Preview: Colorado at DC United, May 16, 2012

Rapids head east for only meeting of the year at RFK Stadium

D.C. UNITED vs COLORADO RAPIDS
RFK MEMORIAL STADIUM, Washington, D.C.
May 16, 2012 (WEEK 11, MLS Game #98)
5:30 p.m. ET (Altitude; ENG - FM 93.7, AM 1510; SPA - FM 87.7)

Coors Light Official Away Game Viewing Parties

D.C. United return home for the first time in nearly three weeks when they entertain the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday evening at RFK Stadium. United are coming off a three-game road swing, which ended with a 1-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday afternoon in the opening of BBVA Compass Stadium. The Rapids are completing a three-game road swing of their own, coming off a 10-day layoff after a 2-0 win at FC Dallas in their last match.

REFEREE: Matthew Foerster. SAR (bench): Adam Wienckowski; JAR (opposite): Corey Parker; 4th: Jorge Gonzalez
MLS Career: First game.

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INJURY REPORT:

D.C. UNITED – OUT: MF Lance Rozeboom (L knee ACL tear); DF Emiliano Dudar (L hamstring strain); DOUBTFUL: MF Marcelo Saragosa (R soleus strain); MF Nick DeLeon (L hamstring strain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Dejan Jakovic (L ankle sprain); PROBABLE: MF Kurt Morsink (L foot neurectomy); FW Josh Wolff (L hamstring strain); DF Ethan White (R knee surgery)

COLORADO RAPIDS – OUT: DEF Anthony Wallace (L achilles tear); MID Pablo Mastroeni (headaches); MID Ross LaBauex (sports hernia); DEF Marvell Wynne (R hamstring strain); FWD Omar Cummings (L ankle sprain); PROBABLE: FWD Conor Casey (L achilles tear); MID Jamie Smith (R ACL tear)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: none

WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS:
DC: Maicon Santos, Chris Pontius
COL: Jaime Castrillon, Jeff Larentowicz

HEAD-TO-HEAD

ALL-TIME (36 meetings): United 16 wins (2 shootout), 59 goals … Rapids 13 wins (1 shootout), 48 goals … Ties 7
AT RFK STADIUM (18 meetings): United 10 wins (1 shootout), 36 goals…Rapids 3 wins (1 shootout), 16 goals…Ties 5

LAST YEAR (MLS):

4/3: COL 4, DC 1 (Folan 38, 81; Smith 71; Cummings 90 – Quaranta 70)

5/14: DC 1, COL 1 (Pontius 62 – Moor 23)

  • This is the only league meeting between the clubs this season.
  • United haven’t defeated Colorado at home since 2009, a 3-1 win at RFK Stadium.
  • Colorado’s win in Washington in 2010 was their first in the nation’s capital since 1999.
  • United’s win in Colorado in 2010 was their first in the Rocky Mountain State since 2000.
  • Coaches' records: Ben Olsen vs. COL: P3 W1 L1 D1 … Oscar Pareja vs. DC: first game

D.C. UNITED

D.C. United lost for a second time on their three-game road swing, falling 1-0 to the Houston Dynamo in the opening of BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday afternoon. United are in third place in the Eastern Conference with 18 points from 12 games.

 

LAST MATCH

  • The opening of the newest MLS palace needed a touch of magic, and it came from Brad Davis. His left-footed blast from the center of the field, from all of 35 yards out, curled off the outstretched hand of D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid and into the net for the 67th-minute winner.
  • United head coach Ben Olsen made one changes to the team that rebounded for a 2-0 victory against Toronto FC at BMO Field. Robbie Russell came into the side for Lewis Neal.

D.C. UNITED (4-3-1-2): Bill Hamid - Robbie Russell, Daniel Woolard, Brandon McDonald, Chris Korb - Danny Cruz, Perry Kitchen (Stephen King 28), Andy Najar - Dwayne De Rosario - Maicon Santos (Josh Wolff 68), Chris Pontius (Hamdi Salihi 57).

