Frisco, TX – The Colorado Rapids ended one of the worst runs in club history last week and are focused on turning their season around at FC Dallas on Saturday.
Colorado had lost six straight, tied for a club record, before a 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
Although the Rapids (8-14-1) are just five points off the foot of the Western Conference, they are also just eight points behind the Los Angeles Galaxy for fifth place and a playoff spot.
Colorado coach Oscar Pareja kept the big picture in focus after the important win last week, which he knows will mean nothing if the club can't produce more positive results.
"We spoke during the week to the boys. We said we still have time and we're going to keep fighting. They have been pushing, they have been trying, they have been fighting," Pareja said.
The Rapids have not put together successive wins since opening the season with victories over the Columbus Crew and Philadelphia Union.
Defender Drew Moor believed the squad should take confidence from its win over Real Salt Lake, and carry that into the match at Dallas.
"This is how we can perform, this is how we can play. We can score goals, we can continue to create," Moor said. "We probably should have gotten a couple more, and we can get shutouts.
"That's how things have been in the past. Three or four months ago, this would have been a normal win for us. We need to continue to build on this momentum."
Dallas (5-11-8) has also struggled this season, but like Colorado could still put together a late run for a playoff berth. FCD is in eighth in the West, and two points behind Colorado.
The teams split their first two meetings this year, but Colorado won in Dallas and FC Dallas won in Colorado. So, despite the Rapids being just 2-9-0 on the road and FCD being 4-3-6 at home, this game at FC Dallas Stadium should be up for grabs.
Dallas earned a 1-1 draw at the Portland Timbers last weekend, and Brek Shea - who was benched two matches by the team - returned to assist on the lone goal.
Coach Schellas Hyndman admitted Dallas was better with the winger, and hoped a break - which followed a confrontation with the coach on the sideline - would spark the United States international.
"It hurt us, but it was the best thing for Brek. He did well. He played hard, was able to go the full 90 and he had a great assist," Hyndman said.
Shea was happy to be back on the field, but disappointed with just a draw. And this week, Dallas will be without Zach Loyd after a red card, meaning it will face a challenge to secure an important home win.
"If we had won, it would've maybe meant a little bit more. It definitely feels good to get something like that, but it's one game. If it's a string of games, I'll feel better," Shea said.