Martin Rivero and Pablo Mastroeni on travel squad for Houston match
It's not all negative on the injury front for Colorado Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja.
Pareja on Friday confirmed that midfielders Pablo Mastroeni and Martin Rivero will travel to Houston for Sunday's match against the Dynamo (4 p.m. MT, Altitude TV).
"At the moment we have some absences, but we have some others that are coming back," Pareja said of the injury situation. "Martin (Rivero) and Pablo (Mastroeni) have taken part in full training this week. I think they are good options for us to think about for our lineup. It's good for us to have these players back."
Mastroeni has missed the last four matches with a quad strain, while Rivero has yet to see action after breaking his foot in the team's first preseason match in late January. Both players played the final 20 minutes of the team's Reserve League match against Harrisburg last Saturday.
The Rapids are preparing to face a Houston side that doesn't lose at home, or at least not of late, and never at BBVA Compass Stadium. Houston has set the MLS record for the longest home undefeated streak in all competitions at 35 consecutive matches without a loss. The Dynamo can set the league mark for consecutive regular season home games without a loss on Sunday. Real Salt Lake went 29 home games without a loss from 2009-2011.
Pareja stated his respect for what Houston has accomplished, not only at home but in MLS by making it to the MLS Cup final the past two seasons. However the Rapids coach is embracing the chance to face a strong Houston with the streak on the line.
"I think it's a great opportunity to go and set a standard, send a message in Houston, which is a hard place to play and against a good rival," Pareja said. "It's a good opportunity for us to bounce back after last game, get some points, and have a good game. I think all these things make it a game that can be highlighted in MLS. We hope we can get our points and have a good performance."
Pareja's side may have a slight mental edge. The Rapids are on a six-game unbeaten run against Houston, going 4-0-2 since since the Dynamo's last win in the series on April 19, 2009. This will be Colorado's first match at BBVA Compass Stadium, which Houston opened last year.