Chivas USA seemed to find their groove the last time they traveled to Colorado, and they’ll be searching for that and more Friday night when they visit Dick’s Sporting Goods Park again (9:30 pm ET; MLS Live).
After seeing their season-high four-game win streak end last weekend, the Rojiblancos are on a mission to bounce back. The stakes are much higher now than they were in May when the Goats stunned the Rapids – the same result Friday would pull Chivas USA to within a point of Colorado for the fifth spot in the Western Conference.
Thanks in large part to a second-half resurgence and the continued success of striker Erick “Cubo” Torres, head coach Wilmer Cabrera knows his team can no longer sneak up on opponents.
“It’s not going to be easy, and it’s a very difficult team,” Cabrera said this week. “[The Rapids] are going to come after us with a different mentality because they lost [last time]. They don’t want that to repeat again. It’s obviously going to be a tougher game for us, but we go there knowing we can win there.”
In the previous meeting between the two sides, the Goats got a tie-breaking score from Torres and two goals from midfielder Marvin Chavez, who had just been acquired from Colorado.
Torres found the back of the net in his sixth consecutive league game last weekend, but the offense showed up too late in a 3-1 loss at D.C. United.
“We’ve got to turn the page, know we’ve got a good team and trust in each other,” Torres told the club's official website. “It’s a difficult game, but we know we can come back home with three points.”
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The match will be the Goats’ third straight away from home and their fourth road game of the month. But they will have yet another player who is very familiar with the surroundings in midfielder Nathan Sturgis, who has made four appearances – all as a substitute – since being acquired from the Rapids earlier this month in exchange for Carlos Alvarez.
“I spent about a year and a half there and enjoyed my time there, so it will be nice to go back and see some of the guys and play in the stadium,” Sturgis said. “I know all the guys there very well, know how they play and know what they’re trying to do, so that will help me and help organize our team.”