The Colorado Rapids have dropped their last two matches
following a club-record nine-game undefeated run, conceding goals
at an alarming rate. Facing the Houston Dynamo may help cure their
Colorado looks to extend its unbeaten streak in this series to
five and keep Houston winless on the road Sunday night.
The Rapids (5-5-7) have allowed as many goals in their past two
games – seven – as they did during their entire 2-0-7 run from
April 30-June 11. They lost 3-1 to Los Angeles on June 18 and 4-1
to Columbus last Sunday.
“It’s unusual that we concede many goals, and were as sloppy as
we were for the goals that took Columbus into the lead,” coach Gary
Smith told the league’s official website. “It’s five games we have
been beaten this season, and we have fallen foul to some
Conor Casey scored for the fourth time in five games, though he
will serve a one-game suspension Sunday for sliding into Crew
goalkeeper William Hesmer in the 29th minute.
The defending MLS Cup champions are far from where they’d like
to be at the midway point of the season, around the middle of the
Western Conference standings and 13 points behind first-place Los
“It’s time for us to step it up, improve and start picking up
points,” Casey said.
The Rapids will look to bounce back versus the Dynamo, against
whom they’ve gone 3-0-1 in the last four meetings. Houston has lost
its last two visits to Colorado by a combined 4-0 score and enters
this contest with an 0-3-5 road record.
The Dynamo led the first matchup this season on Colin Clark’s
goal in the 71st minute, but Jamie Smith and Scott Palguta later
scored to give Colorado a 2-1 victory May 4.
However, it’s been the Dynamo (4-6-7) who have often recovered
to earn points after falling behind.
Brian Ching scored in the 89th minute last Saturday to lift
Houston to a 2-all draw against D.C. The Dynamo have earned eight
points in the 11 games in which they’ve allowed the first goal,
second in MLS to Columbus’ 10 points in such contests.
Clark assisted on Ching’s tally after replacing the injured Brad
Davis, who sat out the second half after aggravating a left
Davis lauded his team’s come-from-behind effort, though he’s
doubtful to play in Sunday’s rematch against the Rapids.
“We’ve lost games, but we still feel like we definitely need to
get on a roll and we need to figure out a way to start winning some
games,” Davis said. “All in all, when you are down a goal, all you
can do is continue to fight until you get back in (the game) and
that’s what the guys did (against D.C.).”
Colorado’s Omar Cummings said he refuses to let his ankle injury
slow him and plans to be back in the starting lineup Sunday. His
last start came in the victory over Houston when he suffered a
sprain near the end of the first half.
Cummings, who has two goals in nine games, has played only in
the second half of the Rapids’ last two matches.
“Ready or not, I’m going to play,” he said. “I’m hoping to go
the full 90, at least get the start and go from there.”