Rolling Rapids Face Red Bulls in Lunchtime Match Friday

DENVER (ColoradoRapids.com) - The Colorado Rapids having just polished off 2 Eastern Conference teams in the last week (a 3-2 win over New England on July 4 and a 1-0 stoppage time win over Kansas City on July 8) roll into NYC to take on the Red Bulls in a rare noon-time match on Friday.

The Rapids are just 2 wins out of first place and will look to jump up the standings with a win against New York who have lost their last 3 games. This will be the first meeting between the 2 clubs this year; the last time they faced off was in a 1-1 tie on July 16 of 2005.

Join other fans for a special lunchtime away-game viewing party for this match! The Rapids are hosting the Official Away Game Viewing Party for this game at the British Bulldog located at Broadway and Stout Streets downtown. Kickoff is at noon and the game is only being broadcast on the MLS Direct Kick susbscription TV package so come watch it for free with other fans in a great soccer atmosphere! Arrive early to secure your seat and don't forget to wear your black and blue to the viewing party!

For the full match preview of the 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.

COLORADO RAPIDS AT NY RED BULLS MATCH PREVIEW
By MLSnet.com

NEW YORK RED BULLS v COLORADO RAPIDS
GIANTS STADIUM E. Rutherford N.J.
Kickoff: 12:00pm MT
TV: MLS Direct Kick Package
July 14 2006 (WEEK 16) / MLS Game #103

A rare midweek day game awaits the New York Red Bulls and Colorado Rapids with the two teams headed in opposite directions. The Red Bulls have lost three games in a row and have won just once since May 20 a span of nine games while settling at the foot of the Eastern Conference. The Rapids are riding a winning streak for the first time this season having won back-to-back contests (both at home) and have lost just twice over the past two months.

REFEREE: Jair Marrufo. SAR (bench): Craig Lowry; JAR (opposite): Chip Reed; 4th: Andrew Chapin
MLS Career: 43 games; FC/gm: 30.0; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 10; pens: 21
MLS 2006: 6 games; FC/gm: 25.2 (avg: 29.1); Y/gm: 2.5 (avg: 3.48); R: 0 (MLS: 12); pens: 2 (MLS: 19)
Games involving Red Bulls: P9 W3 L3 T3; FC/gm: 32.6; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 1; pens: 4
Games involving Rapids: P8 W2 L5 T1; FC/gm: 26.3; Y/gm: 2.9; R: 1; pens: 5

INJURY REPORT:
NEW YORK RED BULLS - OUT: GK Tony Meola (R foot/ankle bacterial infection); MF Mark Lisi (lower abdominal strain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Todd Dunivant (L quadriceps strain); PROBABLE: MF Peter Canero (L knee surgery)
COLORADO RAPIDS - OUT: MF Matt Crawford (R hip)

SUSPENDED: none

WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: NY: Jeff Parke Seth Stammler ... COL: Hunter Freeman; Mike Petke
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NY: Mike Magee ... COL: Kyle Beckerman

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (23 meetings): Red Bulls 11 wins (0 shootout) 37 goals ... Rapids 10 wins (0 shootout) 28 goals ... 2 draws
AT GIANTS STADIUM: (11 meetings): Red Bulls 6 wins (0 shootout) 22 goals ... Rapids 4 wins (0 shootout) 21 goals ... 1 draw

This is the first of two meetings between the teams the only one set for the Meadowlands. They are set to meet in Denver on Oct. 7.

LAST YEAR'S HEAD-TO-HEAD RESULTS (MLS)
4/30: COL 1 MET 3 (Cunningham 90 - Guevara 23 26 73)
7/16: MET 1 COL 1 (Razov 51 - Cunningham 60)

A year ago the teams met twice with the MetroStars winning 3-1 at Colorado and the teams playing to a 1-1 draw in New Jersey. The MetroStars' victory last season on April 30 snapped a three-game Rapids winning streak in the series between the clubs. The last Metro victory had come May 17 2003 (2-0) - also in the Mile High City.

Coaches record: Richie Williams v COL: first game ... Fernando Clavijo vs. NY: P10 W1 L7 D2

NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls lost for the third consecutive match and saw their winless streak extended to five matches falling 2-1 to FC Dallas on Saturday evening at Pizza Hut Park. The Red Bulls are still in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 14 points from16 matches still four points behind fifth-place Columbus Crew and six adrift of the Columbus Crew and Kansas City Wizards for the final playoff place in the division.

LAST MATCH
-FC Dallas had lost three games in a row -- all by shutout -- while Richie Williams was still looking for his first victory in charge of the Red Bulls as interim head coach.
-It didn't take long for the Hoops to put an end to their long scoreless drought. Dario Sala sent a long clearance downfield it was flicked on into the box by Kenny Cooper and Dominic Oduro - making his first MLS start - outraced a New York defender to get on the end of it and punch it past Tony Meola for an FC Dallas lead after just two minutes.
-Carlos Ruiz went off with an apparent hamstring injury after just 16 minutes but his replacement showed scoring touch wasn't lost. Bobby Rhine whipped in a cross from the right flank and David Wagenfuhr volleyed home the service in fine style for his first career MLS goal (33).
-The Red Bulls pulled a goal back 10 minutes from the end. Jerrod Laventure -- making his MLS debut -- banged a big ball to find Edson Buddle on the left flank. He cut inside and laid off a pass to Mike Magee who drove home a left-footed shot from outside the area that curled across the goalmouth and beat an outstretched Dario Sala.
-Red Bulls interim coach Richie Williams made one change to the team that lost 1-0 to the Los Angeles Galaxy on July 4. Steve Jolley was unable to return from an ankle sprain and Jean Philippe Peguero came into the attack as the Red Bulls reshuffled their lines.
-Here's Williams' team (4-3-1-2): Tony Meola - Marvell Wynne (Jerrod Laventure 67) Carlos Mendes Jeff Parke Seth Stammler - Chris Henderson (Joe Vide 76) Danny O'Rourke (Taylor Graham 89) Mike Magee - Amado Guevara - Jean Philippe Peguero Edson Buddle. [Substitutes Not Used: Jordan Cila Jon Conway Elie Ikangu Steve Jolley]
-"We definitely let ourselves down to give up two early goals said Magee. "That seems to be our story lately that we're giving away goals that we don't make the other team work that hard for."

