Columbus will look to kick off the 2012 season by gaining a small measure of revenge against the team that knocked it out of the last two postseasons.
Colorado Rapids (4-3-3): Pickens; Kimura, Wynne, Moor, Palguta; Mullan, Larentowicz, Mastroeni; Castrilon, Cummings, Amarikwa.
OUT: FW Conor Casey (L achilles tear); MF Jamie Smith (R ACL tear); DF Anthony Wallace (L achilles tear)
DOUBTFUL: DF Hunter Freeman (R ankle arthroscopy)
|Columbus Crew (4-4-2): Gruenebaum; Miranda, Gehrig, Marshall, Francis; Finlay, Tchani, Mirosevic, Duka; Vargas, Renteria.||
OUT: DF Rich Balchan (sports hernia surgery); FW Ben Speas (sports hernia surgery); DF Julius James (shoulder surgery); Carlos Mendes (hamstring)
DOUBTFUL: Eddie Gaven (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: FW Justin Meram (R ankle sprain); GK William Hesmer (R ankle sprain); MF Cole Grossman (R hamstring strain)
||DID YOU KNOW?|
This match will mark the debut of Oscar Pareja as head coach of the Rapids. Gary Smith and the club parted ways after last season.
- The Crew have been eliminated from the MLS playoffs at the hands of Colorado the past two seasons.
- Rapids defender Anthony Wallace suffered a torn Achilles tendon during practice on Sunday, and is expected to miss six to nine months.
- The teams split regular-season results last season. The Crew won 4-1 on June 26 and the Rapids responded on Aug. 5 with a 2-0 home win.
- Pareja is switching the Rapids from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3 formation.
- The Crew added two Homegrown Players this offseason: Goalkeeper Matt Lampson from Ohio State and forward Ben Speas from the University of North Carolina.