Whitecaps look to get back on track vs. Rapids

Two very different streaks are over.

For the Vancouver Whitecaps, it was a six-game unbeaten stretch that came to an ignominious end with a 4-0 blowout loss to Philadelphia.

The Colorado Rapids, however, were happy to see an end to their recent streak — nine straight games without a win. The Rapids beat Minnesota United 3-2 to claim their first victory in more than two months.

The Whitecaps and Rapids will meet Sunday at BC Place in Vancouver.

The Whitecaps (6-6-5) had won two in a row after four straight draws before sputtering against the Union.

They finished the match with nine men after Jose Aja and Yordy Reyna were sent off with red cards during the final 20 minutes. Philadelphia outshot Vancouver 25-2.

“Football is a strange game,” Vancouver coach Carl Robinson said, according to the league website. “Two weeks ago, we were on cloud nine and people thought we were at a certain level, which I knew we weren’t, and this week people are disappointed. The players are disappointed, and we’re not at that level, either. We’re somewhere in between. It’s important (to) refocus and get back to work.”

Brian Rowe, who has given up 16 goals in the past seven games while he has filled in for injured Stefan Marinovic, was frank in his assessment.

“Just disappointed. Embarrassing,” Rowe told the Vancouver Sun. “We cannot put that on the field. Embarrassing is the only word.

“We just need to get back after it.”

In addition to the two red-card holders, the Whitecaps will be without defender Kendall Waston, who is on international duty with Costa Rica.

The Rapids (3-9-3) needed a 74th-minute goal from Joe Mason and a dramatic game-winner in the seventh minute of stoppage time from Tommy Smith to get a come-from-behind win over the Loons and end their recent woes.

“We showed a huge amount of character to keep going and force the issue and force the result in the end,” first-year Colorado coach Anthony Hudson said. “I think we’re showing some strong signs in these games. We’re taking leads, and we’re coming back. We’re responding very well. The signs are good, and I think we need to build on the character from what we showed on Saturday.”

The Colorado offense has improved. The Rapids have scored five goals in the past two games — the same output they had in their previous eight.

But playing at BC Place has been a challenge for them.

Colorado, which lost 2-1 at Vancouver on June 1, is 2-6-3 all time there, and the Whitecaps are 4-1-3 in the past eight meetings between the teams.