Commerce City, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - The Colorado Rapids will aim to solidify a playoff berth in the crowded Western Conference on Saturday when the club welcomes Seattle Sounders FC to D ck's Sporting Goods Park.
The youthful Rapids enter Saturday's clash sitting in fifth place in the Western Conference with 45 points. A win would create a four-point gap between them and the sixth-place San Jose Earthquakes with three games remaining.
Colorado is coming off a difficult 1-0 setback against the Portland Timbers on Sept. 20 at Jeld-Wen Field which snapped a modest two-match winning streak.
The home-standing Timbers were on the front foot almost from the outset against Colorado and collected the only goal of the match thanks to a defensive error by the Rapids when defender Drew Moor's poor clearance was knocked back into space by Rodney Wallace.
Timbers Designated Player Diego Valeri raced onto the loose ball and chipped Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin for his 11th goal of the season.
Colorado sent on their own Designated Player Gabirel Torres in the second half in search of an offensive spark and the club did create some scoring chances, but the Portland backline held firm to claim the points.
"It was obviously a mistake," Rapids coach Oscar Pareja said of the goal. "It's unfortunate we lost points with it. It's all on us."
Seattle, meanwhile, is coming off a 1-1 stalemate against the New York Red Bulls last week at CenturyLink Field.
The Sounders dominated the opening 45 minutes and found the first goal of the game on the stroke of halftime through a Brad Evans goal. But New York came out much stronger in the second half and equalized with a superb strike from Tim Cahill.
Both teams seemed content with a point the rest of the way as it finished level to give the Red Bulls a one-point edge over Seattle in the Supporter's Shield race.
"I thought we were a little fortunate tonight," Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. "But I don't think it was our best soccer. I know we can play better than we played tonight. We still came out with a tie, so we got a point and we still have some games in hand. But when we play at home, we'd like to win."