Rapids Travel to Pizza Hut Park to Take on FC Dallas This Saturday Night

DENVER (ColoradoRapids.com) - The Rapids currently in third place in the West travel to the Lone Star state to take on FC Dallas this Saturday June 24. Kickoff is at 6:30pm MT.

This match will only be broadcast on HDNet so if you don't get it join other fans for the official Rapids Away Game Viewing Party at the British Bulldog to watch the game live in a great soccer atmosphere! The British Bulldog is located at Broadway and Stout streets in Denver.

This the second meeting of 2006 for the 2 clubs as they last met in a 2-2 draw on April 15 at Invesco Field. Colorado trails Dallas in the regular season all-time series 14-17-6 but have a 10-5-4 advantage in Denver and a 4-1-4 lead at INVESCO Field at Mile High. The playoffs are a different story as the two teams have matched up three times in the postseason with the Rapids advancing from all of those match-ups.

For the full match preview of Saturday's match including projected lineups the latest injury report miscellaneous game notes broadcast information head-to-head stats and more visit the Rapids MatchUp Page by CLICKING HERE.

The Rapids look forward to seeing fans at the British Bulldog Saturday night for the viewing party!

COLORADO RAPIDS AT FC DALLAS MATCH PREVIEW
By MLSnet.com

FC DALLAS v COLORADO RAPIDS
PIZZA HUT PARK Frisco Texas
8:30 p.m. MT
TV: HDNet
June 24 2006 (WEEK 13) / MLS Game #78

FC Dallas return to action after nearly a two-week layoff finishing off a three-game homestand having split the first two games. They rebounded to defeat Chivas USA in their last match after seeing their club-record home winning streak put to an end by Columbus. The Colorado Rapids are back on the road after two consecutive home games that saw them claim a win and a draw to consolidate their hold on third place in the Western Conference.

REFEREE: Jorge Gonzalez. SAR (bench): Paul Scott; JAR (opposite): Rob Fereday; 4th: Hilario Grajeda
MLS Career: 1 games; FC/gm: 31.0; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 0; pens: 0MLS 2006: 3 games; FC/gm: 31.0 (avg: 29.6); Y/gm: 3.0 (avg: 3.73); R: 0 (MLS: 9); pens: 0 (MLS: 17)
Games involving FC Dallas: first game
Games involving Rapids: P1 W1 L0 T0; FC/gm: 31.0; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 0; pens: 0

INJURY REPORT:
FC DALLAS - OUT: FW Abe Thompson (L foot stress fracture); DOUBTFUL: GK Jeff Cassar (R quadriceps tear); QUESTIONABLE: DF Clarence Goodson (concussion) ...
COLORADO RAPIDS - OUT: MF Matt Crawford (R hip)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES:
COL: Pablo Mastroeni (USA; 2006 World Cup)

SUSPENDED: none

WARNINGS: COL: Kyle Beckerman (suspended next yellow card)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (37 meetings): FC Dallas 17 wins (2 shootout) 63 goals ... Rapids 14 wins (1 shootout) 50 goals ... 6 draws
IN DALLAS: (18 meetings): FC Dallas 12 wins (2 shootout) 34 goals ...Rapids 4 wins (1 shootout) 18 goals ... 2 draws

This is the second of four meetings between the clubs this season the first of two in Frisco. They meet again in Frisco in the next encounter set for Aug. 5. The final league meeting is set for the Mile High City on Aug. 30.

FC Dallas won the season series last year winning once in each city with the other two meetings resulting in scoreless draws. The Hoops win came at the Cotton Bowl; their only league meeting at Pizza Hut Park ended without goals.

The teams then met in the Western Conference Semifinals last year with both matches ending in draws a scoreless draw in Denver in the first leg then a wild 2-2 draw after 120 minutes in the return match in Frisco. The Rapids then advanced to the conference championship on penalty kicks.

Coaches record:
Colin Clarke v COL: P10 W4 L1 D5 ...
Fernando Clavijo vs. DAL: P10 W2 L4 D4

