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Rapids’ leading scorer doubtful for first leg

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Shkëlzen Gashi suffered an ankle injury after scoring equalizing goal in last round vs. Galaxy.

MLS: Playoffs-Los Angeles Galaxy at Colorado Rapids Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Already without Tim Howard for the remainder of the MLS Cup Playoffs, the Colorado Rapids could also be missing their leading scorer for at least the next match. An ankle injury sustained in a collision with Ashley Cole forced Shkëlzen Gashi out from the Rapids’ second leg of the Western Conference semifinals and it appears as if he’s still not healed.

The Rapids’ biggest weakness this year has been an offense that has managed just 40 goals through 36 matches, the second lowest total in MLS. Gashi has been, by far, their most dynamic attacking player.

His 10 goals — including his stunning strike against the Galaxy — are four more than any other player on the team, and his four assists are more than all but one player. Gashi also has 19 more shots, including twice as many shots on goal, as any other Rapid.

The Rapids have a variety of options if Gashi is out, but Marlon Hairston seems the most likely player to enter the starting lineup. Hairston has been a starter at various times this year and has compiled three goals and six assists in just 1,272 minutes.