MLS Preview from The Sports Network (ET)


The Sports Network

Colorado (1-1-1) at Vancouver (2-0-2), 6:30 p.m.

Vancouver, BC ( - A pair of Western Conference rivals will tangle on Saturday when Vancouver Whitecaps FC hosts the Colorado Rapids at BC Place.

Vancouver has gotten off to a fine start this season with two wins and two draws through four games to sit in third place in the Western Conference with eight points.

The Whitecaps are coming off a solid performance on home soil last week, earning a 2-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo and dealing the Dynamo their first loss of the season.

The hosts opened the scoring in the 14th minute when Pedro Morales whipped a dangerous curling ball into O�Brien at the far post. The 6-foot-3 center back then headed the ball back down to Harvey, who poked it past Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall to give the 'Caps a 1-0.

Vancouver then made it a two-goal margin in the 58th minute as Russell Teibert played a ball down the left to Darren Mattocks, who beat two defenders before the ball clipped the arm of sprawling Houston defender Kofi Sarkodie, resulting in a penalty kick.

'Caps captain Kenny Miller then stepped up and dispatched the penalty with ease for the 2-0 advantage.

Houston pulled one back with 15 minutes to play through veteran Ricardo Clark, who headed home a Brad Davis free kick, finding the bottom right corner past goalkeeper David Ousted.

Dating back to last season, Whitecaps FC are undefeated in their last five league matches, one game shy of the club�s MLS record, set last June 15-July 14.

"We showed some determination. We defended as well. We couldn't ask for much more. The two road performances weren't great but we got back to BC Place and got another three points. Eight points out of 12 is not a bad start," said Miller.

Colorado, meanwhile, is coming off its first loss of the season, a 3-2 setback against defending champions Sporting Kansas City at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

Sporting broke through in the 50th minute. A long pass down the right side found Sal Zizzo, and he found Graham Zusi for a simple finish at the back post.

But seven minutes later, the Rapids got to the penalty spot again after Ike Opara grabbed the ball in the box, and Vicente Sanchez converted from the spot.

Then in the 78th minute, a tackle from Benny Feilhaber on right back Shane O'Neill earned yet another penalty kick from referee Jose Carlos Rivero. Sanchez once again finished from the spot, putting the Rapids in front.

But Feilhaber connected on an equalizing volley just 45 seconds later to make it 2-2.

The game-winner came two minutes into stoppage time, when substitute Dom Dwyer blasted home a close-range effort from a tight angle.

"I think we're not too far away. Obviously it's early in the season, but I think the guys put up a fight," said Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni. "I think the defensive performance was brilliant, they limited the chances of a team that finds themselves creating more chances than their opponents and I think today our team did a really good job battling hard."

In eight all-time meetings between the sides, Colorado holds a slight 4-3-1 margin.

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