Whitecaps FC-Rapids Preview

The Associated Press

While it was hardly their best performance, the Vancouver Whitecaps managed to extend the franchise's longest MLS unbeaten streak in their return from the World Cup break.

The Whitecaps try to push that run to nine games and avenge one of their only two losses Saturday night when they visit a Colorado Rapids team that might have one of their top goal scorers back in the lineup.

Vancouver (5-2-7) played to a scoreless draw with visiting Montreal on Wednesday to move to 3-0-5 since April 19. The Whitecaps scored a combined seven goals in their prior two games and 17 in their previous seven league contests.

"I didn't enjoy watching it and I don't think the players enjoyed playing in it. It was a bad day at the office," coach Carl Robinson said. "We're going to have to make up two points somewhere along the line.

"We go to Colorado on Saturday, and that's a tough place to go."

Vancouver fell 2-1 to visiting Colorado on April 5 in the first of back-to-back losses. After the Whitecaps' Matias Laba was given a red card in the 77th minute, the Rapids' Jose Mari scored twice in next five minutes for his club's third win in the last four matchups.

Colorado (6-5-4) has also won three of four all-time home meetings against Vancouver and will likely have Vicente Sanchez back from an injured knee.

Sanchez, who hasn't played a league match since May 3, has five goals in five games.

Sanchez returned in the Rapids' U.S. Open Cup opener, a 5-2 win over Orlando City on June 17. Colorado was eliminated from that tournament with a 2-1 loss to the Atlanta Silverbacks on Tuesday.

"It's a quick turnaround before the game against Vancouver. There's no sulking. There's no pity party," coach Pablo Mastroeni said. "It's about how we respond as a group now. ... These are great moments for all of us to learn and move forward."

Mastroeni's club might also have Edson Buddle back from a groin injury, and Gabriel Torres could make his first start since May 7. Torres was a late substitute in a 3-2 loss at FC Dallas on June 7, which snapped a three-game unbeaten run.

Torres scored two goals in a 3-2 home win against Vancouver on Oct. 19, including the tiebreaker in the 77th minute, but he has no goals and no assists in nine games this season. Sanchez and Buddle sat out last month's visit to Vancouver to avoid playing on artificial turf.

The Whitecaps might get Steven Beitashour back from the World Cup in time for Saturday's game. The defender's Iranian team went 0-2-1 in its three games in Brazil.