Rapids vs. Chivas Showdown On Tap for SaturdayThe

Rapids vs. Chivas Showdown On Tap for SaturdayThe Rapids and Chivas USA are Currently Tied for 3rd Place in the Western Conference; Preview of Saturday's Huge Match-Up and Viewing Party DetailsDENVER (ColoradoRapids.com) - The Rapids currently tied with Chivas USA in third place in the Western Conference travel to the Home Depot Center to take on Chivas this Saturday Sept. 23. Kickoff is at 8:00pm MT. This the final of 4 regular-season meetings of 2006 for the 2 clubs and the last time they met it resulted in a 3-3 draw at Invesco Field on July 20. Colorado are 3-1-3 all-time against Chivas and are 2-1-0 against them at the Home Depot Center.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. This match will only be broadcast on the MLS Direct Kick subscription package 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.The Rapids look forward to seeing fans at the British Bulldog Saturday night for the viewing party! Rapids at Chivas USA Viewing Party Details: WHEN: Saturday Sept. 23. Kickoff is at 8:00pm MT live on MLS Direct Kick! The British Bulldog is one of the few places in town who subscribe to the Direct Kick package so make sure you get there early to reserve your spot!WHERE: The British Bulldog located at 2052 Stout Street in Denver (Broadway and Stout are the cross streets). Phone: 303-295-7974. COST: Free to attend for fans of all ages! The Colorado Rapids look forward to seeing all fans out at the British Bulldog for the game on Saturday!CHIVAS USA v COLORADO RAPIDS MATCH PREVIEWBy MLSNet.comColorado Rapids at Chivas The Home Depot Center Carson CA 8:30 p.m. MT TV: MLS Direct Kick PackageSept. 23 2006 (WEEK 26) / MLS Game #174A game with massive implications is ahead at The Home Depot Center where the two teams tied for third place in the Western Conference face off. Chivas USA and the Colorado Rapids are both currently holding on to playoff spots but a victory by either team - and by Real Salt Lake in Dallas - and suddenly the loser will find itself back into a tie for the last spot. A triumph could also propel the victor past Houston Dynamo into second place in the division (with a Columbus Crew victory at home) and possibly six points clear of the drop zone with just three matches to play. REFEREE: Richard Heron. SAR (bench): Fabio Tovar; JAR (opposite): Chris Strickland; 4th: Ramon HernandezMLS Career: 39 games; FC/gm: 33.9; Y/gm: 2.7; R: 9; pens: 10 MLS 2006: 2 games; FC/gm: 31.5 (avg: 28.8); Y/gm: 0.5 (avg: 3.66); R: 0 (MLS: 38); pens: 0 (MLS: 35)Games involving Chivas USA: P1 W0 L0 T1; FC/gm: 32.0; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 0; pens: 0Games involving Rapids: P11 W8 L2 T1; FC/gm: 35.6; Y/gm: 3.1; R: 3; pens: 6 INJURY REPORT: CHIVAS USA - OUT: FW Juan Francisco Palencia (R knee sprain); MF Mike Muñoz (R ankle surgery) MF Ramón Ramírez (L knee MCL surgery) FW Estuardo Sánchez (L foot surgery); DF Eder Robles (R MCL sprain); DOUBTFUL: MF John O'Brien (R patella tendonitis) ...COLORADO RAPIDS - OUT: MF Terry Cooke (L knee); MF Alain Nkong (R knee); MF Matt Crawford (R hip strain); PROBABLE: FW Fabrice Noel (R hamstring strain) SUSPENDED: CHV: Tim Regan (through Sept. 23) WARNINGS: SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CHV: Jason Hernandez Sacha Kljestan Carlos Llamosa Francisco Mendoza Lawson Vaughn ... COL: Kyle Beckerman Jovan Kirovski Pablo Mastroeni Thiago Martins Clint Mathis Mike Petke INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEADALL-TIME (7 meetings): Chivas USA 1 win (0 shootout) 12 goals ...Rapids 3 wins (0 shootout) 14 goals ... 3 draws IN CARSON (3 meetings): Chivas USA 1 win (0 shootout) 6 goals ... Rapids 2 wins (0 shootout) 7 goals ... 