LAST MEETING: 4/15: COL 2 DAL 2 (Kirovski 39; own goal 45 - Vanney 5; Mina 25)
- FC Dallas lost points for the first time on the season playing to a 2-2 draw with the Rapids in Denver on April 15. For the first time in the season the Hoops scored first a Greg Vanney free kick from some 25 yards whipped over the wall beating Rapids 'keeper Joe Cannon inside his left-hand post. It was Vanney's first goal since returning to MLS and joining FC Dallas in 2005.
-The Hoops doubled their lead on 25 minutes with a wonder goal from Roberto Mina. Running with the ball at pace on the right flank Mina unleashed a shot from 25 yards out that hit the underside of the bar and sailed to the back of the net on the near post leaving Cannon dumbfounded.
-But FC Dallas defender Clarence Goodson suffered through a nightmare over the remainder of the half as the Rapids pulled level. First he handled the ball in the area knocking down a long ball played over the Colorado attackers. Jovan Kirovski sent Dario Sala the wrong way from the spot (39) to pull a goal back.
-Then in first-half stoppage time Terry Cooke swung in a cross from the right and Goodson turned it into his own goal as he tried to clear gifting the Rapids the equalizer. As well earlier on Goodson had an apparent goal ruled out for offside.
-Here's Fernando Clavijo's team (4-3-1-2): Joe Cannon - Hunter Freeman Pablo Mastroeni Chris Wingert Eric Denton (Jacob Peterson 78) - Terry Cooke Kyle Beckerman Nicolas Hernandez - Jovan Kirovski - Fabrice Noel (Clint Mathis 59) Jean Philippe Peguero (Dedi Ben-Dayan 85). [Substitutes Not Used: Bouna Coundoul Dan Gargan Luchi Gonzalez Mike Petke]
-Here's Colin Clarke's team (4-1-4-1): Dario Sala - Bobby Rhine Greg Vanney Clarence Goodson Chris Gbandi - Simo Valakari - Kenny Cooper (Aaron Pitchkolan 74) Ronnie O'Brien Mark Wilson Arturo Alvarez (Ramon Nunez 46) - Roberto Mina (Abe Thompson 83). [Substitutes Not Used: Ray Burse Drew Moor Justin Moore David Wagenfuhr]

FC DALLAS
FC Dallas return to action after nearly two full weeks off in their last match winning for the fourth time in six games defeating Chivas USA 2-1 at home on June 11. FC Dallas still lead the Western Conference with 24 points from 12 matches three points ahead of Houston Dynamo in the division five points back of D.C. United in the MLS overall table.

LAST MATCH
-FC Dallas came off their first home loss in 12 games dating back to last August while Chivas USA were riding a three-game winning streak for the first time in club history.
-It was the home side that struck first through Carlos Ruiz as he flicked a Greg Vanney ball from the center circle around his marker and fired home from just outside the penalty area. His seventh consecutive game with a goal it matched the MLS record set previously by Raul Diaz Arce (1997 D.C. United) and Wolde Harris (2000 New England Revolution).
-Roberto Mina doubled the lead for the Hoops with eight minutes left to play. Ronnie O'Brien rolled a perfectly weighted pass from the right touchline inside the defender and Mina raced after it into the area poking it under the onrushing Preston Burpo in the Chivas goal.
-But the visitors leveled terms not a minute later as a long ball forward was knocked down by Matt Taylor on the edge of the area and Ante Razov powered home a low drive off the inside of the post and behind FCD 'keeper Dario Sala. It was Razov's third consecutive game with a goal with four goals in that time his league-leading ninth on the campaign.
-FC Dallas boss Colin Clarke made one change to the team that lost 2-1 to the Columbus Crew the weekend before at home. Arturo Alvarez returned to the starting lineup coming into to a wide midfield role in place of the injured Ramon Nuñez.
-Here's Clarke's team (4-4-2): Dario Sala - Bobby Rhine Drew Moor Greg Vanney Chris Gbandi - Ronnie O'Brien Richard Mulrooney Simo Valakari Arturo Alvarez (Roberto Mina 59) - Kenny Cooper (David Wagenfuhr 78) Carlos Ruiz (Aaron Pitchkolan 90). [Substitutes Not Used: Ray Burse Justin Moore Dominic Oduro Alex Yi]
-"It was a tough game the conditions were tough for both teams. I don't know what the temperature was but it was very hot. Both teams had some good stuff at times and both probably gave it up too much at times and it was hard to win the ball back said Clarke. "But we're very happy with the result. I thought that we deserved it and it's another good win."

