Texas has been kind to the Colorado Rapids in recent times. Their last league win away from home came in Houston, hot on the heels of a second successive shutout victory at Saturday’s hosts, FC Dallas (Altitude - 6:00 p.m.).
But those wins were some time ago. In fact, the 3-2 victory at the Dynamo, on October 8, 2016, remains the Rapids’ last win away from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Road form will determine the fate of the Rapids in 2017, and they head to a Dallas side which has wobbled of late. Oscar Pareja’s team return home this weekend after a 3-1 reversal at Philadelphia Union, which followed a 4-0 drubbing inside Toyota Stadium at the hands of Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
The Rapids have one win in seven. They were denied a precious victory last Saturday at home to the Whitecaps. Having come from behind to lead 2-1, a defensive lapse cost them dear when Fredy Montero secured a point for the visitors with a close-range header.
Colorado’s defense will likely be tested again this Saturday, against a Dallas side which contains clinical finishers and creative minds. Striker Maximiliano Urruti has 11 goals. Winger Michael Barrios has 10 assists. Both numbers are career-highs for the players involved.
Shkëlzen Gashi played 71 minutes against the Whitecaps. It was his first league appearance since June 3, and his first minutes in any competition since withdrawing injured from the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup loss at FC Dallas on June 27.
His return, and that of Joshua Gatt, adds much-needed depth to the roster, at a time when healthy bodies are needed. The Rapids have five road trips in the next six matches, and all of those away encounters are against Western Conference opponents.
Eleven points separate the Rapids from the playoff places. The team does have games in hand over all but two teams in the West, but those are games which need to be turned into points.
Rapids: Bobby Burling (questionable - foot), Zac MacMath (out - knee)
Dallas: Carlos Gruezo (out - suspended)
HOW TO FOLLOW
Radio: Altitude 950; La Invasora 87.7FM (Spanish)
Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistant (bench): Corey Rockwell
Assistant (opposite): Apolinar Mariscal
Fourth Official: Daniel Radford
VAR: Dave Gantar