TEAM NEWS

  • United concluded their three-game road trip with a pair of losses, shut out for the first time since April 7 in the loss to Houston. The Black-and-Red now have three consecutive home matches.
  • “In these conditions, you look for the effort,” said Dwayne De Rosario. “At halftime, I said the main thing would be the focus. Every guy needs to stay focused mentally and I think we did that. We showed a little fight toward the last 10 minutes and maybe it was a bit too late. We just have to put this behind us and move forward.”
  • United were forced into a key change before the match was a half-hour old, when Perry Kitchen suffered a knee injury and had to come off. Marcelo Saragosa was also unavailable with a calf injury, meaning Stephen King had to fill the holding midfield role.
  • “Perry's injury coincided with, I thought, a real sense of fatigue throughout our team," said United head coach Ben Olsen. "I didn't think [fatigue] was going to be an issue because we had a break all week and the guys were fresh. But the heat hit us pretty hard.”
  • Kitchen could be sidelined for a number of matches. “We have to evaluate it and see what the doctors say,” Kitchen said to The Washington Post. “We’ll see. I am definitely nervous about it.” Said Olsen to The Post: “It doesn’t look great. It’s not going to be a five-to-seven-day injury. Hopefully it will be something minor.”
  • With Emiliano Dudar and Dejan Jakovic both still sidelined, Daniel Woolard reprised his role in central defense, alongside Brandon McDonald.
  • “When you come out and compete you have a chance to win the game," said Woolard,. “The coaching staff has got that across to us as players and it's showing when we get out and fight, we are in games.”
  • Goalkeeper Bill Hamid, making his second consecutive start after missing nine games to international duty and injury, made a career-high eight saves in the Dynamo match.
  • Dudar, Saragosa and Nick DeLeon was all facing a fitness race to be available for the Colorado match, though none of the three were able to return to full training by the start of the week.
  • Home Grown Player Ethan White, who could also fit into the back four, was an unused substitute for the first time for the Dynamo game, after undergoing offseason knee surgery. Olsen said he would also prefer not to recall Conor Shanosky from his loan to the NASL Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
  • “If it got out of hand to the point where we needed bodies,” Olsen said. “But I'm trying not to, because Conor is in a good rhythm over there and he's really getting invaluable experience that is crucial for his development.”

COLORADO RAPIDS

The Colorado Rapids return to action after a 10-day layoff, their last match a 2-0 win at FC Dallas on May 6. The Rapids are in fifth place in the Western Conference with 15 points from 10 games.

LAST MATCH

  • FC Dallas were two men short before the first half was over. In the 34th minute, Daniel Hernandez sent Rapids midfielder Martin Rivero to the turf and earned a second yellow card for the game. Just minutes later, FCD was reduced to nine men when Blas Pérez was issued a straight red card for a reckless tackle on Rapids’ defender Drew Moor.
  • The Rapids finally broke through in the 61st minute when Jaime Castrillón got on the end of a Brian Mullan cross to head the ball past FC Dallas 'keeper Kevin Hartman.
  • Martín Rivero sealed the victory with a 74th-minute goal, his first in MLS, collecting a Mullan pass in the heart of the area and turning himself around to stroke a left-footed shot into the corner of the goal.
  • Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja made one change to the side that went down to a 2-1 defeat by the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Kosuke Kimura returned to right back for Hunter Freeman.

COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-2): Matt Pickens - Kosuke Kimura, Drew Moor, Tyrone Marshall (Conor Casey 46), Luis Zapata - Brian Mullan, Martin Rivero, Jeff Larentowicz, Jaime Castrillon (Wells Thompson 87) - Omar Cummings (Kamani Hill 14), Tony Cascio.

TEAM NEWS

  • Playing the second game of their three-game road swing, the Rapids put an end to a four-game losing streak away from home. The road swing concludes with the trip to D.C. United; Saturday’s game vs. Sporting KC at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park will be the first home game since April 28.
  • "When a team is down two you want to score goals because you have two more players. That desperation can become a challenge, but we did a good job,” Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja said. “We wanted to put in Conor [Casey] to put in two forwards to have more offensive moments. We did a good job even though they had nine guys. You know you still have to create options.”
  • Pareja will be forced into at least one change for the trip to United. Omar Cummings was forced from the field after just 14 minutes at FC Dallas and will miss approximately four weeks with a sprained left ankle. Kamani Hill is expected to fill his place up top.
  • “In my career I’ve played all over the field, but I’m most comfortable naturally playing underneath the striker,” Hill said. “I have played everywhere. I’m not afraid of it. I don’t mind.”
  • As well, Marvell Wynne will be out about four weeks after suffering a strained right hamstring in a training session prior to the New England match.
  • Martín Rivero scored his first MLS goal in the FC Dallas. He has a goal and three assists this season, and had figured in the scoring in four of his five MLS appearances.
  • “My game is not so much about scoring goals," Rivero said. "My characteristics are more about setting them up. But it's always good to score to keep gaining confidence and continue doing well. Thankfully I was able to convert (against Dallas) so I'm very happy."
  • Conor Casey made his long-awaited season debut in the FC Dallas win, but it was longer than expected. Pareja had figured to give him about 20 minutes, but after the two FCD red cards, he brought him on to start the second half.
  • “Conor brings something distinct to the team and is the most natural center striker we have,” said Pareja. “He’s smart and creates danger, so he brings interesting things to the team.”
  • Goalkeeper Matt Pickens set the club record for shutouts with his fourth of the season and 26th while with the Rapids, surpassing the total of Joe Cannon (2003-2006). It was the 37th clean sheet of Pickens’ career. He did not have to make a save in the record setter.
  • "Hats off to the guys that I've played with for the last three years and 10 games," Pickens said. "Now that it's out of the way we get on with the season and look to keep moving up the conference ladder."
  • The Rapids will have Edu available after he received his P-1 visa and international transfer. Edu made his professional debut with São Paulo FC of Brazil in 1997 and played from 2000-2009 in Spain with Celta de Vigo and Real Betis. He returned to Brazil in 2009, playing with Internacional and Vitória.