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Colorado Rapids vs. Columbus Crew - Game Preview

COLUMBUS OH - AUGUST 21:  Emmanuel Ekpo #17 of the Columbus Crew pulls down Pablo Mastroeni #25 of the Colorado Rapids in the first half on August 21 2010 at Crew Stadium in Columbus Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS OH - AUGUST 21: Emmanuel Ekpo #17 of the Columbus Crew pulls down Pablo Mastroeni #25 of the Colorado Rapids in the first half on August 21 2010 at Crew Stadium in Columbus Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
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The Colorado Rapids and the Columbus Crew are both teams that are in dire need of points at the midway point of the season, although Columbus being in the East need them slightly less most likely as they're firmly entrenched into the playoff picture at this point while Colorado is lingering in the stronger Western conference. Columbus has been very strong at home this season, only losing a single game so far at Crew Stadium.

Colorado has been on a very strange run since the season began with a 3-0-0 record for the Rapids. They've drawn more games than wins or losses combined and have only won two more games since, dropping their previous game to the Los Angeles Galaxy 3-1. The Crew have overachieved a bit considering their rebuild, but still find themselves 8th overall on a 'single table' set up. Either way, these are two teams that should be in the playoffs and it will be a hard fought game, especially since it will be in Columbus.

The line-up that the Rapids put out is going to make a huge difference in this match. Had we known that Danny Earls was going to start against LA, there would have been quite a bit less optimism about the match. Jamie Smith not starting didn't help anything either. On the bright side, this game will be the return of Brian Mullan, coming back from his 10 game suspension after the Steve Zakuani incident against Seattle. Besides Mullan, who starts at left back - please Anthony Wallace, pleeeease - and in the midfield on the other side of Brian will be very important to the Rapids result.

Colorado needs these three points so this is a huge match for the Rapids.