Rapids look to end winless streak vs. Minnesota United

The Colorado Rapids ended their losing streak, but they couldn’t end their winless streak. They hope to change that when they host Minnesota United FC on Saturday night.

The Rapids (2-9-3) took a quick 2-0 lead on the Chicago Fire on June 13 but couldn’t hold the lead. They settled for a 2-2 draw and some hope that their recent rough stretch may be over.

“In the end, when all is said and done, I’m happy (the losing streak) stopped and we’ve stopped the bleeding,” Colorado coach Anthony Hudson said after the Chicago match. “That was really important because psychologically we got a little break now as well. The most important thing is, after a run like this, we didn’t lose.”

The MLS losing streak ended at eight games but the Rapids still haven’t won since beating Toronto FC 2-0 on April 14. They’ll try against Minnesota (5-8-1), which is coming off a 1-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo on Monday in the U.S. Open Cup round of 16. Minnesota sits ninth in the Western Conference, six points behind fifth-place Real Salt Lake, so getting three points in Colorado on Saturday is important.

The loss to the Dynamo stung because Darwin Quintero’s late penalty kick went off the post.

“Obviously we’re disappointed,” coach Adrian Heath said after the Houston match. “I thought it was a little bit too late. I learned a valuable lesson today about this group, both individually and collectively, that will certainly help us moving forward.

“We’ve got to the stage now where we have to start to make some difficult and hard decisions on people and that is what we will do. I think tonight will turn out to be a really good night in the long term.”

Saturday’s matchup comes in the midst of the World Cup being played in Russia, but that doesn’t take away the importance of the MLS contest. For the Rapids, winning has become vital, especially coming off of a 10-day break between games.

“It was a good time for us to review everything and get refreshed after this break,” Hudson said after a practice this week. “We obviously accept a lot of criticism, and rightly so, but one thing no one can argue is the players haven’t not worked hard. Even on this run they have kept going the whole time.”

Colorado will go from a lull to a busy schedule. Starting with Saturday’s match the Rapids will play four games in 15 days.

The Loons are also in a stretch of four games in 15 days, starting with Saturday’s match at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. It’s a return to the MLS schedule for Minnesota, which is trying to put Monday’s loss aside.

“We have to re-group,” Heath told the team’s website. “The most important thing now is to watch the game again and see if it reinforces a lot of the very strong opinions. We will see where we go from there.”