TEAM NEWS
-The Red Bulls have lost four of their last five games and in three of them they have allowed the first goal within the opening 15 minutes.
-"I'm obviously disappointed with the loss Williams said. "I'm disappointed giving up a goal in the second minute in terms of us talking about having good starts and talking about Oduro having good speed and not being able to get pushed off the ball. All three of those things happen in the first two minutes of the game. So I'm not happy with that. After that I felt we did well in terms of possession. We created chances but I'm disappointed in the number of chances we created but weren't able to finish."
-Magee now has goals in back-to-back games after returning to the starting lineup for the last three games. He started just one of the Red Bulls opening 13 matches.
-"My teammates have gotten some good balls. But right now I'm strictly focused on getting us three points Magee said. "It's frustrating because I feel like we do give away two goals early which puts us in a bad spot because it gives them a chance to sit back and wait to see what we do which is why I think they're putting so much pressure on us. But I think in the final third we can definitely play with a bit more urgency and have certain guys making better runs and better crosses and be better in front."
-Jerrod Laventure made his MLS debut coming on as a 67th-minute substitute and collected his first career assist on Magee's goal.
-"He (Laventure) played great Magee said. "He's always a kid who plays with his heart. He came in held the ball for us and got out wide. He got an assist on our goal played the ball to Edson (Buddle) and then played it off to me. I think he's one of the few guys (on our team) who had a really good game."
-Said Williams: "He (Laventure) did well. He worked hard and did well. He's had a lot of injuries. It was his first time ever with the first team and he worked hard made some good passes and set up a goal. We'll look for him again to contribute."
-On Wednesday the club announced that goalkeeper Tony Meola will be out for the next 2-3 weeks with a bacterial infection in his right foot and ankle. Jon Conway is expected to fill Meola's role between the posts.

COLORADO RAPIDS
The Colorado Rapids left it late but finally followed a win with a win in a 1-0 victory against the Kansas City Wizards on Saturday evening at Invesco Field at Mile High. The Rapids now have 24 points from 14 matches and moved past Chivas USA into third place in the Western Conference now three points behind Houston Dynamo for second and six in back of division pacesetter FC Dallas.

LAST MATCH
-The Rapids were looking to win back-to-back games for the first time on the season while the Wizards were looking just to win with a four-game losing streak and seven defeats in their last 10 games.
-Just when it looked as if the game would dwindle to a scoreless draw the Rapids struck in the first minute of stoppage time. Nicolas Hernandez knocked the ball into space for Thiago Martins. He got in behind the Kansas City backline cut back to slip away from his defender and sent a rolling pass through the six-yard box where Mathis came in at the far side to knock it into the goal and provide the game-winner.
-Rapids head coach Fernando Clavijo made no changes to the team that defeated the New England Revolution 3-2 on July 4. Here's Clavijo's team (4-4-2): Joe Cannon - Hunter Freeman (Dan Gargan 46) Aitor Karanka Mike Petke Eric Denton - Terry Cooke Kyle Beckerman Pablo Mastroeni Dedi Ben Dayan (Clint Mathis 76) - Nicolas Hernandez Jovan Kirovski (Thiago Martins 57). [Substitutes Not Used: Bouna Coundoul Jacob Peterson Daniel Wasson Chris Wingert]
-"Sometimes you need to win and good teams find ways to win. We did that tonight Clavijo said. "We knew that they were going to counter; it's the way they play. The good was a great effort by Thiago (Martins) but great finishing by Clint Mathis."

TEAM NEWS
-The Rapids came away with back-to-back wins for the first time as Clavijo used Mathis off the substitutes' bench for the third consecutive game after five starts in a row.
-"He has been all that I have wanted him to be. I didn't bring him here only to score goals but to help us win the championship Clavijo said. "We needed him tonight and he came on the field for 15 minutes and he did his job."
-The goal was the first of the campaign for Mathis his first in Colorado. His only assist of the season came in the 10th game.
-"(Thiago Martins) made a great run and a great cutback. We made a little bit of eye contact and he held the ball until he played it to the right spot Mathis said. "As long as we win it doesn't matter if I score or not. Today was my day I didn't score on Tuesday when I had that breakaway. I joked after that game that I would only score when we needed it. Call it luck or good fortune but we needed a win and we got it tonight."
-Nicolas Hernandez was named MLS Player of the Week after he was involved in all four of the Rapids goals in their two wins over the week. He scored two and had an assist in the 3-2 win against New England and then assisted on the goal against Kansas City.
-"Nicolas (Hernandez) and I always connect well and tonight he was looking for me. I played him a ball and he put the ball into space in front of me. I saw the defender and faked the cross and cut back. I looked up and saw that I had to make some time because Nick Garcia was marking Clint at the far post Thiago Martins said. "I waited for Clint to lose him and at the right time I played him and he finished it. It's good to know we have a strong group. Any game any day we can come in and score. I'm really happy to help the team win.