Colorado Rapids vs. DC United - Three Keys to the Game

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 14: Kosuke Kimura #27 of the Colorado Rapids controls the ball against Daniel Woolard #21 of D.C. United at RFK Stadium on May 14, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)

Ten days off is just what the doctor ordered for the Colorado Rapids. They've stumbled through the season a bit up until this point, and even their last win against FC Dallas was more due to two red cards than anything that the Rapids were able to do.

Fortunately, they're getting Conor Casey back full time and have had plenty of rest going into Wednesday's game against DC United, which are both good signs against a team that has a bit of a troubled defense right now. Here's three big keys to a second straight victory on the road for the Rapids.

Will The New Guys Play? - Both Harrison Henao and Edu will be available for this game, with Conor Casey likely to be getting his first start for the team since last season when he tore his Achilles against the Sounders last season. Henao and Edu could get starts as well if Oscar Pareja wants to keep the biggest names on the team fresh for Sporting Kansas City at home on Saturday -- neither game is a huge Western Conference match-up so we can't be sure if he'll do that or not.

Strikers - Assuming Conor Casey and Tony Cascio get the starts at the top of the 4-4-2, they have a chance to put together a field day against one of the most injured defenses in the league right now. Ethan White, Dejan Jakovic, Emiliano Dudar, Perry Kitchen... the list goes on. If you'll think back to last season, Caleb Folan and Conor Casey tore up a makeshift defense from DC as they won 4-1. This defense isn't quite as bad and Chris Korb has improved by leaps and bounds from back then, but you still couldn't pick a much better situation for Casey to get a start in.

Don't Lose The Shootout - There will be goals scored in this game, and probably quite a few of them. If there don't end up being any, then something weird happened. The DC offense is fabulous with guys like Dwayne DeRosario and Maicon Santos tearing other teams apart this season better than Charlie Davies ever was last year. The Rapids defense is also missing a big cog in Marvell Wynne, so both offenses are looking good going into this one. It should be a shootout, and the Rapids are going to just have to focus on keeping them to one goal fewer than they can score.

Of course, now that I said that it's probably going to end 0-0 and y'all will laugh at me.

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