COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – After a long, hot summer of disappointment, things may finally be breaking good for the Colorado Rapids ahead of Saturday night's showdown against FC Dallas (9 pm ET, watch LIVE online) at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
The Rapids are getting healthy and are coming off their best result in months — a surprise 3-1 win over Isidro Metapán in El Salvador. It's a boost they needed.
“What we wanted to do was bring back some energy into practice and this win will do that,” Omar Cummings, the scorer of the third goal Wednesday, told MLSsoccer.com. “These big games are the type of games we can really get up for.”
The Rapids, whose first team mostly skipped the trip to El Salvador along with coach Gary Smith to prepare for the Dallas game, will be close to full strength, save for long-term injury concerns Conor Casey and Anthony Wallace.
While Smith has said that many of the El Salvador group would only be considered as substitutes, there could well be starting place for Macoumba Kandji up top as the Senegalese forward only came on in the dying seconds on Wednesday. Cummings, who played the last 20 minutes midweek, may well be kept on the bench to be brought on after the half.
If it works, it'll be the first time in a while, as the defending MLS Cup champions have not won in MLS play since August 13.
Smith defended his choice to stay behind in Denver and prepare for Saturday’s all important game. And if the Rapids win, the controversial move will have paid off.
“My job is to bring some stimulus to offer the opportunity at the weekend to be at our best, and it’s not an easy time to rejuvenate the group,” he told MLSsoccer.com. “This group [in CCL] have had that to focus on this week, while the group that was left behind will now be helped by [the result] to hopefully get the job done at the weekend.”