Sporting Kansas City vs Colorado Rapids - Game Preview

COMMERCE CITY, CO - OCTOBER 30: Teal Bunbury #9 of Sporting Kansas City high fives teammate C.J. Sapong #17 as Bunbury is removed from the game against the Colorado Rapids during their Eastern Conference Semifinals game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park October 30, 2011 in Commerce City, Colorado. Sporting Kansas City won the game 2-0 on two goals by Bunbury.(Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

As the top seed in the Eastern Conference, Sporting Kansas City will host the 2nd Leg of the Eastern Conference semifinal matchup against Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, October 2nd, at Livestrong Sporting Park. Sporting Kansas City have a two goal advantage courtesy of a 2-0 win at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on the weekend. Kickoff will be at 6:00 MST and the game will be broadcast on Fox Soccer Channel

The Rapids will go into this game facing a selection headache due to three injuries sustained during the first leg of the semifinal matchup. Caleb Folan, Kosuke Kimura, and Drew Moor joined Conor Casey, Anthony Wallace, and Pablo Mastroeni on the injured list and will not be available for selection. Tyrone Marshall also will not be available due to suspension after the Jamaican defender received a straight red card during the first leg. 

The major question is who will Gary Smith insert into the starting lineup and whether the English manager will even have 7 substitutes on bench. Due to Folan's injury, Sanna Nyassi will probably be inserted as a striker alongside Omar Cummings. Quincy Amarikwa and Andre Akpan could be used from the bench. Ross Labauex will probably start in central midfield alongside Jeff Larentowicz and Joseph Nane is also an option from the bench. Wells Thompson and Brian Mullan should handle the wing duties. 

The Rapids defense will look very different with Marvell Wynne the only player in the normal starting XI. Scott Palguta will probably start with Wynne and Commingues and Danny Earls should handle left or right back. However, Eddie Ababio could possibly start in defense as well, given the rookie's strong play against Isidro Metapán recently in the CONCACAF Champions League. 

Despite being down by two goals going into the 2nd leg, Colorado are still confident that they can turn the match around. Omar Cummings and Sanna Nyassi are very dangerous options up front, despite the fact that the duo have struggled to find the goal consistently this season. 

Marvell Wynne will be busy containing Sporting Kansas City's attacking trio of Kei Kamara, Teal Bunbury, and CJ Sapong. Omar Bravo could also feature during the second leg as well. Wynne recently stated that he has confidence in whoever joins him on the backline. Gary Smith stated that the guys that step up and start the match will be inspired and will also believe that they can get something from this game. The winner of the two legs will go on to face either Houston Dynamo or Philadelphia Union in the Eastern Conference Final. 

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