There's no guarantee that the fine form that the Rapids have shown in the past few weeks is going to be sustainable through the entire season, and so they'll be looking to get as many points as they can out of their recent hot streak. Coming into DSGP with a four-game unbeaten streak, they will have a marvelous chance with slumping Chivas USA as their opposition.
Though Chelis' men had a blistering start to the year, they've fallen off the wagon and have regressed right back into 'Typical Chivas'. A rumored looming takeover and some strange sales that even Chelis himself didn't agree to -- Juan Agudelo to the New England Revolution for some MLS magic beans -- haven't helped a team that can't seem to stop anyone with a hint of width on the field. Oscar Pareja's men do have width when they need it, provided by very high traveling fullbacks and some roaming from the strike force. (Look forward to Atiba Harris getting even more chances to screw up the finishing on than normal!) Edson Buddle will return for this one, giving Colorado its best striker back to pair with Harris and, presumably, Brown.
On the other side of things, Chivas' offense has been toothless with Agudelo gone, and there's no reason to think that the Rapids will suddenly be their outlet for goals with the stout defending we've seen this season in both the back and in the goal. The defensive midfield spot as well, if Nathan Sturgis is planning on proving that those two brilliant performances in the last two games weren't flukes.
This will be a good game to test just how far this Rapids team has come. They have certainly improved their form over the last month or two, but they still have yet to put together a really signature victory. The 2-0 win over Columbus came close, but that was a battle from start to finish and, had the Crew had a bit more luck on the day, could have ended far differently. Chivas is a team that is battered, out of sorts and should be out-matched in every segment of the game. This should, by all means, provide them their best chance to break out of their shells and finally get the confidence of a good team.
Of course, we said all these same things when Toronto FC came to town, and it took a last-second miracle to beat them. Hopefully this is less like the second game against Chivas last year (1-1) and more like the first. (4-0). This might also be a good time to start Kamani 'Goat Face Killa' Hill if you're Oscar Pareja, since he had three goals against the Goats in 2012.
Colorado came out victorious the last time the two teams met, watching Chivas' José Correa rattle a penalty chance off the crossbar a few minutes after Deshorn Brown capitalized on a penalty of his won. The 1-0 victory was a big one for the Rapids, and might be the result that really kickstarted the upward trajectory that the Rapids have been on, and the downward trajectory that Chivas has seen.
The game will be at Dick's Sporting Goods Park at 7 p.m. MT.