"Snake-bit" Rapids hope Swansea friendly will right ship

Oscar Pareja

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The Colorado Rapids host English Premier League side Swansea City at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park Tuesday night as they hope to gain traction in only their second international friendly against an English Premier League side in club history.

Tuesday’s match (9 pm ET) will mark the first time the Rapids will face an EPL side in nearly four years, the last coming in August 2008, when Everton beat Colorado 2-1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

The visiting Welsh side, meanwhile, will bring a strong 23-man squad to Colorado, featuring captain Garry Monk, last year’s leading scorer Danny Graham and former Aston Villa striker Luke Moore. Swansea finished a surprising 11th in their first-ever EPL season last year under manager Brendan Rodgers, but Rodgers left the Swans for Liverpool during the offseason, and now former Real Madrid midfielder Michael Laudrup is the man in charge at Liberty Stadium. 

On the other side of the field, the Rapids are in the midst of their worst run of form of the season, having lost five straight and seven of eight, including Saturday’s 2-0 loss at rival Real Salt Lake.

HIGHLIGHTS: RSL 2, COL 0

“I just had the feeling that we had seen this game before,” Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja said postgame on Saturday. “It was a solid performance from our boys but in the end it was two mistakes that ended up killing us. We showed a lot of character but the same mistakes have killed us in these last couple of games.”

Pareja said striker Conor Casey likely won’t play against Swansea after picking up a hamstring strain late last week, which forced the veteran to miss Saturday’s loss. Holding midfielder Jeff Larentowicz is expected to return after missing Saturday’s game due to yellow card accumulation, and Larentowicz will hope to provide a boost to a leaky Rapids defense that has two goals in each of their last four games.

“I don’t know, maybe we’re over thinking things,” defender Drew Moor told MLSsoccer.com by phone Saturday. “It’s one of those things, how many different ways can you give up a goal right now? We’re a bit snake-bit. We can’t give up goals like that. You give up a goal like that it gives the other team confidence.”

Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.