Sporting Kansas City-Rapids Preview

Sporting Kansas City is trying its best to put a positive spin

on a three-game losing streak that has followed a franchise-best

start.

It’s been a long time since it has experienced a defeat against

the Colorado Rapids.

Visiting Kansas City looks to extend its seven-match unbeaten

streak against Colorado when the teams meet Saturday night.

Sporting KC (7-3-0) saw its current funk continue with a 2-1

loss at Chicago last Saturday. The club gave up two goals during

its 7-0 start but has allowed five in the three games since.

“We just have to be careful not to get frustrated,” goalkeeper

Jimmy Nielsen told the team’s official website. “It’s painful to

lose three games in a row, but we’re not the first team to lose

three games. We just have to get back on track, do what we’re good

at, play with full discipline for 90 minutes. We all know we’re a

strong team if we do all that.”

Despite the skid, Kansas City is one point behind first-place

New York.

“If someone gave us a contract in preseason that we were going

to win the first seven out of 10 and have 21 points, I think we all

would have signed it,” defender Matt Besler said. “We’re in a good

spot. We’re right in the thick of things.”

Sporting KC could also be in good position to end its losing

streak Saturday. The club has gone 3-0-4 in its last seven against

Colorado dating to March 28, 2009.

The teams played to 1-all draws in two regular-season meetings

last year before Sporting KC earned a pair of 2-0 victories in the

two-game playoff series Oct. 30 and Nov. 2.

Conor Casey scored both of the Rapids’ goals against Kansas City

in 2011, but tore his left Achilles’ on July 16. He made his return

Wednesday in a 2-0 loss to D.C. after missing 27 MLS games.

“Physically, it’s all positive. The minutes were good. I didn’t

feel too bad at the end, so that’s good,” Casey told the team’s

official website. “I’m really excited about that and getting back

in the swing of it. Obviously the game didn’t go very well for us,

but other than that, physically I feel good. I’m happy with the

progress.”

Colorado (5-6-0) has dropped five of seven and should be looking

forward to playing five of its next six at home, where it’s 3-1-0

while outscoring opponents 9-2.

“With where we’re at in the season, we’ve got to be able to

adapt quickly because we can’t keep dropping points,” Casey

said.

Sporting KC won its first three road games but has dropped two

matches away from home during its skid. Prior to those defeats,

Kansas City had gone 7-1-5 in its previous 13 on the road.

“Whether we’ve won seven games in a row, or whether we’ve lost

three in a row, we’re getting ready with the same passion, the same

work ethic as we were on the first one,” coach Peter Vermes said.

“It’s the way we go about our business.”