Dynamo, Rapids try to stop slippage

The Houston Dynamo and the Colorado Rapids will be looking get back on track when the sides square off Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.

The Dynamo (5-5-3, 18 points in 13 matches) lost 1-0 on the road at Montreal on June 2 but bounced back with a 5-0 win in U.S. Open Cup play vagainst NTX Rayados on Wednesday in Houston.

The loss to Montreal was just the third time this season that Honduran national Alberth Elis has been kept off the scoresheet for the Dynamo.

“We got punished on the only mistake we made in the first half,” Houston coach Wilmer Cabrera said after the loss at Montreal. “We have to go home without any points. Our effort and our plan against Montreal was good for 90 percent of the game, but it wasn’t good enough. We battled — sometimes you don’t have to make many mistakes and still lose a game.

“The good thing is the players were more solid and were strong defensively. We didn’t allow Montreal many chances. Now we will go back to work, try to continue to improve and work some other players into the mix to allow others some rest.”

In 2018, Elis has found the net eight times and notched five assists, with four of those goals coming in the past four matches. Houston’s attacking catalyst is on pace to surpass his total from last year, when he found the net 10 times in the regular season and once in the playoffs.

“There is still a lot of games to be played,” Elis told mls.com through a translator. “What’s important is to help the team with goals and assists so we can make it to the playoffs.”

Conversely, the Rapids (2-8-2, 8 points in 12 matches) have lost seven straight MLS games and then were soundly defeated by Nashville SC, which plays in the second-division United Soccer League, 2-0 in a fourth-round U.S. Open Cup game on Wednesday in Nashville.

“Disappointed — we’re on a difficult run, and I think there’s a lack of confidence with certain players,” Rapids manager Anthony Hudson told the Denver Post after loss to Nashville SC. “But the players give everything and I don’t think there’s ever been a sign of that not being the case.”

Hudson said the lack of confidence has led Colorado to become too safe in possession.

“They kept trying, they kept running, they kept doing it, they’ve done it every game,” Hudson added. “Just a little lack of confidence and it’s one that we have to work through.”

The Rapids have been affected by injuries to key players and overall inconsistency, but Hudson is hopeful that he will get some of his players back for the match in Houston.

“I hope in the next couple of days we can get one or two of our players back and get them recovered,” Hudson said. “The players have no time to feel sorry for themselves and we know these situations define you. No one’s happy about it. We’re frustrated, hurting, but we need to step up and we need to work through it.”

The Rapids’ most recent MLS loss was 2-1 at home to Vancouver on June 1. It came despite a goal by Edgar Castillo late in the first half that cut Colorado’s deficit in half.

Colorado’s seven-match losing streak is the longest in the league this year.

The Rapids have met Houston 26 times in the MLS regular season and own a 11-8 edge with seven draws. The most recent meeting produced a 1-0 Colorado win last September in Houston.