MLSsoccer.com's editors are somewhat split in their predictions for the Eastern Conference Championship (Saturday, 9:30 pm ET, FSC/Fox Deportes). But Colorado winds up with a slight edge.
Simon Borg, senior content producer
Just because they beat New York at Red Bull Arena does not mean that San Jose can compete with what Colorado has to throw at them. The Rapids' Cummings & Casey combo will exploit a decimated Earthquakes defense. The only question here is by how many goals will Colorado win? Winner: COL.
Fidencio Enriquez, new media editor
I expect both Colorado and San Jose to come out firing from the start. The Rapids will be focusing on Chris Wondolowski, so someone needs to step up for San Jose the way Bobby Convey did against New York. The Rapids must handle the pressure from San Jose better than they did against Columbus, and they'll need Omar Cummings to run the counter. Winner: SJ
Edgar Acero, associate editor, FutbolMLS.com
Colorado should be able to win against San Jose. Both team are equally good, so the deciding factor will be the altitude, the crowd and the weather. That said, it won't be a walk in the park, as it'll be a very close game. I could see it going to PKs. Winner: COL
Shawn Francis, MLS Insider
Snow fell in Commerce City earlier this week, but the sun shined on Friday. But the weather will be much less a factor in a Rapids win than the goal-scoring prowess of Cummings and Casey. Winner: COL
Jason Saghini, ExtraTime Radio host
How long can the Wondolowski magic work? Quakes fans are hoping for at least one more week and a trip to MLS Cup, but Gary Smith has been pulling the right strings for the Rapids and he has the horses to get to Toronto. Winner: COL
Jonah Freedman, managing editor
San Jose cannot go down early – they were winless in eight games this year when trailing at the half. If they stay in it – and contain the Rapids' two-headed monster – I like their chances. Besides, they're due some shootout karma after falling to RSL on penalties in the US Open Cup. Winner: SJ
Dan Haiek, video editor
Conference championship games are typically tight and conservative affairs, but I expect both of these matches to buck the trend. Cummings and Casey’s red-hot form continues, so COL are primed to score early and often. On the other side, SJ have little to lose having already exceeded expectations, and they are never afraid to get forward on the road. Winner: COL
Greg Lalas, editor in chief
The Rapids' C&C goal factory is, at this point, reaching mythic proportions. But there's plenty of reality there, too. As strong as Jon Busch has been of late, the Quakes don't have the defensive solidity to deal with Casey and Cummings. And, though often overlooked, Colorado's defense has a workable bend-but-don't-break ethic that may not stop Wondo, but it'll contain all the talent around him. Winner: COL
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