Preview: Chivas USA at Colorado Rapids

Rapids host a rebounding Chivas USA team

The basics

Colorado Rapids (8-6-7, fifth in Western Conference) vs. Chivas USA (6-11-4, eighth in West) at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.

Colorado lead the all-time series 7-5-4, including the last meeting between clubs on March 26, 2010 (pictured above)

TV info

6 p.m. PT, KWHY, FS West (tape delay); MLS Direct Kick, MatchDay Live.

Radio Info

W Radio 690 AM

Game intro

Another crucial game for both Western Conference teams. Chivas currently lie bottom of the conference and need to follow up a victory over D.C. United last weekend with another three points Saturday.

The Goats are coming off a US Open Cup loss to the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday. Colorado, who had won only once in their previous nine games, pulled out a convincing 3-0 victory over Houston last weekend with all three goals coming in the first 23 minutes. The Rapids have already beaten Chivas on the road in the opening game of the season thanks to a goal from Omar Cummings.

Colorado Rapids

The Rapids will be looking to ensure another three points following the victory over seventh-place Houston. With home games against other struggling teams such as D.C. United and Philadelphia still to come, the Rapids know they need to take advantage of home comforts to get them closer to a playoff spot. They could be without the consistent Marvell Wynne in defense as the center back struggles to recover from a hamstring injury sustained last weekend.

The team is also unsure who will go in goal as Matt Pickens tries to shake off the back spasms that kept him out last weekend. The good news is that Cummings will be available as he has opted not to play for Jamaica against Costa Rica because of green-card issues. Despite the advantage Colorado currently have over Chivas in the table, Rapids captain Pablo Mastroeni said nobody would be taking Chivas lightly.

“Any team, regardless of your standing in the table, can beat any team on any given day,” Mastroeni told this week. “What we have come away with from this season is to have utmost respect for every team that we play and find a way to impose ourselves on the opposing team early in the game. We have real confidence from the Houston game but we need to be aware all the while that this is a dangerous team.”

Chivas USA

Chivas enjoyed a 1-0 home victory over struggling DC United last Sunday, but they fell to a 3-1 defeat in Wednesday’s Open Cup semi at Seattle. The team is struggling with its confidence and has only managed two wins on the road all season. They do have a match winner in 23-year-old Justin Braun, however, who has netted eight times this season for The Goats. The squad is also weakened this weekend by international call-ups for Osael Romero (El Salvador) and Bryan de la Fuente and Cesar Zamora (both US Under-20 National Team).

Heroes & Villains

Conor Casey and Omar Cummings v. the Chivas defense: The Rapids strikers will be feeling a lot more confident after they combined well last weekend against Houston. Casey had a hand in all three goals with two assists and his header in the 23rd minute. They will both look to take that momentum into this weekend’s game as Gary Smith looks likely to pair them again upfront in a more traditional formation.

Stat that makes you go “Hmm ..."

Colorado have only lost once all season at home with the narrow 1-0 loss to the then-rampaging LA Galaxy on May 5.