with only seven goals scored against this season. Only LA has been scored on fewer times (2). Of the seven goals scored on Colorado, six have come off set pieces: two penalty kicks; one direct freekick; two indirect freekicks; and one on a corner kick. The only goal conceded from the run of play was at San Jose on May 1.
- Conor Casey last weekend scored his first goal in the run of play since September 2009. His last six goals prior to the game-winner against Seattle had all come from the penalty spot.
- Omar Cummings, who scored in both of the first two games this season, has not scored in the last seven. He started in a similar fashion in ’09, scoring in the first two and then going blank for the next eight games. He ended his goal drought on June 6, 2009 and would score four goals over his next three games.
- DID YOU KNOW: Only once in team history have the Rapids had more than 16 points after nine games played – in 1999, the club had earned 17 points through its first nine league games.
- Columbus is led by head coach Robert Warzycha, now in his third year at the helm. Former MLS MVP, Argentine playmaker Guillermo Barros Schelotto, and veterans Frankie Hejduk (injured), Brian Carroll, and Gino Padulla lead a young group that also includes two-time MLS Defender of the Year Chad Marshall, Olympic silver medalist with Nigeria Emmanuel Ekpo, and young U.S. internationals Robbie Rogers and Eddie Gaven.
- The Crew, winners of the 2008 MLS Cup trophy and back-to-back winners of the Supporters Shield as the team with the best regular season record, had only one significant change since last year, losing forward Alejandro Moreno in the Expansion Draft to Philadelphia.
- WHO TO WATCH: When center back Chad Marshall scored off a Barros Schelotto corner kick against San Jose on Wednesday, it was the 10th time the two have combined on goal since the Argentine playmaker joined the Crew in 2007. Eight of those have been in regular season play, and they have twice combined on a goal in the MLS playoffs, including at the 2008 MLS Cup.
INJURY REPORT: (as of June 3, 2010)
COLORADO: OUT: DF Kosuke Kimura (L ankle stress fracture); MF Ciaran O'Brien (L hip sprain); FW Ross Schunk (R ACL tear); PROBABLE: DF Julien Baudet (L knee strain); MF Jamie Smith (R hamstring strain)
COLUMBUS: OUT: DF Frankie Hejduk (R hamstring strain); DF Danny O'Rourke (R quadriceps strain)
DISCIPLINARY / INTERNATIONAL:
ON CAUTION WARNING
NATIONAL TEAM CALL-UPS
RAPIDS VS. COLUMBUS HEAD-TO-HEAD:
Last two seasons’ meetings:
TEAM UNIFORM COLORS:
English Television: KWGN-Channel 2, MLS DirectKick, and MLS MatchDay Live (MLSsoccer.com).
Colorado will play its last match before the break for the 2010 FIFA World Cup on Wednesday, June 9 at the Chicago Fire (7 pm MT). The Official Away Game Viewing Party on June 9 will be:C.B. & Potts 6575 S. Greenwood Plaza Blvd. Englewood, CO 80111