COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – The Colorado Rapids are looking forward to Saturday night’s game against the New England Revolution (9 pm ET, watch LIVE online) as they seek to secure their third straight home win.
The midweek 4-1 mauling of the New York Red Bulls follows a previous home victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps. At this crucial stage of the season, the Rapids are hoping to put together a series of convincing home wins just as they did towards the end of last season when they went on a home scoring tear that took them all the way to MLS Cup.
“Especially when we are winning at home, you can get that momentum and you start going with it,” said striker Omar Cummings, who had three assists against New York. “You get the confidence going through the team and then I think we can beat anybody.”
It’s been a rollercoaster week for the defending MLS Cup champions. Last Saturday, they lost a disappointing 4-3 result against Seattle, a game which also saw leading goal scorer Conor Casey sidelined for the rest of the season as he tore an Achilles tendon. The midweek victory over the Red Bulls restored some much needed confidence to take into the New England game. The Revs come into the game with an encouraging midweek victory themselves, as they took a 1-0 result over D.C. United on the road.
Speaking before the Red Bulls game, midfielder Jeff Larentowicz, a former New England player, described the two home games this week as “huge.”
“It’s going to be very important,” he told MLSsoccer.com. “If we get six points from these two games, the Seattle game is washed away and we can regain some confidence. Obviously, we need the points, but just to settle the camp. New England is a team that is having a tough year and it doesn’t seem like it’s getting any easier for them, playing as many games as they are. Coming straight here from DC will be difficult for them.”
It’s hard to imagine the Rapids’ line-up will be much different from the team that overwhelmed New York with a hat trick from makeshift striker Sanna Nyassi. Nyassi will line-up against his twin brother, Sainey, against the Revs.
Midfielder Jamie Smith, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, is a game-time decision while left backs Anthony Wallace and Danny Earls are still not seen as fit enough to be considered. Gary Smith, Colorado’s head coach, has also emphasized that Macoumba Kandji is at least a week away from being in his plans as he battles back from his long-term ACL injury.
When asked if any of the starters are likely to be rested for the game, Smith said it would be hard to keep them from the pitch after one of the best team performances of the year against New York.
“I’m not sure any of them will want to sit on the touchline anyway,” Smith said. “When you are winning games and you are feeling confident, you want to play. I don’t suspect there will be too many of them that will want to be omitted from the weekend’s events and they know that, if they can earn themselves three points, they will have had a good week.”
Striker Caleb Folan, who came off the bench midweek, said another victory for the Rapids tomorrow will put the Seattle game firmly behind them and give them the opportunity to be in the playoff mix.
“I think we needed the win after the Seattle game — we kind of threw that away in all honesty,” he told MLSsoccer.com. “What a great way to bounce back to beat New York like that and it gives us great confidence. Our home form is looking pretty good at the moment and we have another one on Saturday, so, if we can apply that, we should be good to go and get right back in it.”