The Colorado Rapids have a chance to put an end to their struggles and move into a tie for third place in the Western Conference with a road victory over FC Dallas on Saturday night.
Colorado (8-8-6), in fifth place behind Dallas (9-7-6) and Los Angeles, has lost three of four and been shut out in two straight defeats, going without a goal for 196 minutes. The club hasn't been shut out in three in a row since April 8-22, 2011.
"I think experienced teams, and teams that have been together for a while, will put those performances together in consecutive games. We're still building, we're still trying to do that," coach Pablo Mastroeni told MLS' official website following a 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake on Saturday. "I think the effort was tremendous. I'm not upset, I'm not disappointed, that's life."
Colorado has suffered from early defensive breakdowns, yielding a goal in the first 16 minutes three times in the last five matches.
"The mindset was to go out and start playing from the beginning," said Mastroeni, whose club conceded RSL's goal in the 14th minute. "I think it took us getting scored on to really open up ... For whatever reason, after we got scored on everyone woke up and wanted to get on the ball."
Dallas is 4-0-3 in its last seven matches after winning 1-0 on the road over Chivas USA on Sunday. Fabian Castillo set up rookie Tesho Akindele's goal in the 49th minute.
Akindele has scored three times in four matches after tallying one goal in his first 10.
"That's what he knows how to do," coach Oscar Pareja told the league's official website. "The kid is growing. He knows that in the box, he scores. That is what he does."
Dallas has won three straight home meetings with Colorado - including a 3-2 victory June 7 - and has gone 15-2-4 in the last 21 visits from the Rapids. Fabian Castillo, who returned against Chivas following a four-game suspension, scored the tiebreaker versus Colorado in the 62nd minute.
Castillo recorded goals in two straight matches prior to his suspension and has three goals and three assists in his last six against the Rapids.
Colorado is 0-5-2 in its last seven road games.