Whitecaps FC-Rapids Preview

Having their two top forwards in the starting lineup wasn’t

enough to boost the Colorado Rapids to a much-needed victory

earlier this week, but a visit from the expansion Vancouver

Whitecaps might help.

The Rapids will try to snap a franchise-worst, seven-game

winless streak at home when they face the Whitecaps for the first

time Saturday night.

Conor Casey and Omar Cummings – MLS’ top goal-scoring duo in

2010 – were on the field together for just the third time this

season Wednesday at Sporting Kansas City.

Casey gave his team an early lead with his third goal in as many

games, but Colorado had to settle for a 1-all draw. The reigning

MLS champion Rapids (5-5-9) had to survive three shots that went

off goal posts to earn that point.

“It was a battle,” defender Drew Moor told the league’s official

website. “There were a lot of fouls, a lot of stoppages and we were

under a lot of pressure. The first 50 or 60 minutes, we played like

the champions we are. After they scored, I think we showed

fantastic character in not giving them a second (goal).”

The Rapids are 2-5-9 since a franchise-best 3-0-0 start and have

one win in their past 11 games. They’re also 0-2-5 at Dick’s

Sporting Goods Park since beating D.C. 4-1 on April 3.

The Rapids, however, will get to face a Whitecaps club that’s

0-7-3 on the road, has one victory since its inaugural contest and

is on a franchise-worst three-game losing streak.

Vancouver (2-9-8) has scored one goal during that slide and been

shut out in consecutive games. Midfielder Terry Dunfield had a

chance to end those skids but missed a penalty kick in the 73rd

minute of Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to Columbus.

“It’s obviously very disappointing,” coach Tom Soehn said. “We

have to reward ourselves. You’ve got to bury (penalty kicks). Those

are opportunities that you have to take advantage of and we

didn’t.”

Vancouver played a man down over the final 13 minutes after a

red card to midfielder Shea Salinas, who will have to sit out this

game. The Whitecaps might also be without captain Jay DeMerit

(groin), leading goal scorer Eric Hassli (bruised foot) and

midfielder Davide Chiumiento (hamstring).

The Rapids won’t have captain Pablo Mastroeni, who injured his

knee Wednesday, because of yellow card accumulation.

Joseph Nane could be Mastroeni’s midfield replacement. Nane, who

played for Toronto FC in 2010, has appeared in four games this

season.