Here are previews from the league:
Colorado Rapids at Columbus Crew, 1 p.m. ET (TeleFutura)In his 13th MLS season and his 24th game in the MLS Cup Playoffs, Pablo Mastroeni scored his first postseason goal to give the Rapids the 1-0 win in the first leg last Thursday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.For a second consecutive season, the Crew have opened the MLS Cup Playoffs with a 1-0 loss in the Rocky Mountains. Last year, after losing 1-0 at Real Salt Lake, the Crew opened their home leg with two goals, before losing 3-2 to the eventual MLS Cup champions.A year ago, Crew head coach Robert Warzycha made headlines when he started playmaker Guillermo Barros Schelotto on the bench for the first leg at RSL. In the first leg in Colorado, Schelotto was in the starting lineup, but Warzycha replaced Schelotto and Steven Lenhart with Jason Garey and Andres Mendoza midway through the second half.The Crew will likely be without forward Emilio Renteria for the second leg after he underwent knee surgery. The Crew learned before the first leg that Danny O’Rourke will also be out for the remainder of the season.The Rapids haven’t won in Columbus since a 2-1 win June 26, 2004. The Crew are 4-0-2 at home vs. Colorado since, including a 3-1 win at Crew Stadium on Aug. 21 this year. FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake, 7 p.m. (FSC/Fox Deportes)Real Salt Lake had last lost to an MLS opponent on July 17 – a 2-0 loss at FC Dallas – before losing the first leg at Pizza Hut Park. RSL is now 0-9-0 all-time on the road in Dallas.Both teams will face some lineup issues for the second leg. Before the match, U.S. international fullback Heath Pearce suffered a hamstring strain, and will not likely be back. During the match, forward Milton Rodriguez suffered an adductor strain and was replaced by Jeff Cunningham – who scored the equalizing goal just before halftime.FC Dallas will also be without Atiba Harris, sent off late in the match.RSL will be without playmaker Javier Morales, who received a second yellow card midway through the second half. Morales did not start five league games for Real this season, the club going 2-2-1 in those games. Real did not have a player sent off in the regular season.Real Salt Lake have not lost at Rio Tinto Stadium in 29 games in all competitions, including their last 25 in MLS regular season play and a 1-0 win against Columbus in an Eastern Conference Semifinal Series a year ago.Real defeated FC Dallas 2-0 on Oct. 16 at Rio Tinto Stadium, with second-half goals from Ned Grabavoy and Javier Morales.