HOUSTON - MAY 04: Wells Thompson #15 of the Colorado Rapids and Will Bruin #12 of the Houston Dynamo tie each other up going for the ball at Robertson Stadium on May 4, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
The Colorado Rapids have always dominated their home turf when it comes to July 4th games - or at least games where there have been fireworks some time around the fourth of July - and today would be the perfect time for the Rapids to pick up that old fireworks domination as they take on the Houston Dynamo at Dick's Sporting Good's Park in Commerce City. Considering Colorado is currently on a two game losing streak after dropping 3-1 and 4-1 games to the Los Angeles Galaxy and Columbus Crew, the Rapids are in need of a break and July 4th can't have come soon enough!
Colorado actually have a couple of advantages going into this match. Brad Davis - he of two goals and nine assists in the Houston offense - is listed as Doubtful on the injury report with a leg injury. To give you some perspective, that's the same status that Macoumba Kandji is listed as. In other words, it's looking incredibly likely that Houston will be without their best player. Omar Cummings on the other hand has had three weeks without a full 90 minutes to get himself back to full strength and should start against the Dynamo. Our best guess is that Caleb Folan will start up top alongside Omar, with Conor Casey missing a game due to a red card suspension.
Houston's defense has been a bit of a mess this season with young goalkeeper Tally Hall being the biggest bright spot. Their 22 goals conceded in 17 games is third in the Eastern conference and fifth most allowed in MLS. Regardless, their fairly strong offense has pulled them up to 4th in the East. The Dynamo have put in 21 goals, tied for the second most scored in the Eastern conference with DC United, who have played two fewer games. Only New York have scored more goals in the East.
The left back situation is still muddy for Colorado but after two games in a row featuring bad to terrible play from Danny Earls and Scott Palguta it's looking likely that Anthony Wallace will finally get his first start since the Philadelphia Union match. With Marvell Wynne healthy as well - he's listed as 'probable' along with Cummings, Matt Pickens and others on the injury report - and Brian Mullan still in the lineup it's looking likely that this lineup will be the closest that we've seen to the original MLS Cup winning lineup since opening day.
Enjoy the fireworks everyone, go Rapids!
UZ'S PREDICTION: 4-1 Rapids