Commerce City, CO – The Colorado Rapids have not fared well on the road this season, but return to Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Saturday for the first of five home games in a six-game stretch.
Colorado has earned two road wins in seven matches away from home this season, but has lost three of its last four on the road - including two of three over the first half of May.
Sporting Kansas City (7-3-0) visits Colorado (5-6-0) this week, and the Rapids will make just one more road trip - to Vancouver Whitecaps FC - before early July in Major League Soccer.
The Rapids suffered their fifth loss in their last seven matches on Wednesday against D.C. United, but Conor Casey started for the first time this year and Edu made his debut as the team wrapped up a three-game road trip.
Casey last started in July of last season when he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon, and had appeared in two of the three previous matches as a substitute.
"The minutes were good. I didn't feel too bad at the end, so that's good. I'm really excited about that, and getting back in the swing of it," Casey said.
With forward Omar Cummings sidelined, Casey paired with Tony Cascio up top and coach Oscar Pareja also got a look at Edu, who has Champions League experience from his days in Spain's La Liga.
Edu played the last 25 minutes against United, and should add a lot of quality once he settles into the squad.
"It's hard to say how long (it will take to adapt). We've got to adapt these guys into the team, and it's a process for us," Pareja said. "We've got to be patient with the new players and faces that come to the team, and it's going to take a little while."
Kansas City was the best team in MLS after seven games and seven wins to open the season, but three straight losses have dropped the club out of first place in the Eastern Conference.
Sporting lost 2-1 to the Chicago Fire last week, and will try to secure a win in Colorado for the first time since 2004 to snap the skid.
Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen believed the team played better last week against the Fire, and needed to build on the performance against Colorado.
"I think we were back on track (against Chicago) compared to last week where we were not very happy with our performance against Montreal. We showed we are a good team again and we just have to build from that," Sporting goalie Jimmy Nielsen said.
"We played with discipline ... and we talked about that before the game. It's very important you are quick in your position and you play from there. I think we were very well organized and we did a good job."