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Leg 1
11/23 FINAL
1LA
0SEA
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Leg 2
11/30 9:20pm
SEA
LA
ESPN
Western Conference Championship
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Leg 1
11/23 FINAL
1NY
2NE
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11/29 3:00pm
NE
NY
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Eastern Conference Championship

Rapids' Cummings hopeful to return against Portland

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The Colorado Rapids might be poised to get a needed boost in the form of striker Omar Cummings, who is hopeful he can return this weekend for his first game since suffering a sprained ankle early last month.

Cummings — who had two goals in seven appearances before going down with the injury in a 2-1 Rapids win over Houston on May  4 — told MLSsoccer.com he hopes to be ready when Colorado take the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field on Saturday.

The ankle injury effectively kept Cummings out of the mix for Jamaica’s Gold Cup squad (although he was initially called up by the Reggae Boyz), but Rapids head coach Gary Smith and team fitness coach John Ireland also affirmed Cummings could be a possibility this weekend.

“Omar can do things individually that others can’t,” Smith said. “Just sheer pace and that real creative nature that he’s got. He draws players towards him and allows others around him to maybe find a better path because he’s such a handful.”

Cummings’ potential return is more good news on the injury front for Colorado, who also finally have a healthy Caleb Folan back in the mix. The striker logged 20 minutes of the team’s 1-1 draw against Philadelphia, and he told MLSsoccer.com following the match that he felt no effects from his recent groin problem.

The Rapids have also welcomed back midfielder Jamie Smith (who started and logged all 90 minutes against the Union) and could see the return soon of defender Marvell Wynne, who missed the match with a hamstring injury.

Gary Smith said that when his team is finally healthy — and when midfielder Brian Mullan is eligible to return from his suspension on June 26 — the Rapids should be able to improve on their recent trend. The team set a new MLS record with their sixth consecutive draw over the weekend, and the match marked the third straight game in which the team blew a lead.

“At that point, now we have to turn the screw,” Smith said after Saturday’s game. “We may not have had to but now, we have to stand up and be counted and get results in places we may not have felt that we had to before. A draw might have done us but we’ve got to go and win and show that we are champions.”