Commerce City, Colo. - The excitement of last night's Rapids Wild Card Playoff win over Columbus was tempered on Friday when an MRI on midfielder Jamie Smith revealed a torn ACL in his right knee. The Scotsman will have surgery on Tuesday and be out of action approximately six months.
Smith was injured on a non-contact play in the 72' of the match with the Rapids leading 1-0. He was taken off the field by stretcher and replaced by Ross LaBauex (Watch below). The veteran had started in central midfield in place of captain Pablo Mastroeni, who is still recovery from a concussion he sustained on October 14.
Smith scored an MLS career-high three goals in the regular season and added four assists. After appearing in 15 of the first 19 games, he missed 10 straight while recovering from a strained calf and hamstring, returning to play in the final four games of the season and opening playoff game.
He becomes the fourth player that started the MLS Cup title game last November to be unavailable for the playoffs. Forward Conor Casey (Achilles) and defender Anthony Wallace (knee) already had season-ending surgery, and Mastroeni is still in doubt with concussion symptons.
Joseph Nane, Wells Thompson, and Ross LaBauex have all played in the center of the field in select games this year and could be options to replace Smith and Mastroeni in the lineup.
The Rapids begin the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Sunday, October 30 against Sporting KC at 5:30 pm MT at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The return leg is on Wednesday, November 2 at Livestrong Park in Kansas (6 pm MT, FOX Soccer).