FC Dallas seems to be in need of a break while the Colorado Rapids might just be getting going.
The clubs will meet Saturday night in Dallas with the away side visiting its former coach and playing its final match before a three-week break from league play for the World Cup.
Oscar Pareja figures to play a substantial role from the sideline after resigning as coach of Colorado on Jan. 4 and six days later taking the job to coach the club he has roots in as a player and assistant.
"I think Oscar does (play a part in the impact of the game)," Rapids defender Shane O'Neill told the club's official website. "We do want to go down there and win, to get this win for the club and for ourselves. We have a point to prove, and I think we're on a high right now, and we've just got to bring it down there."
Colorado (6-4-4), one of the healthier and more internationally untapped clubs in the league, will try to improve on a 2-0-1 stretch in which it has outscored opponents 7-1.
Wednesday's scoreless home draw against Chicago cooled the Rapids' attack, but forwards Deshorn Brown, Dillon Powers and midfielder Kamani Hill were out of the starting 11 after having played in Sunday's 3-0 win over Houston. They've each scored twice in their last two starts and pose potential fresh threats against a Dallas side that is winless in its last eight.
The attack could be gaining another weapon. Colorado has played without top scorer Vicente Sanchez for six games due to a knee sprain, but he's said to be nearing a return. Sanchez had five goals - four from the penalty spot - in five games prior to the injury.
Dallas (5-7-3) has earned just two points and been outscored 14-6 on the winless streak after beginning the season 5-1-1. It hasn't scored more than a goal in any of the eight matches since.
Saturday's 2-1 home loss to San Jose featured a Dallas lead after Blas Perez scored in the 16th minute, but the Earthquakes answered and took the lead before halftime.
"We've put ourselves in this position," goalkeeper Chris Seitz told the team's official website. "We know that we have the answers in the locker room and we have to dig ourselves out. We all need to step up and hold ourselves accountable."
Part of the issue has been playing down a man. Dallas midfielder Adam Moffat was shown a red card in the 37th minute Saturday, the club's sixth of the season to rank among the most in the league. Moffat will be unavailable against the Rapids.
"I am just focusing on my team and how can I get the best of this group. And see if we can finally play another game with 11," Pareja said. "That has been a little bit of a challenge. I refuse to train with 10. We need to see if on Saturdays we can have the discipline to finish with 11."
The clubs left things unresolved in 2013, each going 1-1-1 with four goals.
Dallas plays its final league match before the break Wednesday in Portland.
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