I don’t know about you, but I’m still pretty psyched about the home win last weekend that put us in the playoffs. And today could be even more exciting! With a win in Houston, the Colorado Rapids could secure the second spot in the Western Conference. The Supporters’ Shield is still in reach, and a second seed would guarantee that first round bye and a place in the Conference Semifinals.
The Rapids (13-5-12, 51 points) have already tied the most points in club history, so any points earned today or in the last couple games will set a new record. If the Rapids can follow up today’s match with three more wins, they will also get the Supporters’ Shield regardless of what FC Dallas does.
But let’s take it one game at a time.
Earlier this week, we gave an injury update on Kevin Doyle, Bobby Burling, and Jermaine Jones. While Pablo Mastroeni is hoping that Jones will be back for the playoffs, Doyle and Burling should be back sooner. There was even talk about Kevin Doyle getting some playing time today, but it appears that he is questionable with an illness. Some were also wondering about Marlon Hairston after he was subbed out last week. Even though he was practicing earlier this week, he has also been added to the injury list for today.
As we move into these last few games and the playoffs, Pablo says it’s “really been a core group of young players that have held the group together” and “all the guys, including Marlon [Hairston], [Dominique] Badji, [Eric] Miller have a great opportunity now, moving towards the latter part of the season, to really put a stamp on their own game, and really help the collective whole move forward into the playoffs.” Our own @uzworm just wrote a great piece about how the Rapids need a player to get hot. Perhaps it will be one of the younger guys?
Houston Dynamo (7-12-11, 32 points) is at the bottom of the Western Conference, and will stand no chance of making the playoffs with a loss or a tie today. The team is 4-5-9 since Wade Barrett took over as interim head coach for Owen Coyle in May, and some are wondering if Barrett is looking at Mastreoni and the Rapids as a model for turning a terrible team into cup contenders.
Houston lost their last match vs. New York City FC, snapping a 3-game unbeaten streak. The Dynamo have some solid players on the attack, like Alex and Andrew Wenger, who have five goals each, and four other players with four goals each. The team has scored seven goals in their last four games.
But will they get past the Rapids’ defense and Tim Howard?
I’m going to say not likely.
OUT: Bobby Burling (toe), Marlon Hairston (leg), Jermaine Jones (knee), Dillon Serna (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: Kevin Doyle (illness)
OUT: Tyler Deric (elbow)
Suspended Next Yellow
Colorado - Axel Sjoberg, Sam Cronin, Marc Burch, Dominique Badji
Houston - Alex
How to Watch
Match Date/Time: Saturday, October 8, 2016 at 6:30 PM MT
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium—Houston, TX
TV Information: Altitude TV
Live Stream: MLS Live (Blackouts apply)
Weather at Kickoff: mid-80s and partly cloudy