0 draws This is the fourth of four meetings between the teams this season the second of two on Victoria Street. A year ago the Rapids took three of the four meetings between the club in Chivas USA's inaugural season with the fourth match ending in a draw. Coaches' records: Bob Bradley v COL: P26 W12 L9 D5 ... Fernando Clavijo vs. CHV: P7 W3 L1 D3 2006 Results (MLS)6/3: CHV 4 COL 1 (own goal 6; Razov 24; Mendoza 76; Palencia 85 - Ben Dayan 31)6/21: COL 1 CHV 1 (Ben-Dayan 58 - Garcia 10)7/20: COL 3 CHV 3 (Ben-Dayan 10; Mathis 67; Peterson 90 - Palencia 9; Bornstein 74 90)Chivas USA won the first meeting 4-1 on June 3 at The Home Depot Center. Less than three weeks later they played to a 1-1 draw in Denver then playing to a 3-3 draw barely a month later also in the Mile High City. In the first meeting bad luck struck the visitors after just six minutes when Rapids defender Mike Petke turned a ball into the back of his own net. Then in the 24th minute Ante Razov scored his 90th career MLS goal to double the Chivas lead ripping home a low drive after he was set free down the right flank by Juan Pablo Garcia. Colorado pegged Chivas back seven minutes later when Dedi Ben-Dayan jammed home a low shot inside Preston Burpo's left-hand post. But Chivas finally put the game away with a pair of goals inside the final quarter-hour. A neat combination saw the ball end up with Francisco Mendoza who gleefully punched the ball home. Nine minutes later Mendoza returned the favor splitting the Rapids defense with a through ball that Juan Francisco Palencia poked home. Chivas USA came away with their first point this season away from Carson hanging on for a 1-1 draw with the Rapids on June 21. 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. LAST MEETING The teams played to a wild 3-3 draw on July 21 at Invesco Field when they were again tied for third place in the Western Conference. It took Chivas just nine minutes to open the scoring. Juan Pablo Garcia took a shot from an angle that Rapids 'keeper Joe Cannon came off his line to parry but only into the path of Juan Francisco Palencia who chipped the rebound over Cannon and into the goal. But it took the Rapids just a minute to respond. Kyle Beckerman flicked on a long pass to Jovan Kirovski and he found Dedi Ben-Dayan with acres of space on the left. He had loads of time to slot his strike inside the far post for the leveler. The Rapids then took their turn at the lead after the break. Terry Cooke's cross from the right was flicked on by Ben-Dayan and Clint Mathis had the simplest of volley finishes into a gaping net (67). But Mike Petke was sent off just a minute later when he clattered into Francisco Mendoza in midfield -- his second booking -- and it took Chivas just six more minutes to pull level. Jonathan Bornstein -- a threat all night long as he was given the start in attack in place of the suspended Ante Razov -- finally hit home racing past one defender and cutting inside a second before coolly placing his shot past Cannon and inside the far post. Bornstein then completed his double and gave Chivas what looked to be the winner a minute into stoppage time. Taking a pass just outside the area he spun around defender Dan Gargan and ripped a blistering left-footed half-volley that Cannon couldn't get close to. But the Rapids weren't done and they again pulled level within a minute. Cooke remarkably flicked the ball over his own head to himself on the right flank and then hooked a cross across the top of the six where it was met by rookie Jacob Peterson who bundled the ball across the line for his second goal of the season. Here's Clavijo's team (4-4-2): Joe Cannon - Dan Gargan Aitor Karanka Mike Petke Eric Denton - Terry Cooke Kyle Beckerman Pablo Mastroeni Dedi Ben-Dayan (Jacob Peterson 79) - Nicolas Hernandez (Thiago Martins 56) Jovan Kirovski (Clint Mathis 56). [Substitutes Not Used: Bouna Coundoul Hunter Freeman Fabrice Noel Daniel Wasson] Here's Bradley's team (4-4-2): Preston Burpo - Tim Regan (Lawson Vaughn 65) Jason Hernandez Claudio Suarez Orlando Perez - Juan Pablo Garcia Sacha Kljestan Jesse Marsch Francisco Mendoza (Matt Taylor 75) - Jonathan Bornstein Juan Francisco Palencia. [Substitutes Not Used: Carlos Borja Rene Corona Brad Guzan Drew Helm Carlos Llamosa]CHIVAS USAChivas USA wrapped up their two-game Texas swing with a quality result extending their unbeaten streak to three games with a scoreless draw against Houston Dynamo after going down a man on Sunday evening at Robertson Stadium. Chivas now have 39 points from 28 matches are still tied for third place in the Western Conference with the Colorado Rapids still just a point behind Houston Dynamo while now three points ahead of Real Salt Lake in