Smith: Colorado can't look beyond Columbus

Rapids would make grave mistake by not focusing on tough Crew

Game Shots: Colorado Rapids vs. Columbus Crew

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COLUMBUS – Judging by Twitter feeds soon after San Jose’s victory over New York last night, Colorado Rapids fans are already excited about an Eastern Conference final next weekend in Commerce City.

There’s only one problem with that: A crucial away game in Columbus against a pumped-up Crew team eager to overturn a 1-0 deficit and have their own conference final at home. The Eastern Conference semifinal series finale kicks off Saturday (4 p.m. ET, TeleFutura).

Rapids head coach Gary Smith has been urging his players and staff not to look ahead too far and to just concentrate on the game.

“If either team looks beyond Saturday’s game, they are making a grave mistake,” he told MLSsoccer.com. “We have a very talented team in front of us who are very capable of getting the job done. So looking beyond either team here might well be the difference between who goes through.”

The Rapids players trained lightly Friday morning at the Crew facilities just outside downtown Columbus in Obetz. Smith looks as if he has a full complement of players from which to choose, including wide midfielder Jamie Smith, who missed last week’s playoff game in Colorado.

“Everyone’s gearing up for this game,” Conor Casey told MLSsoccer.com. “We are feeling very confident.”

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