Jamie Smith returns to bolster struggling Colorado

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Though calf, hamstring and back problems have kept Colorado Rapids midfielder Jamie Smith sidelined for several weeks, the Scottish midfielder says that he should be available to go the full 90 against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.

“I’d like to think I could,” said Smith, who returned to the field on Wednesday, going 26 minutes in the Rapids’ 2-1 CONCACAF Champions League loss to Real España. “It’s obviously a disappointment [to lose on Wednesday], but personally, it felt good to get back out there.”

Smith, who made his last appearance on July 9 against the Vancouver Whitecaps, came on for Joseph Nane in the 64th minute against Real España, and nearly leveled the score in stoppage time with a well-taken free kick from just outside the penalty area.

“I was really pleased – he had a very good 30 minutes and it’s something for him to build on,” Rapids head coach Gary Smith said. “To have him for the final four domestic games will be a big boost.”

It’s a boost the Rapids certainly need. Colorado have lost five consecutive games across all competitions and are fighting to consolidate second-place position in the MLS Cup playoffs wildcard standings.

“I think we need a bit more self-belief,” Jamie Smith said. “We are the champions, we don’t want to be arrogant but we don’t want to lose track of the fact that we are the champions. We won it last year, not as a matter of luck, but by proving we were the best team.”