Rapids aim to gain momentum vs. Sounders (Jul 04, 2017)

BY AP • July 3, 2017

The Seattle Sounders FC and Colorado Rapids are both chasing playoff positions as Major League Soccer enters an international break.

With both teams going head to head on Tuesday night at Colorado, a result either way in a rematch of the 2016 Western Conference Final would be a major shot in the arm to each club.

The Rapids (6-10-1 with 19 points) are coming off an encouraging 3-1 road victory over the Houston Dynamo that moved them to three points back of the playoff positions. A road win is hard to come by and is something for the Rapids to build upon with the second half of the season still to come.

"It will be the eighth game in 22 days so we've got to see where we are and cover it the right way. But whenever you have games in such close proximity, it's got to be about mentality and what you're playing for," Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni said.

"These guys are going to be playing for each other in a game that's more about heart and determination because who knows who's going to be out on that field. Whoever it is, we've got to play football the right way."

The Sounders (5-7-6 with 21 points) are in a similar position to last season when some poor results left them chasing a playoff spot.

With just one win in their last four games, the Sounders now have to find a way to get some results on the road at altitude in Colorado.

The transfer window's opening has allowed the Sounders to add Dutch defender Kevin Leerdam, who came from Vitesse Arnhem. Leerdam has joined in training. He'll be eligible to play on July 10 but Seattle, which has been short at right back this season, certainly needs to start putting results together.

"We have to go there like we did last year in the playoffs and find a way to win," said midfielder Osvaldo Alonso, referring to the Sounders' 1-0 win in the Western Conference final second leg that put them into the MLS Cup final.

"We know they have three points behind them so we have to go there and fight for our team and get the three points."

Colorado has plenty of injuries with Bobby Burling (foot) out and Shkelzen Gashi (hamstring), Josh Gatt (groin), Dillon Powers (groin), Axel Sjoberg (hamstring) and Mohammed Saeid (knee) all questionable. Seattle's lone absence is Seyi Adekoya (ankle).

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