Rapids-Chivas USA Preview
The Colorado Rapids are unbeaten in seven straight, but could have an entirely new attacking look this weekend.
Forward Vicente Sanchez is expected to make his Rapids debut and two midfielders could return to the lineup in Sunday night's visit to face lowly Chivas USA.
Colorado (9-7-8) is set to debut Sanchez, who signed Tuesday. Sanchez has played in Mexico, Germany and most recently in his native Uruguay.
"Vicente is an experienced, professional player who can help this team both on the field and in the locker room," coach Oscar Pareja told the Rapids' official website. "He has performed at a high level in some of the top leagues in the world."
Pareja did not say whether he would start Sanchez, although the coach would like to pencil in Martin Rivero in his lineup. Rivero hasn't played since June 19 in a year in which he injured his right foot twice and suffered a quad injury, but he is available Sunday.
Fellow midfielder Jaime Castrillon could make his second 2013 start. Castrillon has been limited since offseason knee surgery after leading Colorado with eight goals in 2012, although he came through as a substitute with his first goal - a 70th-minute equalizer - in last Saturday's 2-2 draw with Real Salt Lake.
Starters Edson Buddle and Atiba Harris both suffered injuries in that contest so that may pave the way for lineup changes by Pareja.
Rookie Deshorn Brown's starting role is likely secure after he scored his team-high sixth goal last weekend.
Colorado is 4-0-3 since a 3-0 loss at Portland on June 23, and 8-0-2 in its last 10 against Chivas USA. The Rapids have outscored Chivas 21-3 over the unbeaten run, including 3-0 in two wins this year.
Chivas USA (4-13-5) has gone 277 minutes without scoring against Colorado and is the league's second-lowest scoring team with 19 goals in 22 games.
Rapids captain Drew Moor insists his team won't take Chivas lightly.
"I don't think it's a trap game," Moor said. "If we go and play our game and match their intensity and do what we need to do, we should take care of business."
Chivas is 1-12-4 since going 3-1-1 in March. Last Saturday's 2-0 loss at San Jose made it 14 games in a row in which the club has failed to score at least twice.
"It's been a tough season," coach Jose Luis Real told Chivas USA's official website. "Most important is our transition for the next season. We are a very young team. I am happy with the development of the players."
Both teams will be without suspended players, with Colorado missing midfielder Hendry Thomas and Chivas not having defender Carlos Bocanegra.
Real plans to give Steve Purdy his first start since May 19 in place of Bocanegra.
"Opportunities present themselves like this and I have no doubt that Purdy is a player that we can be confident will respond to the expectations," the coach said.
The Rapids will get their first look at Erick Torres, who has two goals in his first three appearances for Chivas.