Rapids-FC Dallas Preview
Colorado Rapids first-year coach Oscar Pareja has a long history
with FC Dallas, spending the majority of his career with the club
in multiple roles.
In his first trip back as a visitor, Pareja is more concerned
about Colorado ending its slump.
The Rapids seek to avoid a fifth consecutive road loss Sunday
night against Dallas, which is unbeaten in five home matches.
Pareja began his MLS career with New England in 1998 before
being traded to Dallas later that season, ending his playing career
with the team in 2005.
He was an assistant coach for Dallas from 2005-07, left for one
year to help coach the U.S. under-17 national team, then returned
as the team’s director of player development through last
Pareja, who took the Colorado head coaching job Jan. 5, said he
expects to have some emotion about facing his former team, but his
main concern is getting the Rapids (4-5-0) back on track. They fell
2-1 at New England on Wednesday, their fourth straight road
“Honestly, I haven’t had time to think about it,” Pareja told
the team’s official website. “I’m approaching this game the same
way I’ve approached the first nine games. It’s simply a game with
the same importance as the previous ones and the ones ahead. I
haven’t had a chance to think about that extra component.”
Colorado has dropped four of five overall and will look to avoid
the club’s first five-game road losing streak since April 26-June
“It’s a new opportunity for the team to get an important
result,” Pareja said. “I think the group is playing well. We are
building and are in a process that continues maturing.”
The Rapids are 0-2-1 in their last three at Dallas, last winning
there Sept. 4, 2008. Ending that winless streak likely won’t come
easy against a Dallas team that is 3-0-2 on its home turf this
Brek Shea scored his second penalty kick in as many games as
Dallas (3-3-3) played Los Angeles to a 1-all draw last Saturday. He
exited in the 76th minute, though, because of a nagging injury that
bothered him through a stretch of three games in eight days.
“I’ve been fighting turf toe since (April 21),” Shea told the
league’s official website. “We’ve had the traveling and three games
in a week so it finally caught up to me.”
Shea and his teammates got some rest over the past week but now
face another rough stretch, with Sunday marking the first of three
games in seven days.
“It’s part of the game, part of the season,” defender George
John said. “Every team has to go through it, so we’re just going to
have to be mentally prepared to have three matches in a short
period of time.”
Coach Schellas Hyndman has been strategically working practices
throughout the week to help his team be prepared for Sunday’s match
but also well-rested.
“I not only have to give the guys a chance to catch their legs,
but I’ve also got to save their legs for the games coming up,”
The teams split two meetings last season after Colorado beat
Dallas 2-1 for the 2010 MLS Cup.