The Los Angeles Galaxy playing their back-ups in their 3-1 loss against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening was possibly a great boost to our own Colorado Rapids, as it guaranteed a playoff match against a favorable opponent, the Columbus Crew. A win by LA would have given the Rapids a hungry New York Red Bulls squad matching up against them while a draw would have put the Rapids against the Dynamo, an underrated sleeper team who matched up well with Colorado in Commerce City before this season.
The Columbus match has been officially set for this Thursday, October 27th, at 8 PM Mountain time. The weather is currently forecasted to be a chilly 45 degree high - and probably in the 30's when 8 PM rolls around - with some snow likely still on the ground from the previous day's predicted 3-4 inch snowstorm. Very similar to the playoffs of last season, in fact.
Colorado's first playoff matches en route to the MLS Cup were against Columbus last season, where a Pablo Mastroeni strike gave them a 1-0 win at Commerce City and a late Conor Casey goal sent the away leg into penalty kicks, with the Rapids winning in the end 5-4. The Rapids won't have a lot of faces from that playoff matchup - Julien Baudet and Claudio Lopez both scored during that penalty shootout - but Columbuses recent playoff failure against Colorado (and Salt Lake as well the year before) will surely still be in mind when they come to Commerce City on the chilly Thursday evening.
Depending on how FC Dallas and New York's playoff match goes, the Rapids will either slide into the Eastern Conference to play the first leg against Sporting Kansas City on October 30th or play the Supporter's Shield holding Los Angeles Galaxy on the same date. If Dallas defeats New York, the games will be against LA, if New York wins it will be SKC. Naturally, the Rapids will be hoping for a New York victory in that case not only to get the potentially awesome NY vs. LA match but also to slide themselves into the Eastern Conference again like last season, where the table will be assuredly easier.