Commerce City, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Vancouver Whitecaps FC will aim for a rebound performance on Saturday when the club travels to Dick's Sporting Goods Park to face the Colorado Rapids.
Vancouver has been the surprise package of the 2015 season and enters the clash in second place in the highly-competitive Western Conference with 20 points from 12 matches played.
But the club will need to get back to winning ways to keep pace with FC Dallas after suffering a 2-0 loss to Cascadia rivals Seattle Sounders FC at BC Place last week.
Clint Dempsey got things going for Seattle when he took control of the ball in midfield and played a well-weighted through ball in behind the defense. Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted came off his line to cut out the pass, but Chad Barrett beat him to the ball and poked it past the netminder.
The home side tried to respond within two minutes as Pedro Morales worked his way to the top of the penalty area and curled a shot on goal that Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei did well to tip over the crossbar.
Marco Pappa played provider on the second goal when he curled a ball down the left wing that Barrett tracked down and drove inside the far post with a nice left-footed effort.
"First goals change games," Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson admitted to media after the match. "I couldn't fault the group. The way that we played the first half especially. To go in two-nil down at half time was difficult to take. The first goal was probably going to be the deciding factor.
"When you're playing a very good team, the first goal changes the game. We were able to play through them in the first half. In the second half, when the dynamic of the game has changed, they have the ball, they keep the ball. They've got some very good, experienced players who know how to manage the game and slow it, and they did."
Colorado, meanwhile, comes into the clash with some extra rest after having its match against Sporting Kansas City last week postponed due to heavy rain and lightning in the Kansas City area.
The last time the Rapids were on the field, the club claimed a point at home in a 1-1 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes on May 9.
The visitors were the more dangerous side in the first half and they made that advantage count in the 19th minute when a failed clearance from a corner kick allowed Sanna Nyassi to pick out an unmarked Chris Wondolowski at the back post. He took a touch to elude goalkeeper Clint Irwin and fired home his fifth goal of the season.
But Colorado claimed a point in added time with some good fortune as San Jose goalkeeper David Bingham's punch sailed straight to defender James Riley, who sent a looping header over the netminder to secure the draw.
"It was a great effort, he took it really well. It wasn't the clearest of opportunities tonight. We had some really clear opportunities," Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni said of Riley's goal.
"That wouldn't even be considered a half chance, there were a lot of people in the way, a lot of people in the front, and the goal wasn't very visible. His ability to take it down and find a way was tremendous. When better than 50 percent of the opportunities aren't going in, you've got to find ways to do it. Everyone needs to contribute in that aspect. It was a good finish."