Cummings, Casey hope to restore 2010 chemistry vs. LA
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – The 2010 time machine has been shut down all season. But it could soon be coming back to a soccer field near you.
The once dynamic Colorado strike duo of Conor Casey and Omar Cummings – who combined for 27 goals in the Rapids’ MLS Cup 2010 run – has been sidelined all season with a tag team of varying injuries. But with both finally healthy again, Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja is considering starting the pair up top for the second straight game against the L.A. Galaxy on Sunday (7 pm ET, Galavision) after they impressed him in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Vancouver.
“It’s been nice,” Casey told MLSsoccer.com on Friday. “It’s been kind of rare this season. It’s been a long time since we’ve played together, and it was fun to be out there with him on the field again. We’re comfortable playing with each other and we’ve got a good history, we’re both relatively healthy, so hopefully we’ll get some minutes together.”
But there’s no guarantee Pareja will start the duo against the Galaxy. The Rapids boss hinted on Friday that Andre Akpan or rookie Tony Cascio could be in the running for a spot in the lineup, which could remove either Cummings or Casey from the starting 11.
“It has been difficult, but still, we are playing our cards with players that have experience, and I know they take the responsibility as well of doing the job up top,” Pareja said of Cummings and Casey. “But as I’ve said, we have good options because I thought Andre and Tony did a great job against Portland [on Sept. 5].”
Pareja is known for frequently tinkering with his lineups. But regardless of who starts, the Rapids are staring at possible elimination from postseason contention on Sunday. With a loss and a Vancouver draw or victory over Seattle on Saturday, Colorado would be eliminated from postseason contention. But with four games to go, they still feel they have plenty to play for on Sunday.
“It’s a good challenge for sure, because as I said to the players, there is always an opportunity to show everyone that the Colorado Rapids is much more than what they show in the standings,” Pareja said. “And this is a good opportunity to prove that.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.