Sporting aims to continue home dominance over Rapids

Kansas City, KS ( - Sporting Kansas City will aim to continue its dominant home form against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday as the two sides square off at Sporting Park.

Colorado's last win in Kansas City came way back in 2002 at Arrowhead Stadium, with Sporting going 8-0-4 in 12 home meetings since that defeat.

In fact, Sporting has had Colorado's number no matter where they have played in recent years, bringing an eight-game unbeaten streak against the Rapids into Saturday's contest.

The visitors have managed just one win in 10 games so far this term, but with seven draws, including four straight, Colorado has been a difficult team to collect wins against.

James Riley scored a stoppage-time equalizer in last Friday's 1-1 draw for the Rapids against San Jose after Chris Wondolowski scored a first-half goal for the Earthquakes.

And although Colorado has struggled to put wins together so far, head coach Pablo Mastroeni was encouraged by what he saw from his team in the second half against the 'Quakes.

"The second half was a great reflection of the team that we want to be," Mastroeni said of last Friday's match. "We created a bunch of opportunities. We did enough to win the game. For as cut throat as we are on the defense, that mentality is needed in front of the goal. Tonight, we weren't showing up in front of the goal. The ability to stay in the game, keep pushing and keep believing with a chance to win speaks volumes to the group that we have. It's going to come."

Gabriel Torres has scored four goals for the Rapids so far this season, but with no other Colorado player managing more than one goal, he will need some help if the team is going to start stringing together some wins.

Kansas City is no stranger to sharing the points this year as well with Sporting playing to five draws in 10 games.

The latest came last weekend in a 1-1 stalemate at D.C. United as Dom Dwyer's 45th-minute goal canceled out one from United's Jairo Arrieta three minutes prior.

"It was a great response to be able to get back even as quickly as we did," said Sporting head coach Peter Vermes after his side earned a point. "I thought we were a little unlucky in the first half because I thought we should have had at least one or two more [goals]. It was a little bit deflating at first, but I thought the response by the team was good and it has been like that most games. We find a way to get back in it when we give something up, so that mentality is pretty good."

Vermes may be pleased with the mentality, but he won't be happy with a head injury suffered by midfielder Graham Zusi, which will likely keep the United States international out of Saturday's match.

Zusi collided with United's Bobby Boswell in the 70th minute, and although he returned to the game, he was subbed off in 90th.

The injury is another setback for the 28-year-old Zusi, who has been battling through injury problems for much of the first few months of the season.

After missing most of the preseason while recovering from a stress fracture in his foot, Zusi missed two games in April because of a hamstring problem.

He seemed to be coming into form with two assists in his previous two games before the injury against United.