Preview: Caps - Rapids, Season Finale

Y.P. Lee: hanging up the cleats after an illustrious career in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the MLS. - Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Spor

In the wake of the Vancouver Whitecaps' elimination from MLS playoff contention, and shortly thereafter the club's Player Awards announcements, a number of us seem to have been overwhelmed by the emotion of the moment and lost our minds.

Let's get this straight right now: Joe Cannon's not starting in goal - he won't even be in the gameday selection. If he is, I'll consider getting "Joe Cannon rules" inked on my butt.

To be sure, it'll be an emotional match this weekend versus the Colorado Rapids in the back half of away and home series to close out the 2013 season: Young-Pyo Lee is playing his final match as a Whitecap and as a professional footballer, Cannon won't be back in a Vancouver jersey anymore, and who knows if we'll see team captain Jay DeMerit or Kenny Miller in 2014? Then there's the nasty business of wanting to settle the score with Colorado after they dispatched the Caps from the playoff picture.

That covers both sentimentality and anger. Now, a little about fear.

Martin Rennie's on the hot seat. He knows it, and despite the rainbows, butterflies, and unicorns that populate his post-match rhetoric, he's looking over his shoulder. At this point, with his team eliminated from the playoffs, a Cascadia Cup and a two-point improvement over last year may well not be enough to see him keep his job. There's no way I can foresee Martin Rennie approaching this match as anything other than a match he absolutely needs three points out of - and even that might not suffice.

It's definitely not a mean-nothing game for the Whitecaps, and for the Rapids it might not be do-or-die, but there's still plenty at stake.

Colorado can rest relatively easy, knowing that San Jose can bump them only if: the Rapids lose, the Quakes win, and... oh  yeah, somehow manage to beat Dallas by at least 13 goals. I'll stick my neck out, and say Colorado's in. Still, with home field advantage for the play-ins up for grabs between Colorado and Seattle, Oscar Pareja can't afford to just field a "B" team, or can he? After all, It worked for Real Salt Lake.

All this preamble, and I'm still not sure who Martin Rennie's going to suit up. As always, it's guesswork. For what it's worth, here's how I see it:

Ousted: Lee, O'Brien, DeMerit, Adekugbe (Harvey suspended); Reo-C., Davidson, Koffie, Kobayashi, Manneh, Camilo.

I suspect that Reo-C may be heavily occupied with covering Lee in trying to neutralize Deshorn Brown, and that it may even come down to swapping positions - perhaps even giving Lee an opportunity to pick up an assist in his final match. Look too for Koffie to be doing much the same over on the left to help out the new kid on the block, Adekugbe.

I can see a draw out of this one. Naturally, I'd be happier to see the Caps close out with a win, but form and fortune tell me to expect a 1-1 draw. Not great, not horrendous...kinda like the Whitecaps' season this year.

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