Sounders-Rapids Preview

The Associated Press

A pair of shutout victories have removed the Colorado Rapids from the ranks of the winless, and now they look to keep the Seattle Sounders as the only one remaining.

The Rapids, though, are hoping to snap a six-game losing streak in the series Saturday night in Colorado.

The Rapids (2-3-2) had three ties and two losses in their opening five matches before posting 1-0 wins over Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA in the past two weeks.

Deshorn Brown converted a penalty kick and Clint Irwin finished with two saves for his second straight shutout last Saturday against Chivas.

Colorado now tries to claim its first three-game winning streak since late in the 2011 season.

"The mentality of our group is one that we want to dictate on Saturday," coach Oscar Pareja told the team's official website. "We're approaching it with a confident attitude knowing that if we work hard we'll get the result because we have a good team."

Pareja's club has rarely had good results against the Sounders, who have outscored the Rapids 17-9 while going 7-1-1 in the all-time series. They've recorded one-goal victories in all six meetings since a 1-0 defeat in Colorado on May 29, 2010.

Seattle (0-3-2), though, has gotten off to the worst start in the five-year history of the franchise and has a league-low two points. The Sounders are winless in six straight overall, including a loss and a tie against Santos Laguna in the CONCACAF Champions League this month, and is coming off a scoreless draw with New England last Saturday.

Although they outshot the Revolution by a 13-5 margin, the Sounders remained stuck on two goals in MLS play this season. Making matters worse, both of those scorers - Eddie Johnson (hamstring) and Brad Evans (calf) - were unable to play.

Johnson and Evans, though, have returned to full training and are expected to be game-time decisions against the Rapids. Their return could breathe some life into Seattle's struggling attack.

The Sounders have been shut out six times over their past 10 league games dating back to last season, and only the Revolution have scored fewer goals in 2013.

"You can't say once those guys come back, all our problems are solved," coach Sigi Schmid told the league's official website. "At the same time, the reality is that we haven't had a full practice."

Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning gave up a goal and totaled four saves while earning two of three wins against the Rapids last season.

Seattle will try to give Gspurning some rare goal support, but that might not be easy against Irwin. Colorado's rookie keeper has allowed four goals in five games and hasn't let one in since Portland's Will Johnson scored in the 71st minute of a 2-all tie March 30.

The Rapids have been getting production from their attack, totaling 43 shots and four goals while going 2-0-1 in their last three matches. They rank fourth in the league with 85 shots.

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