The Colorado Rapids have to win two more games in order to claim themselves the winners of the MLS Cup, the obvious final step will be the finals in Toronto but to get there they will have to get through the San Jose Earthquakes at home tonight at 7 p.m. MT in the Eastern Conference Finals. That's right, the Eastern Conference Finals. Gotta love the MLS Playoff system.
Colorado is led by not only one of the stingiest defenses in the entire league but one of the most powerful offenses, topped with the best striker duo in MLS, Conor Casey and Omar Cummings. Between the two of them, they scored 27 goals together which is only one goal more than the defense allowed all season long. Matt Pickens has also had a career year in goal, being the hero on the rare occasion that the defense has slipped.
San Jose's team is basically the Chris Wondolowski Show. The golden boot winner had 19 goals to lead his team by an incredibly wide margin. While there aren't any other pure goal scorers on that team - although DP Giovanni was brought in to try and help - most of them are very good and getting the ball to Wondolowski which this season has really been the only thing they've needed to do. Their back four has been hit hard by injuries with the left back situation being the most dire. Jon Busch in goal has been a rock for them, winning several games all by himself ala Kevin Hartman in Dallas.
Colorado and San Jose both got the win at home in their two games this season by 1-0 finals. Chris Wondolowski scored a late winner for the Quakes at Buck Shaw stadium and a Jon Busch own goal gave the Rapids the win at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Considering both of these team's coaches said during a pre-game press conference that they were looking to play attacking football, we may see more than just a single goal out of this one. Over at Burgundy Wave my personal prediction was 2-1 Rapids.
Snow is forecast for tonight in Commerce City, which should only add to the home field advantage in Colorado. How often do they get blizzards during their games out by the bay? Colorado has only lost two games at home this season, against the LA Galaxy and DC United. If they can keep that total to two today, they will have a trip to Toronto in the works.