Preview: Colorado vs Chivas USA, April 28

Rapids look to get back to winning ways at home against West foe

COLORADO RAPIDS vs CHIVAS USA
DICK'S SPORTING GOODS PARK, Commerce City, Colo.
April 28, 2012 (WEEK 8, MLS Game #71)
7 p.m. MT (Altitude TV, ENG - FM 93.7, AM 1510; SPA - FM 87.7, TICKETS)

Looking to snap a three-game losing streak, the Colorado Rapids will face a tricky home test when Chivas USA come calling at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Saturday evening. The Rapids went down to a home defeat last weekend, a 2-1 loss to the LA Galaxy. Chivas USA are perfect away from home - but still winless and goalless in home games, after a 1-0 loss to Philadelphia Union last weekend at The Home Depot Center.

REFEREE: Kevin Stott. SAR (bench): Corey Parker; JAR (opposite): Jason Cullum; 4th: Matthew Foerster
MLS Career: 218 games; FC/gm: 25.8; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 58; pens: 44

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INJURY REPORT:

VIDEO: Pareja, Larentowicz preview Chivas USA matchl

  • COLORADO RAPIDS - OUT: DF Anthony Wallace (L Achilles tear); MF Pablo Mastroeni (headaches); MF Ross LaBauex (sports hernia); DOUBTFUL: MF Jamie Smith (R knee ACL tear); QUESTIONABLE: FW Conor Casey (L Achilles tear); PROBABLE: MF Martin Rivero (R quadriceps soreness)
  • CHIVAS USA - OUT: MF Marvin Iraheta (L knee ACL); FW Alejandro Moreno (concussion); PROBABLE: MF Ben Zemanski (R knee MCL sprain); MF Pete Vagenas (rib contusion)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

SUSPENDED: none

WARNINGS:

SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CHV: Oswaldo Minda
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: none

RAPIDS LOOK TO SNAP LOSING STREAK VS CHIVAS USA

HEAD-TO-HEAD

ALL-TIME (19 meetings): Rapids 9 wins, 32 goals ... Chivas USA 5 wins, 24 goals ... Ties 5

AT COLORADO (9 meetings): Rapids 3 wins, 18 goals ... Chivas USA 1 win, 11 goals ... Ties 5

RETURN MATCHES: 8/18: Colorado Rapids vs. Chivas USA, 7 p.m. MT; 10/20: Chivas USA vs. Colorado Rapids, 7:30 p.m. PT

LAST YEAR (MLS):

3/26: CHV 0, COL 1 (Amarikwa 32)
8/20: COL 2, CHV 2 (Folan 13; Larentowicz 69 - Angel 36; Courtois 86)

  • The Rapids have a five-game undefeated streak alive against Chivas USA. After a 2-1 Chivas win in 2009 at The Home Depot Center, Colorado won the next four meetings, before the teams played to a 2-2 draw last Aug. 20 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
  • The road team has won five of the last nine meetings in the series.
  • Coaches record: Oscar Pareja vs. CHV: first game ... Robin Fraser vs. COL: P2 W0 L1 D1

COLORADO RAPIDS

The Colorado Rapids saw their losing streak hit three games, falling 2-1 to the LA Galaxy on Saturday evening at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids are in a three-way tie for sixth place in the Western Conference with 9 points from 7 games.

 

LAST MATCH

  • The Galaxy took the lead in the 21st minute. David Beckham's pinpoint free kick found an unmarked Mike Magee to the left of goal, and he headed the ball back toward the center. Rapids defender Marvell Wynne nodded the ball inside the far post of his own goal.
  • In the 39th minute, the Galaxy doubled their lead. Robbie Keane's through ball found Landon Donovan steaming into the left side of the area, and the U.S. international made no mistake on a classy angled finish inside the far post.
  • But in the 63rd minute, Omar Cummings fended off David Junior Lopes for 15 yards to run onto a loose ball before hammering a rising blast past goalkeeper Josh Saunders.
  • Then in stoppage time, Rapids substitute Andre Akpan went down under a challenge by Lopes, and referee Ramon Hernandez pointed to the spot. But on the ensuing penalty, Saunders guessed correctly by diving left and parrying away Cummings' attempt.
  • Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja made one change to the team that suffered a 1-0 defeat by Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field. Kamani Hill came into the side in place of Martin Rivero.
  • COLORADO RAPIDS (4-2-3-1): Matt Pickens - Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Luis Zapata - Jeff Larentowicz, Kamani Hill (Wells Thompson 78) - Brian Mullan (Andre Akpan 88), Jaime Castrillon, Tony Cascio - Omar Cummings.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Rapids have lost three games in a row, matching their longest losing streak of a year ago, which they did twice - including at nearly the exact same time at the start of the season.
  • "It's a tough one and it hurts because we had the PK and we had options and I think the boys deserved much more than that," said Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja. iSo we are going to suffer that pain, but at the same time I'm very proud about the effort of the players."
  • Omar Cummings has scored three of the Rapids' last four goals, his goal vs. the Galaxy ending the club's 242-minute scoreless streak.
  • But Cummings saw his penalty kick in stoppage time saved - the third saved penalty kick in 12 attempts in the league this season.
  • "Omar scored a fantastic goal tonight. He missed a PK, but you'd put Omar to take a PK 99 times out of 100," said Drew Moor. iThe kid is absolutely gutted right now. But we've got such good players, we've got such a deep squad, we've got players coming back from injury; this team's going to be fine. We're not worried at all."
  • Of the 10 goals the Rapids have conceded this season, four have started on set pieces - two from corner kicks, and two from free kicks.
  • "We addressed it before, we addressed it during [the game] and we addressed it at the end," Pareja said. iIt's costing us points, but we're all responsible for it."
  • Added Moor: "We just weren't organized. You can't allow that with someone like Beckham over the ball. We worked on it through the week and guys weren't on the same page. Whatever [Pickens] tells you to do, do it. We were caught unaware. It wasn't good enough - it needs to be dealt with. This team is too professional to allow goals like that."
  • Conor Casey is finally expected to be available this weekend for the Rapids. After dealing with strep throat and a minor groin strain, Casey is likely to be in the 18-man gameday squad, though not starting.
  • "Conor is good, he's playing with more strength," Pareja said. iI think we'll have him available for this weekend."
  • With his next shutout, goalkeeper Matt Pickens will tie the Rapids club record of 25 clean sheets, currently held by Joe Cannon (now with Vancouver Whitecaps FC). The Rapids had shutouts in their first two league games this season.