TEAM NEWS
-Ruiz's goalscoring streak started May 6 in a 4-3 loss away to Houston. Since the streak began the Hoops have won four of the seven games with one draw. "I feel happy but I just want to win the championship with my team. We'll see if I can break another record but really all I want is to again be the champion of Major League Soccer he said.
-Another key to the recent resurgence by FC Dallas has been the return of Ronnie O'Brien to a wide right role in the midfield as Clarke has gone back to a 4-4-2 scheme over the last four matches.
-"I think I've been playing pretty decently O'Brien said. "I've had a couple of assists and feel like I have worked pretty hard out there. I'm quite happy with it. ... I think (on the right) that I know where I am. I don't have to worry so much about finding that space and in a way not worry about what other people are doing. I find in the middle that teams would close it up when I played in there. When I play wide they can't do that as much. There's always that five or 10 yards of space to get in there. I think I find it pretty well when I'm out there."
-Said Clarke: "I think he can play both (positions). I think he likes that freedom out there (on the right) where he can find space get in spaces and start making things happen. He loves to come inside get it into forwards run off with them and that's tough to defend. He loves to whip balls in and get crosses in. He works up and down the line and helps out defensively as well."
-The two-week layoff should allow some injured players to return for selection by Clarke. The Hoops manager said Nuñez should be again available as should Mark Wilson. Both returned to training late last week.
-"The break comes at a good time for us he said. "We'll get some of the people that are hurting a little bit back healthy. Ramon (Nunez) hopefully is back by the time that comes around. Abe Thompson will be a lot closer and (Jeff) Cassar too. We're going to need them come July since we have an awful lot of games. ... (Wilson) tweaked his groin a little bit Clarke said. "The break will do him good because he was looking sharp in training and pushing for a starting spot (before his injury)." Clarke said Thompson will likely be ready in July while Cassar could be available as soon as next week.
-On Wednesday the club released 23-year-old defender Marcos Charras. The Argentine joined FCD on April 29 and did not see any first team action playing in four reserve matches.

COLORADO RAPIDS
The Colorado Rapids maintained their grip on third place in the Western Conference coming back to earn a 1-1 draw at home with Chivas USA on Wednesday night in Denver. The Rapids have 18 points from 12 matches one ahead of Chivas USA with Houston Dynamo three points ahead in second place and FC Dallas six in front.

LAST MATCH
-Chivas USA headed to Colorado having won four of their last six games but with just one win in five "away" games -- that coming at their Home Depot Center home against the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Rapids meanwhile had lost just once in seven games in Denver.
-But it was the visitors who took the early lead. A searching ball from Francisco Mendoza found Ante Razov and he laid it square to Juan Pablo Garcia in the area. Garcia then stabbed an audacious chip that floated over Rapids 'keeper Joe Cannon into the upper left-hand corner (10).
-The Rapids pulled level though in the 58th minute. Eric Denton worked himself free in the left corner and pulled back a low cross from the byeline which Dedi Ben-Dayan turned home from inside the area for his third goal in the last four games.
-Rapids head coach Fernando Clavijo made one change to the team that defeated Real Salt Lake 1-0 in his club's last match 12 days earlier in Denver. Dedi Ben-Dayan came back into the team on the left side of midfield in place of Jacob Peterson.
-Here's Clavijo's team (4-3-1-2): Joe Cannon - Hunter Freeman Aitor Karanka Mike Petke Eric Denton - Terry Cooke Kyle Beckerman Dedi Ben-Dayan (Jacob Peterson 78) - Clint Mathis (Thiago Martins 61) - Nicolas Hernandez Jovan Kirovski. [Substitutes Not Used: Bouna Coundoul Dan Gargan Fabrice Noel Daniel Wasson Chris Wingert]
-"We just didn't start sharp enough and allowed them a goal Clavijo said. "We waited for the perfect pass the perfect touch the perfect through ball. I think sometimes you just need to aim and shoot and the deflection will help you. We tried to do everything pretty-pretty."

TEAM NEWS
-Clavijo was particularly aggrieved by his team's failure to score more than one goal despite outshooting Chivas 17-4 and winning 10 corner kicks to zero for Chivas USA.
-"We created a lot of chances but to win games you have to finish them Clavijo said. "We paid the price." Said winger Terry Cooke: "We're hesitant going forward and we're a better team when we go forward. In general we've got to work a lot more on set pieces. The delivery is going in."
-Clavijo said the 12-day layoff could have contributed to the Colorado performance. "How we start sometimes dictates how we play in the game and tonight we didn't start sharp enough. Our schedule is not the best around but we have to deal with the hand we are given he said. "We allowed the goal early and then we created chances lots of chances."
-Still the Colorado boss was looking at it as two points lost. "It was a bad point absolutely. After the two weeks off we didn't start like we wanted to. We were a little bit slow and sloppy he said. "We have to make sure we don't use games against a division rival like that. We gave up two points here and we have to make sure we get them on the road."
-Ben-Dayan now has three goals in the Rapids last four games - each of which he's started in. The only game he did not score in over that time he did not play in a 1-0 home win against Chivas USA.
-Ben-Dayan has also scored four of his seven career MLS goals against Chivas scoring in each game he's played against last year's expansion team. "I don't know it's by accident probably he said. "But I don't care (who I score against). If I score against Chivas 20 goals I will do it. The main point is to play good and to win with my team and to do better with my team.