the race for the final playoff spot. LAST MATCH -Chivas USA were playing the second game on their Texas swing after defeating FC Dallas at midweek while Dynamo were back home after a five-game league road trip that saw them go 1-3-1. -Despite playing with a man advantage for the final half hour Chivas held on to grab a share of the points in the scoreless draw and stay within a point of second-place Dynamo. -Chivas were reduced to 10 men when defender Tim Regan receiving his second yellow card of the game in the 59th minute for a tackle from behind. Regan received his first yellow card in the 32nd minute after pushing Dynamo forward Alejandro Moreno. -Both teams put the ball in the net on the night each ruled out for offside. In the first half Ante Razov hit a stunning blast on the turn from outside the area but he was ruled to have come back from an offside position to collect the pass. -Then the home side seemed to have gotten a dramatic winner deep into second-half stoppage time. Dwayne De Rosario hooked in a cross from the left and Alejandro Moreno stooped to head it home under the bar but again the flag as Moreno and strike partner Brian Ching both appeared to be ahead of the last defender when the ball was struck. -Chivas USA head coach Bob Bradley made one change to the team that defeated FC Dallas 1-0 the previous Wednesday. Juan Francisco Palencia was out with a knee injury and so Sacha Kljestan returned to the lineup as Bradley readjusted his lines. -Here's Bradley's team (4-4-2): Brad Guzan - Tim Regan Carlos Llamosa Claudio Suarez (Jason Hernandez 68) Orlando Perez - Juan Pablo Garcia (Lawson Vaughn 63) Sacha Kljestan (Brent Whitfield 84) Jesse Marsch Francisco Mendoza - Jonathan Bornstein Ante Razov. [Substitutes Not Used: Preston Burpo Johnny Garcia Juan Francisco Palencia Matt Taylor] -"It took a very good effort by everybody to play down a man for 30 minutes. I think we stayed organized. I'm disappointed. The key was the mentality of the group and I think it's getting stronger Bradley said. TEAM NEWS -The draw in Houston followed a 1-0 victory at FC Dallas. Chivas now have just one loss since July 8. -"Four points on this road trip was very good by all the players. Our team continues to get confidence. The mentality continues to get stronger and I think we sensed that there are better things to come Bradley said. -It was also a potential preview of what's ahead for the Red-and-White. "It was a playoff atmosphere for sure -- I mean the intensity was there Jesse Marsch said. "It's getting that time of the year. Four points on a two-game road trip I think it's pretty darn good. We just now have to get ready to win some games at home." -Chivas will be without Francisco Palencia certainly through the remainder of the regular season with a sprained knee he suffered on Sept. 13 at FC Dallas. Bradley said he was hopeful to have Palencia back by the playoffs should the club qualify for the postseason. -"Ante's got to make some of the tough plays that Paco was making. Some of us old guys have got to pick up his leadership. Somebody has got to do more of the scoring and assisting Chivas midfielder Jesse Marsch said. "I think we've got the guys to do it. We'll move forward but it's not easy to replace him." -Palencia had just returned after missing three games with a hamstring injury when he went down with a knee injury at the end of the first half against FC Dallas last Wednesday. Without Palencia in the lineup Chivas actually did well. The club scored six goals in the three games he missed and won two of them. But Chivas has scored just two goals in the last four games and Palencia played in two of those games. -To replace Palencia in the lineup Chivas coach Bob Bradley is not limited in his choices. Jonathan Bornstein has filled in for Palencia before. So has Jesus Morales. Also moving Juan Pablo Garcia higher on the field is another possibility. If Bradley tinkers with the midfield newcomer Johnny Garcia might show his worth. -"That's possible. We're at a point in the season where we've got to have options Bradley said. "Johnny can help us in the back and in the midfield so his ability to help us tighten up the midfield at times and use Loco (Juan Pablo