The Colorado Rapids will finally get a taste of playoff football after being shut out in the playoff department since 2006 today against the Columbus Crew in the first ever playoff game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City.
Columbus is slumping hard right now, with horrible form to end the season compounded with their goalkeeper William Hesmer being injured at the end of the season and for the playoffs. Hesmer is one of the best goaltenders in the league and an MLS Cup winner, so his loss may prove to be a blow against a team who have scored 11 goals in their last five games in Colorado. Colorado has been firing on all cylinders since they acquired Macoumba Kandji and Brian Mullan at the trade deadline. Mullan's playoff experience and 4 MLS Cups will be vital to the success of Colorado in this playoffs. That said, despite their higher seed Columbus will probably not be the favorites in this series.
A win today will give Colorado an advantage in the home/away two legged playoff series, a good start considering the still somewhat questionable road form of Colorado - something that has been quelled by recent results away at FC Dallas and Los Angeles, I'll admit - and a pretty good road to get to the semifinals against either the New York Red Bulls or the San Jose Earthquakes.
Go Rapids! Take a lead to Ohio!