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Colorado heads up Northwest to take on Seattle

This next three game stretch is the most important set of games for the Rapids all season. In succession they take on the Seattle Sounders, the San Jose Earthquakes and FC Dallas, three Western conference rivals as well as three teams very close to the Rapids in the standings. Three losses and we're almost guaranteed to be looking at another season of no playoffs. Three wins and the playoffs are pretty much in the bag. Anything in between is debatable, but the point is points. The Rapids need them and they need them now. They'll have to start with Seattle.

The Rapids met the Sounders earlier this season, way back in May. Conor Casey netted the only goal of the game to get the 1-0 shutout in front of a sellout crowd at The Dick, but the stakes are a bit higher this time around. The Rapids are currently in a tie for 4th place - and a playoff berth - with San Jose with 23 points , holding a slight lead in goal differential as the only separation between the two. Not far behind are the Sounders and the Houston Dynamo, tied for 5th place with 19 points a piece.

So yeah, this game is pretty important. Nobody is quite sure who will start at midfield in the Rapids new 4-4-2 look, although I've thrown in my guess. As long as the Rapids can net a few goals and keep their mistakes to a minimum - how about LESS than one this time, boys? - they can come away with a win against an underperforming Sounders team. God forbid the 4-4-2 can't net any goals though. In that case we're sunk.