COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – After the epic penalty-kick shootout victory over the Columbus Crew in the Eastern Conference semifinal, it seemed the Colorado Rapids had found the perfect lineup that would go into the Eastern Conference Championship against the San Jose Earthquakes last weekend.
And then Jamie Smith’s name wasn’t on the list. He wasn’t even on the bench.
Smith had survived all 120 minutes of play in the second leg against the Crew after missing the first leg with a tight hamstring. Leading up to the match against the Quakes, Smith had professed himself tired but ready to go.
[inline_node:302668]Just shortly before kickoff, however, a tight left calf picked up during training late Friday reared its ugly head, and Smith volunteered to step down in favor of someone who was 100 percent.
With five days left before MLS Cup, there are still doubts about whether the Scottish midfielder, who leads the team in assists, will be available for the big game.
Smith was due to have extra work with the Rapids’ fitness team when the team trained on Tuesday. Colorado will have another training session at home Wednesday before flying to Toronto on Thursday.
Despite his physical woes this season, Smith has enjoyed a far more productive time in 2010 than his debut season last year, when he suffered a season-ending injury not long after joining the club midway through the year.
This season, Smith has started 17 of 23 games he has played. He has tallied eight assists and notched his debut goal for the Rapids in their 3-0 victory over Houston on Aug. 28.
Other than Smith, Colorado are looking fully fit ahead of MLS Cup Sunday night in Toronto, where they will face FC Dallas (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, Galavisión).