for this game

Struggling sides square off as Rapids face Chivas

Oct 10, 2014 - 9:50 PM Carson, CA ( - Two of the bottom three teams in the Western Conference will meet up at the StubHub Center on Saturday when the Colorado Rapids tangle with Chivas USA.

Both teams have endured a difficult past few months that have dropped them out of playoff contention, but both will be hoping to end the season on a positive note, starting with Saturday's match.

The Rapids bring an 11-game winless streak into the fixture, having taken just two points during that time, while being outscored 18-5 in their last five contests.

Colorado's latest setback came in a 4-1 home defeat to Seattle Sounders FC last weekend as the Rapids fell behind 3-0 in the opening 33 minutes before pulling a goal back through Deshorn Brown shortly before halftime.

But Obafemi Martins scored his second goal of the game in the 70th minute to put the match away for Seattle, leaving head coach Pablo Mastroeni to offer a rather frank evaluation of his team's performance.

"I think they out-competed us today and that's one thing we've done really well this year - being able to compete," Mastroeni said after the defeat. "They've got some class players that can make a big difference on that team but the first 15 minutes of the game we didn't set the kind of tone that we needed to set to play against these kind of teams and really make it difficult for them. We were just chasing the game from the beginning."

Part of the problem, according to Mastroeni, is the fact that there simply isn't much confidence in the side right now, something the boss has tried to improve by focusing on the positive aspects of his team's play.

"You can't deny human nature. These guys aren't playing with the most confidence - how can you when you haven't won a game in two months," Mastroeni said bluntly. "It makes it that much more difficult. My job the past two months has been to be very upbeat, really positive and focus on the good things that we're doing."

Unfortunately for Mastroeni, there hasn't been too much to be positive about, although Saturday's match will likely be the best chance Colorado has at grabbing a win over the final three games.

After all, the Rapids last win came against Chivas on July 25.

The Goats know a thing or two about lengthy slumps, with Chivas bringing an end to a 12-game winless streak last weekend by upsetting Real Salt Lake, 1-0.

Head coach Wilmer Cabrera spoke before the RSL match about closing the season strong, with three of the final four games coming at home. And now that Chivas managed to win the first of those games, Cabrera will be hoping to put together another strong performance at home against the Rapids.

"I told the guys we needed to improve [defensively], and that the chances would come," said Cabrera after the victory against RSL. "If we could find the balance between being more solid in the back and creating chances, we were going to be alright.

"It was tough, it wasn't easy, and to win 1-0 shows how hard of a game it was. It also proved how all the players worked hard defensively and then offensively when we won the ball."

All Cabrera can ask for at this stage of the season is for his side to put out a similar effort to the one he saw last weekend, and Chivas will have a good opportunity to collect back-to-back wins for the first time since early July.

One thing that will make life a bit tougher for Chivas is the fact that leading scorer Erick Torres will be away on international duty with Mexico.