COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — If the Colorado Rapids hope to get back into playoff contention, it’s little secret they’re going to have to start beating teams above them in the standings.
When Colorado battle Real Salt Lake on Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (9 pm ET, MLS Live), the Rapids will not only be dragging in the longest losing streak in club history, but they also have a futile record against current MLS playoff teams. Against the 10 teams currently in the playoff picture, the Rapids are 1-10-1, while going 6-4-0 against everyone else.
“We’re in the mold now that we don’t think too much about other teams,” Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday. “We have to get out of the hole first. We will obviously consider the other teams, [whether] they’re adding points or not, where we are in the standings, things like that. But for now, the urgency is to be worried about us and getting out of this stretch.”
Highlights: Colorado vs. Seattle
The Rapids enter play Saturday a full 11 points behind the LA Galaxy for the fifth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, and will enter play with that franchise-record six game losing streak in hand, including last Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders. They haven’t collected a point since a 3-0 win on June 30 over the Portland Timbers, leaving the club desperate for points.
“It’s time to win,” midfielder Jeff Larentowicz told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday. “That’s it. Time to win. We have to reward ourselves by scoring goals.”
Despite the recent stretch of losses, a major milestone is expected to be achieved Saturday by Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan. If Mullan plays — he’s expected to start his 20th game of the season — the 34-year-old will be taking part in his 300th career MLS game, behind only Tyrone Marshall (330) and Pablo Mastroeni (318) on the Rapids’ current roster.
Mullan would join an elite group of players — the list numbers 14 — to reach 300 appearances in MLS. Current Houston Dynamo assistant coach Steve Ralston leads the way with 378.
“It’s an honor to be able to play as long as 12 years,” Mullan told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday. “I wish it never had to end. I’m excited to just still be playing. It’s cliché, but you look at the games one at a time. It feels like game one again.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.