Rapids hope to stay hot at home vs. Timbers (Jun 17, 2017)

BY AP • June 16, 2017

The Colorado Rapids were dominant at home last season but this year has proved to be a challenge for them at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.

They opened the season 1-2 at home but a three-match winning streak at Dick's has their confidence back heading into a key home match against the Portland Timbers on Saturday night. At least it's not a road game for the Rapids, who have lost all six of their matches away from home.

The slow start at home and the poor road record has Colorado (4-8-1) sitting in last place in the Western Conference after going to the conference finals a year ago.

The improved play at home couldn't have come at a better time considering the Timbers (7-5-3) have struggled on the road, where they are 2-4-1. But Portland has been tough at home and is coming off a 2-0 win over FC Dallas.

The Timbers are much improved overall from last season. They were 0-11-6 on the road, so they've already surpassed last year's win total away from home. They boast a proven scorer in Fanendo Adi, who has eight goals this season and 49 in 104 MLS regular season games. He was named the MLS Player of the Week after scoring both goals against FC Dallas.

Portland has scored more than twice as many goals as Colorado this season (26-12) and is riding a two-game winning streak heading into Saturday's matchup. The Rapids, meanwhile, have rallied to win their last two games.

The Rapids will be without Bobby Burling, who will miss several weeks with a foot injury suffered in Colorado's 3-2 U.S. Open Cup win against Oklahoma on Tuesday. Burling hurt his foot in the first half and did not return. Shkelzen Gashi is questionable with a hamstring injury.

The Rapids could get a boost from the availability of center backs Axel Sjoberg, Jared Watts and Kortne Ford. Goaltender Tim Howard returns to Colorado after playing two World Cup Qualifiers for Team USA. The first was a 2-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago at Dick's Sporting Goods Park followed by a 1-1 draw at Mexico on Sunday.

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