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Colorado Rapids vs. New York Red Bulls - Game Preview

HARRISON, NJ - MAY 25:  Anthony Wallace #6 of the Colorado Rapids controls the ball against Dwayne De Rosario #11 of the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on May 25, 2011 in Harrison, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
HARRISON, NJ - MAY 25: Anthony Wallace #6 of the Colorado Rapids controls the ball against Dwayne De Rosario #11 of the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on May 25, 2011 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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Colorado is coping with the loss of their best striker today, but they're still going to have to finish the season and try for a playoff spot. Their first step in this coping is against the New York Red Bulls today at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, coming off a 4-3 loss to the Seattle Sounders that was played under some... interesting conditions.

The offense is going to need a big boost today when they play the fairly tough Red Bulls defense without Conor Casey. My personal suggestion for a brilliant tactical switch was a 0-0-5 formation with six people in goal and the feared Omar Cummings / Caleb Folan / Sanna Nyassi / Andre Akpan / Jeff Larentowicz forward tandem, but I have a sneaking suspicion that for some reason coach Gary Smith isn't going to run that.

New York has added and lost a few new faces since the last time we met in NY when the two teams tied in a thrilling 2-2 match. Dwayne De Rosario will not be with the team this time around, while new goalkeeper Frank Rost will probably be forced to make his first ever MLS save against Colorado after earning a 0 save shutout against Chivas USA last weekend. New York is battling a few injuries as well with Luke Rodgers and Rafa Marquez both slated to miss the match due to injuries. Past Conor Casey, there aren't any guarantees on the injury report though Mac Kandji is probably a longshot to play and Danny Earls is listed as doubtful. (This is not necessarily a bad thing.)

It's going to be a tough uphill climb for the Rapids if they want to make the playoffs with only a four point lead on the nearest competitors in the Western conference right now. Before the month I said that the Rapids need to get 11 points out of this month and right now they have five. This Red Bulls game is the first three of those remaining six that we can get, so it's imperative to win tonight for Colorado. Tough as it may be, we know they can do it; coach Gary Smith has only ever lost one game against the Bulls in his five games against them, the 3-1 decision last year right before the infamous Mehdi Ballouchy - Macoumba Kandji trade. The last game against the Bulls in Commerce City probably should have been a win as well if not for a questionable call on a Ballouchy goal that kept the score 1-0 instead of 2-0 early in the match.

Go Rapids, win this and get momentum for New England on Saturday!