CHIVAS USA

Chivas USA lost for the fourth time in as many games at The Home Depot Center, again a 1-0 defeat, this time by Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening. Chivas USA sit in a three-way tie for sixth place in the Western Conference with 9 points from 7 games.

 

LAST MATCH

  • The visitors took the lead in the 40th minute. Michael Farfan weaved his way around Chivas defender Heath Pearce and fired a low ball into the goalmouth. James Riley's muffed clearance fell to Freddy Adu, who quickly back-heeled the ball into an empty net.
  • Union finished the match two players down. In the 75th minute, Union's Keon Daniel received a straight red for a studs-up challenge on Chivas USA's Ryan Smith, then 10 minutes later, Gabriel Farfan was sent off after a hard tackle on Chivas defender James Riley. That incident was followed by Union manager Peter Nowak entering the field, an act that earned him his marching orders.
  • Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser made one change to the team that defeated Toronto FC 1-0 at BMO Field. Paolo Cardozo came into the team in place of Ben Zemanski.
  • CHIVAS USA (4-2-3-1): Dan Kennedy - James Riley, Heath Pearce, Rauwshan McKenzie (Casey Townsend 90), Ante Jazic - Oswaldo Minda (Blair Gavin 55), Paolo Cardozo (Juan Pablo Angel 63) - Miller Bolanos, Nick LaBrocca, Ryan Smith - Alejandro Moreno.

TEAM NEWS

 

  • Chivas USA lost for the fourth time in as many games at The Home Depot Center in the 1-0 defeat by Philadelphia. All four defeats have come by 1-0 scorelines.
  • "We gave up a goal out of nothing," head coach Robin Fraser said. iIn the second half, we were better, more aggressive and got the ball into more dangerous spots. [But] I feel like this is definitely one that got away."
  • Away from home, Chivas are perfect, with a 3-0-0 record. iWe were expecting after two wins on the road just to get the points at home, and it wasn't the case. Obviously very disappointed. We haven't been able to get a point at home, just yet," said Juan Pablo Angel.
  • Angel made his first appearance since the season opener, coming on as a substitute in the 63rd minute. Angel had missed five games with a concussion.
  • "It was great, I'm still trying to get minutes and pick up the tempo of the game," he said. iI've been away six weeks and I came into a game that was at a high pace, but I'm delighted to be back."
  • The following day, Angel scored a penalty kick in a full run-out in a reserve match against Seattle Sounders FC.
  • "The more he plays, the better he's going to get," Fraser said. "He's been out awhile and it's good to get him into a real competition. [Against Seattle I saw] sharp movement, good ideas on the ball, good timing of runs. It was important that he gets some more game minutes. Game minutes means you have to make game-speed decisions, and I thought that a lot of times his decisions were good."
  • Over the last three matches - since his third of three consecutive starts on April 1 - rookie Casey Townsend had made just two late substitute appearances. In the reserves, Townsend had started playing a wide midfield role - he was lined up as a lone striker in his starts.
  • "I like to think that I can play anywhere," Townsend said. iI don't want to be a one-dimensional player; I can do other things as well, but obviously I like to score goals and get in the box and that's what I'm here to do."
  • Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy still has yet to allow more than a single goal in any game this season.
  • "It's hard to take positives when you lose, but there were lot of things that happened today that gave us encouragement for the following games," said Angel. iWe created chances in the second half that we haven't managed to create at home. We looked more dangerous and were putting more people in the box. But it's still extremely disappointing to not earn a point at home."