Amid a solid run of form, Toronto FC looks to remain in the mix for a top-four finish within the Eastern Conference.
For the Colorado Rapids, it's probably a case of too little, too late, when it comes to a postseason berth.
Following a strong showing during a recent road stretch, Toronto returns home looking to extend its season-high unbeaten run to seven games Sunday while trying to keep the Rapids from winning four straight for the first time in 16 years.
Toronto (11-10-9) is 2-0-4 since a 2-0 road loss to the New York Red Bulls on Aug. 3. Perhaps more impressive, TFC went 1-0-2 on a three-game road stretch at New England, FC Cincinnati and New York City FC - the latter ending in a 1-1 draw on Wednesday thanks to Alejandro Puzuelo (10 goals) and his equalizer off a penalty kick in the 40th minute.
While Toronto's strong play has it feeling good about its playoff chances, it remains in a crowded mix for one of the top four spots in the East. And, a first-round home game that comes with it. So, the level of intensity to every match down the stretch remains high.
"We've just got to keep doing what we're going, keep this mentality when we go home," coach Greg Vanney told Toronto's official website. "We've got to be really difficult to play against. That's what playoff and end-of-the-year soccer is about."
TFC returns home where it's unbeaten in three straight and 4-1-1 since late June. However, Toronto should expect a stiff test from a revived Colorado side that's likely to miss the postseason, but is 3-0-0 under new manager Robin Fraser.
"There is no such thing as comfort in soccer," TFC keeper Quentin Westberg said. "The day you sit back, watch the standings, is when you get punished.
"What's most important is ahead of us."
That seems like a proper attitude to take against the Rapids (10-14-6), who are playing care-free and confident. Colorado, which delivered another blow to the Los Angeles Galaxy's playoff hopes with a 2-1 home victory Wednesday, has outscored its last three opponents 6-1.
"We've got to keep fighting and to learn," Nicolas Mezquida, who scored the go-ahead goal on an 85th-minute penalty kick for his fifth of the season, said via the Rapids' official website. "We'll see, there (are) four games left. We will try to give 100 percent."
Colorado last won four in a row during the 2003 seasons. It also has a chance to win back-to-back road matches for the first time since 2014. The Rapids have just one win in nine career MLS matches at Toronto, but are 2-0-1 in the last three overall games in this series.