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West rivals clash as Rapids host FCD

Jun 18, 2015 - 8:02 PM Commerce City, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of heated Western Conference rivals will clash on Friday when FC Dallas travels to Dick's Sporting Goods Park to battle the Colorado Rapids.

FC Dallas enters the clash in fourth place in the crowded Western Conference, but is winless in its previous five matches, including a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Seattle Sounders FC

FC Dallas had the better of the play in the first half, but couldn't break down the Seattle defense and paid for it in the second 45 minutes as Seattle opened the scoring in the 55th minute.

Lamar Neagle, the Seattle native, struck first as he got on the end of a feed from defender Brad Evans and fired past Dallas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy for his third goal of the season.

The Sounders doubled the lead in the 73rd minute as Obafemi Martins, the Nigerian international, got on the end of a pass from Andy Rose and slotted home his seventh goal of the campaign.

Neagle turned provider in stoppage time, as his pass to Leonardo Gonzalez allowed Gonzalez to fire home a third goal and seal all three points in style.

Colorado, meanwhile, will be looking to snap a three-match winless run coming off a scoreless draw against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium back on June 7.

In the first half the game became very chippy as the teams combined for 20 fouls. Real Salt Lake had the better of the play. Alvaro Saborio had the best chance of the opening half when he sent a header on a corner kick just over the crossbar in the 13th minute.

The Rapids' best chance in the first half came in the 43rd minute as Gabriel Torres' right footed shot from outside the box sailed just over the goal.

Colorado's Sam Cronin had arguably the best chance of the night when he volleyed a strike on frame but hit it right into Real goalkeeper Nick Rimando in the 54th minute.

The last chance of the night came as Aaron Maund conceded a foul in the box on Luis Solignac. Dillon Powers stepped up to take the kick and pushed the shot just wide of the net.

"I think that coming off of last week's performance in the first half, we harped on commitment. We harped on execution, application of all the work this week. What I saw in this 90 minutes was a team that was committed, that applied themselves really well, and did everything as a group," said Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni. "I think that's for me a sign of many good things to come. I think at the end of the day, we fell short, but it wasn't for lack of creating a good couple opportunities. I think it was a tremendous effort in a very difficult place to play."

"We should have won the game. We sort of had it in our grasp there at the end, to have the penalty there at the end. But that's football," said Rapids defender Michael Harrington. "I thought the performance was much better today than it had been in the last couple of weeks. Especially in a tough place to play against a rival team in Salt Lake. I felt like the energy was good. The connection between the back line and the forwards was good. It's definitely something we can build on. The three points would have been nice but like I said that's football."