Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Collin and Sapong provide lift
by Paul Kennedy, November 3rd, 2011 12:04AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  colorado rapids, mls, sporting kansas city

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS PLAYOFFS: Sporting KC-Colorado] First-year players Aurelien Collin and C.J. Sapong were the unlikely heroes of the second leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals for Sporting Kansas City with the goals that clinched a second 2-0 victory over the defending champion Colorado Rapids and moved it into Sunday's conference final.

COLLIN'S CONTRIBUTIONS. Of the dozen Frenchmen who played in MLS this season, 25-year-old Aurelien Collin could be the only one still playing on Sunday. Although born and raised in France, he has spent his entire professional career abroad, playing in Scotland, Greece, Wales and Portugal before joining Sporting Kansas City in April. He has been an important addition to SKC's backline, allowing Julio Cesar to move into midfield. The Frenchie's offensive contributions can't be forgotten. He had three goals in the regular season and got free to score on a header to put SKC ahead in Wednesday's second leg.

SAPONG SHOWS WORTH. SKC coach Peter Vermes started the same 11 players who started Sunday's first leg in Colorado. Mexican star Omar Bravo did not play in the first leg after suffering a slight groin injury in practice on Saturday, and Vermes did not risk him the return game. The 10th pick in the 2011 SuperDraft out of James Madison, C.J. Sapong played every game in the regular season, scoring five goals and five assists, and again started in the second game. He showed his worth in the return leg, scoring the second goal.

INJURY CRISIS. Colorado never had a chance. No team has suffered such a rash of injuries in the playoffs as the Rapids have. They lost Jamie Smith (torn right ACL) in the wild-card game against Columbus and striker Caleb Forlan (sprained knee and ankle) and defenders Kosuke Kimura (broken foot) and Drew Moor (separated shoulder) in the first leg of the conference semifinals against Sporting KC. Besides Smith, Kimura and Moor, the Rapids were without three other starters from the MLS Cup 2010 championship team: Conor Casey (out with torn Achilles' tendon since July), Anthony Wallace (out with a knee injury since August) and Pablo Mastroeni (concussion suffered in October).

CHAMPIONS EXIT EARLY. For the fourth season in a row, the MLS defending champion fell in the conference semifinals. Before Colorado, Real Salt Lake lost to FC Dallas in 2010, Columbus fell to Real Salt Lake in 2009 and Houston lost to New York in 2008. Not since the Dynamo in 2007 has an MLS champion repeated. The only other club to repeat was D.C. United in 2006-07.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
The Good, the Bad and -- holiday greeting cards    
Europe in a nutshell: A goal of the month volley from Italy, a dive of the ...
Gall and Gooch lead U.S. U-20s past Honduras    
The U.S. under-20 national team wrapped up its trip to San Pedro Sula with a second ...
Brazil captures women's tourney ahead of USA    
Brazil won the Torneio Internacional da Brasilia when it tied the USA, 0-0, before 11,000 fans ...
Diego Lopez returns to Rapids as director of soccer    
Claudio Lopez, who played for Argentina in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, has returned to ...
What They're Saying: Tim Howard    
"I think the MLS have probably made their own problem. New York is owned by Manchester ...
Video Pick: A keeper gaffe for the ages     
The record will show that Lierse defender Arjan Swinkels scored an own goal in Saturday's 6-0 ...
U.S. Abroad: Weekend Hot (and Cold) List    
Brad Guzan made eight saves as 10-man Aston Villa earned a 1-1 tie with Manchester United. ...
Three takeaways from Liverpool-Arsenal    
Energetic attacking and sloppy defending in their 2-2 tie Sunday illustrated why Arsenal and Liverpool are ...
Three takeaways from Club World Cup    
Real Madrid's winning streak is now 22 games following its 2-0 win over San Lorenzo of ...
U.S. U-18s split two-game series with Germany    
The U.S. under-18 men's national team dropped a 3-2 decision to Germany's U-18s to finish with ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives