BRIDEVIEW, IL - JUNE 09: Wells Thompson #15 of the Colorado Rapids controls the ball as Marco Pappa #16 of the Chicago Fire closes in during an MLS match on June 5, 2010 at Toyota Park in Brideview, Illinois. The Rapids and the Fire tied 2-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The Colorado Rapids had a howler of a game last week against the New York Red Bulls, losing 4-1 on the back of a Thierry Henry masterclass performance. New York is not a bad team by any means, beating Montreal 5-2 on Saturday, but it was still an unfortunate blip on the Colorado radar. The Rapids will need to put that performance behind them on Sunday as, for the third week in a row, they will be on national TV (Galavision) to meet the Chicago Fire.
Pablo Mastroeni will miss this game with his continuing saga of head injuries, likely to be replaced by Martin Rivero. An appearance by Rivero would mark the first ever appearance for the Rapids by the young Argentinian, and his quality will need to come out against a tough Chicago team.
You may remember Chicago from last season as one of the teams that set the all time draws record for the league. They seem to have improved this year and have plenty of goal sources including Dominic Oduro and Marco Pappa. The Rapids strike force of Omar Cummings and Tony Cascio will need to match their quality at the very least if they want to get this game. Either way, this one looks like it will turn into a battle of which defense will be able to put together the best game with two decent striker gangs going against each other.
If not, we might see a rare MLS shootout. This will be the only meeting between these two teams in 2012 thanks to the new scheduling rule, and the Rapids have always been terrible at Toyota Park so this will be a good chance to snag 3 points from another Eastern opponent if they play their cards correctly. Our own Rapids had a draw record of their own last year - setting the record for most ties in a row - so if this ends in a draw I wouldn't be surprised.