Deshorn Brown struggled to stay confident during his previous scoring struggles, but encouragement from Colorado Rapids coach Pablo Mastroeni kept him going.
Coming off his best performance of the season, the reigning MLS player of the week looks to help Colorado win a third straight match as it hosts the Chicago Fire on Wednesday night.
Brown entered Sunday's contest with Houston with one goal over his previous nine games, but he ended that slump by scoring in the fifth minute and adding another in the 35th of a 3-0 victory.
"At times it's hard to find (confidence), especially as a striker when you're not hitting the net," Mastroeni said. "All the little things Deshorn has been doing leading into this game has now put him in a position to score those goals. I couldn't be happier for him, and the type of work that he did when he wasn't scoring those goals."
The Rapids (6-4-3) have won three of their last four at home and are 7-1-6 in their last 14 matches against Chicago in Colorado.
"We have to set our minds to (having momentum) right now and just put this one behind us and focus on the one that's coming on Wednesday," Brown said. "We just have to keep focusing and working hard, try to relax and get on with Chicago and try to get another three points."
The Fire (2-3-7) had a prime opportunity to pick up their third win in four matches Sunday, but a turnover in the 74th led to the tying goal in a 1-all draw with Los Angeles.
Chris Ritter, making his MLS debut, misplayed a ball that wound up in the back of Chicago's net, though he wasn't completely dissatisfied with his effort.
"It felt great to get out there and get my first appearances," Ritter said. "The end of the game didn't go the way we wanted it to and I feel a bit at fault for the one goal. It's definitely a learning experience and there are plenty of more games this season to make it up."
It's unclear if the Fire will have reigning MLS MVP Mike Magee back for this contest after sitting out Sunday with a calf injury. Fellow forward Quincy Amarikwa, who along with Chicago captain Jeff Larentowicz won the MLS Cup with Colorado in 2010, believes the club has enough weapons no matter who may have to sit out.
"We'll bounce back and hopefully get a win on the road in Denver," Amarikwa said. "A couple of guys have gone down with injuries, so we have to adapt. Any time you have three games in eight days, your depth is going to be tested. It only builds confidence for the rest of the week."
Defender Gonzalo Segares played Sunday for the first time since May 10 after dealing with bone spurs in his ankle. He again plans to play through the pain in this contest.