Colorado Rapids vs. Sporting Kansas City - Three Keys to the Game

KANSAS CITY, KS - NOVEMBER 02: Jeff Larentowicz #4 of the Colorado Rapids battles Roger Espinoza #15 of Sporting Kansas City for the ball during the MLS playoff game on November 2, 2011 at LiveStrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Let's just forget about that midweek game against DC United, shall we? It was a typical road performance this season for the Colorado Rapids, really. Mediocre defending and offense that was unable to link in the final third regardless of who was out there.

Fortunately, they're back at home now against a slumping Sporting Kansas City team, which could be just what the doctor ordered after that midweek blech of a game.

Here's three keys for the Rapids on Saturday.

Do What You Do Defensively - The Rapids haven't won almost all of their home games because of any offensive dominance, but because when they're at Dick's Sporting Goods Park they've been able to defend to the tune of only allowing two goals all season there. They've just looked that tiny bit sharper at home than they have on the road and it's helped the strong play of Matt Pickens keep the goals out against everyone except the LA Galaxy.

Really, all they need to do is to keep that up in the rest of their home games and they might just be able to sneak a playoff spot.

Conor Casey - Yep, Casey again. In this instance though, we have a reason. He's finally match fit again and has always been known to kill Sporting KC every time the two teams play. Casey had both goals that the team scored against SKC in their two draws last year during the regular season, and in the two playoff smokings without Casey, they lost on a 4-0 aggregate.

Matt Pickens - Matt Pickens has been really, really awesome lately, which has kept the Rapids in games. If Tyrone Marshall decides to play another awful game, let's hope Pickens can pull another couple miracles out.

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