Rapids move forward on title defense

[MLS PLAYOFFS] The Colorado Rapids' hopes of becoming the third team in MLS's 16-year history to win back-to-back titles remain alive thanks to a 1-0 win over Columbus on an Omar Cummings goal in Thursday’s wild-card game.

D.C. United, which won the first two MLS titles, in 1996 and 1997, and the Houston Dynamo (2006-07) are the only teams to have won two straight titles.

The Rapids finished fifth in the Western Conference (same as in 2010) and entered the 10-team postseason field as the eighth seed. But they also finished the 2011 season with a 9-game unbeaten streak at home. In freezing Colorado weather, 7,803 watched as the Rapids knocked out Columbus with Cummings' goal in first-half stoppage time, set up by a pass from Kosuke Kimura.

The Rapids outshot the Crew 16-6. Last year, the Rapids beat the Crew in a PK tiebreaker in the quarterfinals (conference semifinals).

Cummings’ gamewinner …

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