Colorado's stable of forwards starts to dwindle

Quincy Amarikwa

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COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — At the start of this season, the Colorado Rapids appeared to have an embarrassment of riches on their roster when it came to forwards.

There was, of course, the proven tandem of Conor Casey and Omar Cummings. And that was followed up by Quincy Amarikwa and Andre Akpan, the two promising youngsters waiting for their chance. And then came the signing of English Premier League striker Caleb Folan.

Too many forwards? Not now, it appears.

Casey has yet to open his account in 2011, and has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury. Now Amarikwa, who has grabbed the limited chances he has had, is out for an unknown period of time with an ankle problem picked up in the Rapids’ game against Real Salt Lake last Wednesday.

That leaves Cummings, Folan and Akpan, and Akpan has played only two MLS games after coming on as a late substitute against RSL.

Casey is questionable for the Rapids’ game against Seattle on Friday, but in all likelihood, head coach Gary Smith will start Cummings and Folan, with Akpan on the bench.

Smith admitted, however, that Cummings – who has two goals this season – was not firing on all cylinders in the club’s 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake last week.

“Omar started off very slowly and I felt we need some added energy,” Smith told MLSsoccer.com. “There is competition.”

Smith was pleased with Folan’s contribution on the night. The big striker won a number of chances in the air, even if he didn’t get any real chances on goal.

“He was a real handful and he held up play very well,” Smith said. “He really looked like the individual I wanted.”