Commerce City, CO – The Colorado Rapids will be hoping to get back to winning ways against the Chicago Fire at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Sunday.
Colorado opened the campaign with back-to-back wins before crashing back to reality in a 4-1 defeat against Red Bull New York last time out.
The Rapids yielded two goals in the first six minutes and never really got back into the match, leaving head coach Oscar Pareja to take a hard look at what went wrong.
"There are a lot of areas we have to work on after a game like this," said Pareja. "As a coach we have to look at what we did wrong and how we can improve on these areas. Without a doubt our maturity on defense has to be better than it was today, we have to pay more attention to detail, the team looked somewhat distraught at kickoff; not only because of the early goal. This team is a work in progress and we have to keep on working. It's easy when you win, we were coming off two consecutive wins but my message to the team is to keep on working, especially after tough losses."
Colorado wasn't helped by the fact that the team was playing without a pair of influential midfielders in Pablo Mastroeni and Jeff Larentowicz.
Mastroeni missed the game with the Red Bulls because of a head injury he sustained against the Philadelphia Union the week before and he is not expected to take part in Sunday's matchup, while Larentowicz had a streak of 73 consecutive MLS matches come to an end due to suspension.
Chicago hasn't tasted defeat in its first two games this season, with forward Dominic Oduro picking up where he left off last term by scoring goals in each of the first two matches.
Oduro led the club with 12 goals last year, but it was Chicago's improved play in defense in a 1-0 win over Philadelphia last weekend that was largely responsible for the club picking up three points.
"Jalil [Anibaba] and I are a year-and-a-half into this thing, and our communication on switching men was spectacular," defender Cory Gibbs said. "[Outside backs] Gonzalo [Segares] and [Dan] Gargan kept the back line tight, unlike other games when we can get stretched out. Nothing got behind us."
If Chicago wants to keep its good run going the club will have to reverse a trend of futility for away teams in this all-time series that has seen just one road side win in the last 14 contests between the two teams.