It’s the last game of the year for the Houston Dynamo who take on the Colorado Rapids who hope to best Houston in Colorado and take the Supporter’s Shield. The Dynamo last played Colorado back in Houston not too many weeks ago and lost 3-2 so the Dynamo could look to play spoiler by finishing the season on a high note.
We discussed a few minor points about each side in our preview of the match, but we wanted to know more about our Rocky Mountain opponents so we spoke with John Patrick Rosch to get the scoop on how his team turned things around from last season.
Dynamo Theory: With the Supporter Shield potentially on the line, how will the Rapids approach this game given the playoffs around the corner? Also, how closely will Rapids fans be monitoring the FC Dallas/LA Galaxy match which impacts the race for the Shield?
Burgundy Wave: **I think the Rapids will go all in this match and attempt to defeat the Dynamo. They have the benefit of not playing for a week and will come into the Dynamo match feeling like they should have gotten points against the Timbers last week.
And there is that little thing of finishing the regular season undefeated at home.
So yes, the Rapids will be expecting nothing more than three points. However, I do not think they will be that focused on what the Galaxy and the Hoops are doing. To be honest, this season has been so magical that the club is not that concerned about what happens in that match. If it is meant to be, it is meant to be. And it would be disrespectful and unprofessional to the Dynamo to scoreboard watch.
But supporters: I imagine we will be laser focused on both games.
DT: Who is the opponent you’d like to see most in the playoffs? Least?
BW: For sure, if they get in, would be Real Salt Lake. The chance to play our biggest rivals in the playoffs would be absolutely epic and something that both teams would embrace. The Rocky Mountain Cup is one of the most underappreciated rivalries in Major League Soccer and to get one over on RSL would be wonderful.
As for least, I still worry about Seattle and LA. Both teams have the ability to go on a run and in the MLS playoffs, that's all you really need. They feature solid attacks that can be dangerous and have goalkeeping that can carry a team.
All of that being said, and this is a cliche, it doesn't really matter: the Rapids are confident that they can be successful against any team they may face.
DT: The Rapids have turned their fortunes around greatly since last season. Last year the Rapids finished 2nd to last overall (worst in the West) and this season they have a chance at the Supporter’s Shield. What advice can you give to Dynamo fans at home that are already looking at next season?
BW: I would say: this is MLS, and anything can happen. The parity in the league means that any team can make that run and get back to the playoffs. And even a team that has been as dysfunctional as the Rapids has a legit shot at MLS Cup. And if the Rapids can do it, anyone can.
Projected Lineup: Tim Howard, Marc Burch, Axel Sjoberg, Bobby Burling, Eric Miller, Sam Cronin, Dillon Powers, Shkelzen Gashi, Kevin Doyle, Sebastian LeToux, Dominique Badji (but don't be shocked to see Jermaine Jones on Sunday)
Predicted Outcome: Colorado Rapids 3:0 Houston Dynamo
For my answers to John’s questions check them out at Burgundy Wave!