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Colorado hopes to clinch against Real Salt Lake

After a break of nearly two weeks, the Colorado Rapids will return to action on Friday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park against Rocky Mountain Cup rivals Real Salt Lake.

RSL has already clinched a place in the postseason and is looking to remain in the top three in the Western Conference, while the Rapids could clinch a spot in the playoffs themselves with three points on Friday.

A two-week layoff can sometimes cause problems for a team that is used to playing two matches a week, but Rapids coach Gary Smith believes Salt Lake is the perfect opponent for the occasion.

"Nothing will get the guys going like a local derby against Salt Lake," Smith said. "If it was anyone else, it might be that the guys could be a tad rusty or a few cobwebs hanging around after a two-week break having played two games a week for however long. I don't suspect that. Salt Lake will come here looking to secure the Rocky Mountain Cup and to get another one over us if they can and we'll be looking to win it and, of course, try and rubber-stamp our postseason."

Colorado snapped a five-game winless skid last time out with a 1-0 win over FC Dallas, and the defending MLS Cup champions are now eyeing a return to the postseason with a second successive victory.

Salt Lake may have already clinched a postseason berth but Jason Kreis will bring his team to Colorado on a four-game losing skid, with RSL having been outscored 12-2 in those four losses.

The team is in the midst of its worst stretch since 2007, but defender Nat Borchers believes his side has the ability to overcome adversity and bounce back.

"It's not a sprint, it's a marathon," Borchers said of the MLS season. "You get your satisfaction over what happens at the end of the season - the season's not over yet. It's been a roller coaster so far, but this is a group that's faced adversity before. We've come out on top."

Borchers will be wearing the captain's armband on Friday with Kyle Beckerman out through suspension, while the visitors will try to duplicate their result from earlier this season against the Rapids when a stoppage-time goal from Fabian Espindola gave RSL a 1-0 win in April.