Since the calendar switched to June, the Colorado Rapids have enjoyed little success in MLS.
With nine losses in 11 matches in June, July and early August, the Rapids have fallen 22 points off the pace in the Western Conference. In addition, Colorado is 12 points out of the playoff race, and just four points off the bottom.
Colorado (8-15-1) will search for a spark Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park against Chivas USA (7-9-5), which is just one point away in seventh.
The Rapids have been shut out just three times during the 11-game stretch with two wins and nine losses, but has not been able to hold up defensively.
Last week, Colorado lost 3-2 to FC Dallas to suffer its league-worst 15 defeat of the season. Despite goals from Jaime Castrillon and Jeff Larentowicz, the Rapids allowed three goals in an eight-minute stretch bridging the first and second halves.
And overall, the Rapids wasted chances offensively that could have made up for their lapses defensively.
"You've got to put the ball in the back of the net, and if you don't do it, then you pay for it. I think that is exactly what happened," Colorado coach Pareja said on the league's website.
Colorado received good news this week, as striker Conor Casey resumed training after missing the last two matches. Casey, who has 50 goals in 133 appearances for the Rapids, missed time with a hamstring injury.
"The leg's going good, just trying to work on my fitness and get sharp and get available for the weekend," Casey said. "I'm hoping to be available."
Chivas (7-9-5) is tied for the fewest games played in MLS, but whether it can make the most of those extra matches yet to be played is to be determined.
The Goats lost 4-0 to the Los Angeles Galaxy in the Super Clasico, and slipped 11 points out of fifth place and the last postseason berth from the West last week.
Chivas coach Robin Fraser was not pleased after the result.
"That's embarrassing," Fraser said. "For the magnitude of this game to have the result fall the way it did is certainly not good enough."
How Chivas responds this week could determine whether a late run can lift the Goats into playoff contention.