The Colorado Rapids are looking to build on their solid start in 2014 as they will welcome Sporting Kansas City to Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Saturday, March 29th. Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni has a win and a draw to his name as Colorado will host the defending MLS Cup Champions after opening the season against the regular season top seeds of the Eastern and Western Conference respectively.
Colorado (1-0-1) defeated the Portland Timbers 2-0 on the weekend. The Rapids benefited from two 2nd-half penalties that lifted the club over last season's top finisher in the Western Conference. DeShorn Brown was taken down by Timbers GK Donovan Rickets and Vicente Sanchez converted from the spot. Rickets was subsequently given a straight red card and also had to be taken off on a stretcher after injuring his knee on the play. DeShorn Brown scored the second penalty after Sanchez was taken down by Timbers backup GK Andrew Weber.
Sporting Kansas City (1-1-1) are coming off a 1-0 win over San Jose Earthquakes at Sporting Park on the weekend. The win will come as a boost considering the club suffered a humbling 5-1 loss in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League to Mexican side Cruz Azul. The Mexico City giants did narrowly lose in Kansas City but came out firing on all cylinders at Estadio Azul on March 19th.
Colorado GK Clint Irwin has stated this past week that he has fully recovered from his leg injury and is ready to go. Mastroeni could face a selection headache as rookie goalkeeper John Berner has played well in the opening two matches. Meanwhile, Clint Irwin and Chris Klute have received contract extensions. The Rapids will also be looking to get their first goal from the run of play after all three goals scored so far have come from the penalty spot.