Commerce City, Colo. - For the second consecutive year, the Colorado Rapids will kick off the MLS Cup Playoffs against the Columbus Crew. As the #2 Wild Card seed, the Rapids will host #3 Columbus on Thursday at 8 pm MT at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
The Houston Dynamo defeated the LA Galaxy 3-1 on Sunday night to move ahead of the Crew in the Eastern Conference, dropping Columbus to the #3 Wild Card seed.
Colorado and Columbus split the season series in 2010, with each team winning on their home turf. Columbus defeated the Rapids 4-1 on June 26 at Crew Stadium and Colorado won at Dick's Sporting Goods Park 2-0 on August 5.
The teams met for the first time in the post-season last year in the two-leg Conference Semifinal series.
The Rapids hosted the Crew in the first-ever playoff game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on October 28, winning 1-0 on a goal from Pablo Mastroeni.
In the second leg at Crew Stadium on November 6, the Crew took a 2-0 lead to go up 2-1 on aggregate, but Rapids forward Conor Casey tied the series at 2-2 with only six minutes to go in regulation. The teams played a scoreless 30 minute extra time and the game and series was decided on penalty kicks. Colorado and Columbus combined to make the first nine penalty kicks, and Colorado came out victorious when the Crew's Brian Carroll sailed the last shot over the goal.
The winner of this year's one-off Wild Card game will advance to the home-and-home Conference Semifinal series, hosting the first game next weekend.