Garcia) and Johnny Bornstein pushed up a little more those are all things clearly we like to keep in mind." COLORADO RAPIDSThe Colorado Rapids went to The Home Depot Center and came away with a vital point playing to a scoreless draw with the Los Angeles Galaxy last Saturday evening. The Rapids remain tied with Chivas USA for third place in the Western Conference with 39 points from 28 matches both now three points ahead of Real Salt Lake in the race for the final playoff spot and still just a point behind second-place Houston Dynamo. LAST MATCH -The Galaxy were finishing a three-game homestand where they had split the first two games while the Rapids were beginning a three-game road swing that will see them play just once in Denver over their final five games. -Despite the necessity of taking the full three points the Galaxy struggled to break down the massed Colorado defense over the entire night. The home side put just three shots on goal for the contest none really testing Rapids goalkeeper Joe Cannon. -The best chances in the game fell to the Rapids. Thiago Martins shot weakly into Galaxy 'keeper Kevin Hartman from point-blank range in the opening half then Jacob Peterson put his clear header wide of the post midway through the second half. -Rapids head coach Fernando Clavijo made three changes to the team that defeated the Chicago Fire 1-0 at midweek. Dan Gargan returned to the lineup coming in for Matt Crawford in the back four. Alain Nkong was injured and Jovan Kirovski as Jacob Peterson and Clint Mathis both came back into the team. -Here's Clavijo's team (4-4-1-1): Joe Cannon - Dan Gargan Aitor Karanka Mike Petke Hunter Freeman - Jacob Peterson (Colin Clark 66) Kyle Beckerman Pablo Mastroeni Nicolas Hernandez - Clint Mathis (Daniel Wasson 92+) - Thiago Martins. [Substitutes Not Used: Bouna Coundoul Eric Denton Jovan Kirovski Fabrice Noel Chris Wingert] -"We knew that they needed to come out and dominate the game. So we came up with a good game plan and we came out with what we were looking for to make sure that we keep adding points Clavijo said. "We got to keep doing that. If we play this way we are going to get more points. I have no doubts whatsoever. I thought it was a total team effort." TEAM NEWS -For the moment the Rapids sit in a comfortable position. Nevertheless three of the Rapids' final four games will be played away from Invesco Field at Mile High. "It's always a hard challenge Clavijo said. "We need to come to play regardless of where we play and we need to show that we are capable that we are winning on the road." -The Rapids' challenging road to the playoffs made Saturday's result much more valuable Clavijo said. "Every point is important for us right now. We've got four more games so we need to keep adding he said. "We have to do our job." -Still if the Rapids can duplicate Saturday's effort in upcoming games Clavijo said he is confident the postseason will await. "I told our team that if we play this way we should be able to make it into the playoffs and not depend on anybody else he said. -The Rapids concluded the league season series unbeaten and unscored upon against the Galaxy getting three 1-0 victories and a scoreless draw. The Galaxy defeated the Rapids 3-1 in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals. -"We have a pretty good rivalry with the Galaxy and whether it is at our place or their place it is always a good game. They always come to play and with playmakers like Landon Donovan and Cobi Jones it is a testament to our defense when we shut them out said Dan Gargan. "When we play like we did today it is great defense from top to bottom." -It was a third shutout in four games for the Rapids - but defender Mike Petke said it was not so much that the Galaxy came out flat and listless as it was the Rapids' suffocating defense and hard work. -"Our motto was to get a point hopefully three but do not lose that point that we had already he said. "We worked hard frustrated them a lot didn't give them a lot of chances and we came out with a well-deserved point and a valuable one too. From Joe (Cannon) all the way up front we put in a solid performance tonight. Forget about playing well we worked our [butts] off every one of us."