International break much appreciated for Colorado

COMMERCE CITY, CO - MAY 05: Omar Cummings #14 of the Colorado Rapids warms up prior to facing the Los Angeles Galaxy at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on May 5, 2010 in Commerce City, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The FIFA international calendar has come at a fantastic time for the Colorado Rapids. The weekend features MLS matches but the Rapids have a much-needed break from MLS league and CONCACAF Champions League play. Colorado has two league matches remaining and one CONCACAF match before the MLS playoffs commence. 

Omar Cummings and Jeff Larentowicz will represent Jamaica and the United States for the FIFA international dates, while Sanna Nyassi turned down national team selection for The Republic of Gambia. Nyassi cited that fatigue, mainly due to transatlantic travel to Africa and back would have the Colorado attacking midfielder returning late Tuesday evening. This would give Nyassi minimal time to prepare for the Rocky Mountain Derby against Real Salt Lake at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Friday, October 14th. 

Omar Cummings decided to play for Jamaica, but stated that his choice was determined by the Rapids 1-0 win over FC Dallas on the weekend. Perhaps a trip to Honduras for Cummings can help as the Colorado Rapids forward has struggled with form recently. In 24 league matches this season, Cummings has 3 goals and 6 assists. However, the Jamaican striker scored a fantastic goal in El Salvador in the Rapids 3-1 win over Isidro Metapán in the CCL on September 28th. 

Jeff Larentowicz looks to impress USA boss Jürgen Klinsmann as the Colorado midfielder aims to make the jump from the fringes to a regular on the United States national team. However, a spot in the USA midfield is very hard to earn as players such as Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), and Maurice Edu (Rangers) are standout players and have been called in, along with Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake). 

The Rapids earned a massive three points against FC Dallas on Saturday evening and sit 'comfortably' in the MLS playoff race. However, New York and Houston are both just two points behind Colorado for the last two wild card spots. Portland Timbers find themselves on the outside looking in, as they currently trail the wild card race by three points. The Eastern Conference will be a race to the finish as the top five clubs are only separated by a mere two points. 

Meanwhile, Dick's Sporting Goods Park will be the place to be next Friday, Oct 14th, for the Rocky Mountain Derby between Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake. The Rapids will look to win the Rocky Mountain Cup, which is a trophy given to the fans of the winner of the head-to-head season results between the two Rocky Mountain rivals. Real Salt Lake is expected to have over 350 traveling supporters, while the stadium will likely be sold out for this high-profile rivalry match. 

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