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Rapids face Revs needing a boost

July 22, 2011 | 8:28 am No comments
By Shaun Schafer

New York Red Bulls Tim ream just can't stop Colorado Rapids Sanna Nyassi as he shoots pass New York Red Bulls goalie Frank Rost, not once but three times during the game Wednesday night, July 20, at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids crushed the Red Bulls 4-1. (Photograph by Jessica Taves/ColoradoSoccerNow.com)

Wednesday night’s offensive explosion could not have come at a better time for the Colorado Rapids. The team needed a home win and it needed to improve its playoff position. Now it’s more of the same for Saturday.

Fresh off a 4-1 win over the then Eastern Conference-leading New York Red Bulls, the Rapids players now have to turn their attention to another visitor from the East, the New England Revolution. New England makes its only visit of the seaon to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Lone Win: The Revs have been abysmal on the road (1-6-3), but the team is coming off its first road win of the season, a 1-0 Wednesday victory at D.C. United. While the Rapids can relish Wednesday’s hat trick from Sanna Nyassi, the outpouring only improved the home record to a tepid 4-2-5.

So, for the sake of playoff positioning and keeping the home fans burning, the Rapids need three points from the Revs on Saturday. Standing it the team’s way will be Revolution stalwarts Matt Reis and Shalrie Joseph.

Reis is back on form and delivered crisp goalkeeping in holding D.C. at bay. He’s keeping a mediocre backline from giving away games. Joseph continues to be a leader and a pest. He’s the sort of player who gets under an opponent’s skin, and then has enough skill to do something about it. From his midfield spot, he props up the defense and propels the offense. He makes New England go.

Another Nyassi: New England also injected some speed in the second half against D.C. by bringing on Sainey Nyassi, the twin brother of Colorado’s Sanna.

Surgery Success: Although he is gone for the season, the Rapids did have some good news on Conor Casey. Before Wednesday’s game he underwent successful surgery on his left Achilles tendon. Casey suffered the injury in the 38th minute of a 4-3 loss to the Seattle Sounders. Coach Gary Smith pointed to the temporary field in Seattle as being culpable in Casey’s injury.

Worthy Venture?: The temporary field was brought on to allow Seattle to host plastic grass-hating Manchester United in a friendly on Wednesday. ManU won that match 7-0.

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