The point earned yesterday against Real Salt Lake for the Colorado Rapids made the playoffs almost assured but not a complete certainty with games still to be played by teams lurking below them on the table. The Rapids needed only to wait until Saturday afternoon to get their slight fears quelled though as Sporting Kansas City's 2-0 win over the New York Red Bulls gave the Rapids a guaranteed spot.
This was a slightly more tense situation than last season when three games before the season ended the Rapids saw their playoff wishes granted by the New England Revolution in a game against the then Kansas City Wizards, but the Rapids will be in a similar situation with a lower playoff berth clinched before the final week of the season, avoiding another situation like 2009 where they went into the last week needing a tough win on the road. (The Rapids wound up losing 3-0 to the eventual champions Real Salt Lake that season.)
Colorado is not going to be able to catch up to the top three spots in the league with the Galaxy, Sounders and Salt Lake seemingly stuck into the spots but they can technically boost or drop their wild card spot with a win or loss against Vancouver Whitecaps in the last week of the season. Either way, it's good to see that there will be no pressure on our boys as the season winds down. The 2010 champions will indeed have their chance to defend their oft-debated title.