2011 MLS Cup Playoffs, Wild Card Preview: Crew Vs. Rapids

2011 MLS Cup Playoffs, Wild Card Preview: Crew Vs. Rapids

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On October 27, 2011
  • 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs, 2011 MLS Season, 2011 Wild Card, Features

Columbus hopes to knock off Colorado tonight. (Getty Images)

I hate being quick with playoff previews but this one will have to end up being the case. Time has not been on my side today.

Tonight is the second wild card game of the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs. Last night the New York Red Bulls upset FC Dallas on the road and tonight the Columbus Crew hope to do the same against the defending MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids.

It should be a fun one tonight for sure though – snow covered Dicks Sporting Good’s Park yesterday – and we very well could see an appearance by the Orange Jubilani. The weather should play a tricky factor in this one for both sides but each are no stranger to cold weather games.

To me this one is a simple midfield battle. If Colorado can overcome some injuries in their lineup to key guys like Pablo Mastroeni, then I could easily see them advance in this game to take on Sporting Kansas City this weekend. I’d expect the Crew to lean on guys like Dilly Duka, Robbie Rogers and Eddie Gavin to make up for the suspension of Emmanuel Ekpo in the midfield.

The two defenses are fairly even down the board thanks to injuries and form issues. Up front you almost have to go with the Crew right now with Andres Mendoza and Emilio Renteria leading the way. If one of those two can get on the board early it will be hard for the Rapids to play catch-up in this one. Without Conor Casey in the lineup, Colorado needs another big playoff push from Omar Cummings, something that we haven’t seen as much this season.

I think this one will be a little slower than the Dallas-NY game from last night but it should still be fun to watch. I’m taking the home side by a hair. Cummings finds a way to insert himself into this one and uses his speed to beat a slower Crew defense.

WVH Prediction: Colorado 1, Columbus 0


  • Eric M Fulton