Game Preview - Colorado Rapids vs FC Dallas

BENITEZ FACE

e: Dammit Richard, you have to make all the Dallas articles have Benitez face!

On Saturday, October 1st, the Colorado Rapids will look to take a giant step into qualifying for the MLS postseason as they welcome FC Dallas to Dick's Sporting Goods Park. At the midweek, a Rapids team full of reserves had a historic win in El Salvador against Isidro Metapán, boosting their chances of qualifying for the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals. 

The last time Colorado won against MLS opposition was August 13th, a 2-1 win away in San Jose. The Rapids will look to reverse this winless streak as the club has three league matches left, two of which are at home, against rivals FC Dallas (Oct 1st) and Real Salt Lake (Oct 14th). The final match of the regular season is against bottom-feeders Vancouver Whitecaps on October 23rd at the BC Place in Vancouver. 

Given the fact that Gary Smith sent a team full of reserves to El Salvador, there will be a full-strength lineup tonight that should include Omar Cummings. The Jamaican hitman came on as a late substitute against Metapán, and scored the 3rd goal in the 3-1 win. Sanna Nyassi, Caleb Folan, and Jamie Smtih should see action as well. Pablo Mastroeni and Jeff Larentowicz will return to central midfield. The defensive backline should consist of Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Tyrone Marshall, and Drew Moor

Unlike last season, Colorado have struggled to score goals and some of the blame could be placed on the fact that Conor Casey went down to an achilles injury in June. Sanna Nyassi has had one breakout game, while Caleb Folan and Omar Cummings are not currently in form. FC Dallas are coming off a lopsided 5-3 loss in Panama, in a match that saw two FC Dallas penalty kicks and the Texan side reduced to nine men. FC Dallas are in danger of missing out of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.

FC Dallas are a team that is also struggling as of late, with their last league win on August 27th against Sporting Kansas City. That game saw three late Dallas goals (including two in stoppage time) as the club overcame a 2-0 deficit to come back and win 3-2. However, Dallas have lost four out of their last five matches in all competitions. 

A win for Colorado will go a long way for the Rocky Mountain club to qualify for the postseason and take some initial pressure off the Rocky Mountain Derby against Real Salt Lake on October 14th. A capacity crowd will be expected (just like last week) as the Rapids will look to get back to winning ways at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. 

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