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Goats visit seeking a victory

August 20, 2011 | 7:49 am No comments
By Shaun Schafer

Omar Cummings tees up a shot during the Rapids home clash with Chivas in 2010. (Photograph by Jonathan Ingraham/ColoradoSoccerNow.com)

The Colorado Rapids start the final eight games of the MLS season secure in a playoff position and tangling with one of the teams chasing them, Chivas USA.

This alone makes the Saturday night clash at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park intriguing, but add in the Goats’ latest signing, the return of a former Rapid and the potential to watch an endurance record, and the storyline gets a little overwhelming without even mentioning CONCACAF Champions League play.

Whew. There’s a lot going on in Commerce City tonight at 7. Here’s the break down.

The Striker: Juan Pablo Angel, the top scorer in the MLS in the past five years, became a Chivas player on Wednesday. The Colombian forward never found his place and had trouble finding the goal this season with the LA Galaxy.

Angel, a Designated Player, became expendable and was disposed when LA signed Robbie Keane. He moved across the locker room to Chivas on Wednesday and is scheduled to make his first appearance tonight.

The Returnee: Nick LaBrocca developed into a midfield stalwart for the Colorado Rapids in 2007-09 before getting traded to Toronto FC for the ’10 season. He found a new home with Chivas this year and has blossomed into an MLS All-Star.

This season, he has become a part of the attack, scoring seven goals and netting four assists for the Goats.

More Moor: Defender Drew Moor tied the MLS record for complete consecutive games for a field player at 67 in the match against San Jose Earthquakes. Tonight he can take ownership of the record.

Playing in central defense or at left back, Moor has been a constant in the lineup. With Anthony Wallace out, look for Moor — who played 90 minutes in Wednesday night’s CCL clash with Isidro Metapan — to be patrolling the backline.

Busy Schedule: Seven Colorado starters played most of the night in Wednesday’s 3-2 victory over Metapan. After tonight, the team will have to gear up for a trip to Honduras to play Real Espana in Tuesday’s CCL match. Then, it’s on the road again to face Chicago on the 27th.

Isidro Metapan Alfredo Pacheco (left), watches as Colorado Rapids Andre Akpan (top), uses the back of Pacheco's teammate Alex Escobar during the CCL opener, Aug. 17. (Photograph by Jessica Taves/ColoradoSoccerNow.com)

Almost All White: The Rapids are also debuting a new look tonight. Colorado will be wearing white shorts with the team’s white road jersey with burgundy shoulders. Take a look at it here.

Since dropping the powder blue road kit, the Rapids have been looking for a third kit this season.

Last Time: The Rapids went on the road and defeated Chivas 1-0 on March 26. Quincy Amarikwa got the game’s loan goal.

Yellow Alert: Jeff Larentowicz, Caleb Folan, Wells Thompson and Moor each face a mandatory one-game suspension after their next yellow card. LaBrocca and Zarek Valentin are in the same spot for Chivas.

So, it’s possible that Moor could set the endurance record at 68 games and then be forced to miss the next match for accumulation of cautions. Insert your ironic comment here.

Streaks: Colorado is undefeated (4-0-1) in its past five match and coming off its best performance at home in a 2-0 victory over the Columbus Crew on Aug. 5.

Chivas settled for a tie with the Seattle Sounders FC last week and has gone 2-1-2 in the past five games, four of them away matches.

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