It's Do or Die Saturday Night!

ColoradoRapids.com - After last Saturday's 0-0 draw between the Rapids and FC Dallas in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals the teams are dead even going into this Saturday night's return leg at Pizza Hut Park.

With the teams tied on aggregate goals the winner of Saturday's match will advance to the Western Conference Championship match to face the winner of the Los Angeles vs. San Jose series.

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.

Download the Rapids vs. FC Dallas Playoff Series Guide by CLICKING HERE.

Saturday night's match will be broadcast by Altitude live on Comcast Entertainment Television which is Channel 5 in Denver only. For full details on Saturday's broadcast CLICK HERE.

The Rapids will also host a special viewing party for Saturday night's match for fans to attend and watch together in a playoff atmosphere at Delaney's at the Celtic Tavern in Lodo. For details on this event CLICK HERE.

With a win in regulation the Rapids can advance to the next round. If the match is tied at the end of regulation a 30-minute overtime period will be played in its entirety in two 15-minute halves. If the match is still tied at this point the winner will be decided via penalty kicks.

Should both the Rapids and Los Angeles win their resepective series on Saturday the Rapids will host the Western Conference Championship on Saturday November 5th at 7:00pm at Invesco Field. Playoff tickets for that match would go on sale Monday morning.

Should the Rapids win their series and San Jose defeats LA on Saturday by a margin of +3 goals or more the Conference Championship will be hosted in San Jose on November 5.

To view the Rapids Playoff webpage with full details on the playoffs format all the prospective dates ticket information and much more CLICK HERE.

Help the Rapids "Kick Up The Intensity" for the 2005 MLS Cup Playoffs and join us for the Playoff Viewing Party on Saturday night!

Colorado Rapids vs. FC Dallas Game 2 Match Preview

"Hoops Rapids Must Settle Stalemate"
By MLSNet.com

FC DALLAS v COLORADO RAPIDS
Sat. Oct. 29 Pizza Hut Park
6:30 p.m. MT
TV: CET-5 (Denver only) & MLS Direct Kick package

LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD:
COL 14 wins 48 goals;
DAL 17 wins 61 goals;
5 ties

2005 HEAD-TO-HEAD:
DAL 2 win 5 goals;
COL 0 wins 2 goals;
2 ties

AT PIZZA HUT PARK:
5/18: DAL 2 - COL 1 (O'Brien 61; Ruiz 77 - Peguero 12)
10/8: DAL 0 - COL 0

MLS CUP PLAYOFFS:
COL 4 wins 7 goals;
DAL 1 wins 6 goals;
2 ties

REFEREE: Terry Vaughn. SAR (bench): George Gansner; JAR (opposite): Steve Taylor; 4th: Baldomero Toledo
MLS Career: 60 games; FC/gm: 31.0; Y/gm: 3.9; R: 19; pens: 182005: 14 games; FC/gm: 29.3; Y/gm: 4.4; R: 6; pens: 6

INJURY REPORT:
FC DALLAS: OUT: GK Jeff Cassar (R shoulder separation); FW Eddie Johnson (R toe stress-related injury); MF Richard Mulrooney (R knee surgery)
COLORADO RAPIDS - OUT: DF Nat Borchers (R ankle sprain); DF Matt Crawford (R hip); PROBABLE: GK Joe Cannon (L abdominal strain)

SUSPENDED: none

WARNINGS:
DAL: Steve Jolley (5 CP); Ronnie O'Brien (5 CP) ...
COL: Kyle Beckerman (5 CP)

