Pareja looks to keep building against Melbourne
Honolulu, Hawaii - The Colorado Rapids will face Melbourne Heart (Austrailia) in the consolation game of the Hawaiian Islands Invitational Saturday afternoon at Aloha Stadium (5 pm local time, 8 pm MT).
"We want to continue progressing," said Rapids coach Oscar Pareja. "But at the same time we'll take the opportunity to evaluate other options and logically to observe some of the players that didn't play (Thursday). We will try to mix them in throughout the game."
The game comes less then 48 hours after the 2-1 loss to Yokahama. Melbourne is coming off a penalty kick loss to Busan after the team ended scoreless through 90 minutes. The Busan goalkeeper at one point saved four straight shots from the spot before his team scored the game-winning kick.
"We don't have another game from now until our season opener," Pareja said. "So we wanted to take advantage of this week to give as many minutes as possible to the players that will likely start the season. We know there is a little bit of wear because of the turf, but the field is not so big and I think that helps us control (the wear)."
Two players that played won't be available. Starter Omar Cummings has departed to join his Jamaican national team for a friendly in New Zealand and second half substitute Wells Thompson must sit out after picking up a red card.
"With Omar not availble, we'll take the chance to look at some of the other options we have available," Pareja added.
The match will be broadcast live on ESPN3.com and fans can also return to ColoradoRapids.com to join a live chat from inside Aloha Stadium starting at 7:45 pm MT.