Rapids-Sounders Preview

The Associated Press

Although the Colorado Rapids appear to be playing with some confidence as of late, they figure to face a difficult test as they look to end a lengthy drought against the Seattle Sounders.

The Rapids will try to avoid their eighth straight loss to a short-handed Seattle team seeking its franchise-best fifth straight MLS home victory Saturday.

After totaling two goals during a season-worst three-game skid last month, Colorado (8-7-6) has scored eight times while going 3-0-1 in its last four matches.

Midfielder Nick LaBrocca provided the game-tying score in the 62nd minute before the Rapids benefited from an own goal five minutes later to rally past New England 2-1 on Wednesday.

"This is a team that doesn't quit,'' Colorado coach Oscar Pareja said. "We have a team that pushes and the second (goal) of (the) game was remarkable.''

Forward Deshorn Brown, tied for the team lead with five goals, will try to put an end to his recent struggles. While he does have three goals in his last six matches, he missed two quality chances versus New England and failed to score despite putting four of his eight shots on goal in a scoreless draw with MLS-worst D.C. United on July 7.

The Rapids can't afford to miss their opportunities if they hope to beat Seattle (7-7-3) for the first time since May 29, 2010. The Sounders have outscored them 13-6 during their seven-game winning streak and are 5-0-0 at home in this series.

Though Seattle had its road scoreless streak extended to 327 minutes with a 1-0 loss at San Jose last Saturday, the team has totaled 13 goals during a four-game home winning streak. Midfielder Lamar Neagle has four goals and two assists in his last four home matches and forward Obafemi Martins has scored four of his team-best six goals there.

Martins provided the lone goal in the 27th minute in a 1-0 victory at Colorado on April 20, but the Nigerian forward's status is uncertain for this meeting after missing last Saturday's match with a calf injury. The Sounders might also be without goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, who did not play the second half against the Earthquakes due to an arm injury.

Andrew Weber could get the start after giving up San Jose's tally in the 48th minute. He's yielded eight goals in six career MLS matches.

Midfielder Brad Evans and defender Djimi Traore are also questionable, and striker Eddie Johnson is with the U.S. national team for its Gold Cup quarterfinal match versus El Salvador.

The Sounders, however, got some good news when the league rescinded the red card given to midfielder Osvaldo Alonso, making him eligible to play.

"We still have a bunch of guys injured, so being able to have Ozzie back at least solidifies the middle of midfield," coach Sigi Schmid told the team's official website.

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