FC DALLAS TEAM NEWS
-While FC Dallas were by no means displeased with the first-leg scoreless draw. "On the road 0-0 clean sheet with a chance to take it back home we'll take it FC Dallas coach Colin Clarke said. "It wasn't one of our better nights. We couldn't pass the ball very well. ... But we're probably happier with the result than they are."
-The Hoops realize they must be more incisive in attack in the return match. "It was probably our worst performance of the year. I don't think we kept the ball for two passes. It was a good result for us but we need to play better at home Ronnie O'Brien said. "It doesn't mean we can't defend our home. We still have to go and perform at home we have to play better than we did (last week). If we play like we normally can I think we go through."
-Clarke started Roberto Mina in attack as the spearhead preferring to bring Carlos Ruiz off the bench. Still immediately after coming on the Guatemalan international nearly combined on the first goal of the match. Still Clarke said he was not yet prepared to make a final decision for the second leg.
-Still FCD was pleased about how they kept things tight in the back. "It just makes it a one-game series now Scott Garlick said. "We just have to go home and win a game. If we can do that regardless of the score we advance. That's kind of what we thought about coming in here in terms of getting a clean sheet."
-Pizza Hut Park didn't start out as a "home sweet home" for FCD going 0-4-2 in their first six games there. But since the Hoops are undefeated at home with four wins and two draws in all competitions. "That was a good wake-up call for us rather than us going and winning a bunch of games Garlick said. "We realized that to have a chance this year we had to start playing better at home."

COLORADORAPIDS TEAM NEWS
-For the third time in five matches between the clubs this season the Rapids failed to break down FC Dallas. While the FCD tactics haven't fundamentally changed - a spearhead forward with five in the midfield - the freedom afforded the wide players could change from Denver to Frisco. "They play with only one forward; they played the same way back in Dallas with five midfielders and one forward. They were looking for a draw and they got it. But I don't blame them because it's the playoffs Rapids coach Fernando Clavijo said.
-Clavijo felt his team did better in the second half. "We couldn't find the spaces to break through. We just played long balls which pretty much falls into their trap he said. "In the second half it was much better. We served the ball better but it came down to getting a result in the playoffs. ... In this game you have to score to win and we were not able to."
-Rapids striker Jovan Kirovski agreed with his coach. "They came to defend and played everybody behind the ball so they are tough to breakdown anyway. In the second half we made adjustments. We got people wide and they got crosses in and created some chances with (Jean-Philippe) Peguero and Dedi (Ben-Dayan) but couldn't convert them."
-Clavijo started the match in a 4-4-2 system with Pablo Mastroeni partnering Mike Petke in central defense with Nat Borchers out to an ankle sprain. In the second half Clavijo returned to a back three. Borchers is also listed as out for the return match. "I thought that I was going to be able to go but it turns out the sprain was too bad and I couldn't cut on it. I was devastated said Borchers.
-Clavijo also stayed with his first-line attack of Peguero and Kirovski with 12-goal man Jeff Cunningham coming off the bench. "Jeff has absolutely no problem and we have no problem with Jeff Clavijo said. "You may see him this game and maybe he wins the game for us. It's a game of numbers right now what we need to do and who do we play against."
-There is another injury concern in goalkeeper Joe Cannon. As the first leg wore on his abdominal injury worsened - he was unable to take goal kicks by the end. He's received an injection and is considered probable for the weekend. "I feel if I can get through the first 60 minutes then everything will fall into place he said to the Rocky Mountain News. "We need to use our subs for offense."

DISCIPLINARY INFORMATION:
All players will start the Playoffs with zero caution points. A players who then accumulates EIGHT (8) or more caution points in the first TWO (2) Playoff Games in which he appears will be suspended for his team's next Playoff Game (Conference Championship game or MLS Cup) and fined $250. Any suspension for caution points received in a player's last Playoff Game will not carry over into the next League Season. A player who receives a yellow card in THREE (3) consecutive Playoff Games in which he appears where the caution points attributable to such yellow cards equal TEN (10) or more caution points shall be suspended for his team's next Playoff Game (MLS Cup) and fined $250. A player who receives yellow cards during the playoffs (including MLS Cup) where the caution points attributable to such yellow cards equal TWELVE (12) or more caution points shall not be suspended from his team's next regular season game in the upcoming year. However a player accumulating TWELVE (12) points throughout the playoffs shall be fined $250. The only way to accumulate TWELVE (12) or more caution points in the playoffs would be by being awarded a caution in MLS Cup.