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Undefeated Rapids defend home turf vs. United

Still undefeated to start the league season, the defending champion Colorado Rapids return home to take on D.C. United on Sunday afternoon. The Rapids made it 2-for-2 on the campaign with a win at Chivas USA last weekend. United won on First Kick but dropped their last contest, a 2-1 defeat at the New England Revolution.

REFEREE: Elias Bazakos. SAR (bench): Craig Lowry; JAR (opposite): Corey Parker; 4th: Alex Prus MLS Career: 10 games; FC/gm: 27.5; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 3; pens: 0

INJURY REPORT: COLORADO RAPIDS – OUT: FW Macoumba Kandji (L knee ACL tear); PROBABLE: FW Andre Akpan (L hamstring strain); FW Conor Casey (L calf strain); GK Matt Pickens (R groin strain)

D.C. UNITED – OUT: MF Junior Carreiro (R ankle sprain); GK Steve Cronin (L wrist fracture); DF Devon McTavish (concussion); QUESTIONABLE: MF Clyde Simms (R calf strain); DF Jed Zayner (L hamstring strain); FW Josh Wolff (L hamstring strain)

[inline_node:331570]INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: DC: Perry Kitchen (U.S. U-20s)

SUSPENDED: DC: Dejan Jakovic (through April 3)

HEAD-TO-HEAD

ALL-TIME (17 meetings): United 16 wins (2 shootout), 57 goals … Rapids 12 wins (1 shootout), 43 goals … Ties 6

AT COLORADO (9 meetings): Rapids 9 wins (1 shootout), 28 goals … United 6 wins (0 shootout), 22 goals … Ties 2

RETURN MATCH: 5/14: D.C. United vs. Colorado Rapids, 7:30 p.m. ET

LAST YEAR (MLS):

5/15: DC 0, COL 1 (Ballouchy 67)

10/2: COL 0, DC 1 (Allsopp 45)

United’s 1-0 win at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park last Oct. 2 was their first in Denver in a decade, since a 5-2 win May 6, 2000. The Rapids won eight of the 10 home matches in between, with two draws.

The Rapids’ win at RFK Stadium on May 15 of last year was their first there since 1999.

The teams last played to a draw on Aug. 19, 2006, a 1-1 result at RFK Stadium.

Coaches record: Gary Smith vs. DC: P5 W2 L3 D0 … Ben Olsen v COL: P1 W1 L0 D0

COLORADO RAPIDS

The Colorado Rapids won for the second time in two matches to start the season, defeating Chivas USA 1-0 on Saturday evening at The Home Depot Center. The Rapids have 6 points from 2 games to start the season.

[inline_node:332164]LAST MATCH

  • The lone goal of the game came in the 32nd minute. Colorado's Jamie Smith played a ball to the streaking Amarikwa behind the Chivas USA defense. The young forward beat the offside trap and danced around Chivas USA goalkeeper Zach Thornton for the finish.
  • Rapids head coach Gary Smith made two changes to the team that defeated the Portland Timbers 3-1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Quincy Amarikwa and Caleb Folan came in for Omar Cummings and Conor Casey in an all-change strike pair.
  • COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-2): Matt Pickens - Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Anthony Wallace - Brian Mullan (Ross LaBauex 89), Pablo Mastroeni, Jeff Larentowicz, Jamie Smith - Quincy Amarikwa (Wells Thompson 68), Caleb Folan (Conor Casey 79).

TEAM NEWS

  • Despite missing Omar Cummings (national team duty) and Conor Casey (a second-half substitute because of injury), Quincy Amarikwa scored the lone goal for Colorado in the 1-0 win at Chivas USA.
  • "I'm excited to be able to come out and contibute to the game-winner," Amarikwa said. "There's not too many opportunites to get on, especially with Conor and Omar up top — they're probably the best striking combo in the league. When you get the opportunity, you want to make the most of it."
  • It was the first time in 63 Rapids’ league games that neither Casey nor Cummings had started. Irish international Caleb Folan started alongside Amarikwa, making his MLS debut.
  • “Both the guys performed very well,” Rapids head coach Gary Smith said. “Quincy took his goal very well and showed a lot of composure and they were both a real threat for their back four. And then Conor came on and performed admirably.”

MLS GAME INFORMATION

  • The Rapids have won their first two games of the season for the first time in club history. The Rapids have also shut out Chivas USA four straight times dating back to 2009.
  • “I don’t think there is ever an easy game away at this time of the season and the mentality of these players gives them not just the results but the rewards that they get,” Smith said. “There was a tremendous amount of discipline and everyone was focused on the result.”
  • Kosuke Kimura managed to last out the entire 90 minutes despite suffering from side effects from the medication he was taking for a case of shingles. “I really can’t remember much about that second half,” Kimura said.
  • On Wednesday, the Rapids were dumped out of the U.S. Open Cup in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire at Bradley University. Gaston Puerari and Andre Akpan traded goals just on either side of the halftime break, then a wonder strike from Jalil Anibaba in the 61st minute gave the Fire the victory.
  • Here’s the Rapids team: Ian Joyce; Ross LaBauex, Mike Holody, Tyrone Marshall, Scott Palguta; Sanna Nyassi, Steven Emory (Josh Janniere 76), Joseph Nane, Wells Thompson; Quincy Amarikwa, Andre Akpan

D.C. UNITED

D.C. United suffered their first defeat on the young campaign, falling 2-1 to the New England Revolution on Saturday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. United have 3 points from 2 games on the year.

[inline_node:332562]LAST MATCH

  • Zach Schilawski opened the scoring for the home side after just eight minutes. Shalrie Joseph's diagonal ball from the right side of midfield located the second-year striker's run inside the penalty area, and though there were appeals for a handball, he tucked home his first goal of the season at the second attempt.
  • Joseph then doubled the lead from the spot in the 17th minute after United's Dax McCarty caught Pat Phelan as he attempted to clear from inside his own area, and this time referee Baldomero Toledo pointed to the spot.
  • United won a penalty of their own after 89 minutes when Ryan Cochrane was adjudged to have fouled Joseph Ngwenya as they jostled for a free kick. Davies stepped up to notch his third goal in two games – and his second from the spot – by firing straight down the middle in the first minute of stoppage time.
  • United hopes for a late equalizer ended when Dejan Jakovic was sent off in stoppage time.
  • United coach Ben Olsen made three changes to the team that defeated the Columbus Crew 3-1 at RFK Stadium. Chris Korb and Rodrigo Brasesco came into the back four for Jed Zayner and Perry Kitchen, and Kurt Morsink started in midfield in place of Clyde Simms.
  • D.C. UNITED (4-1-3-2): Pat Onstad - Chris Korb, Dejan Jakovic, Rodrigo Brasesco (Fred 46), Marc Burch - Kurt Morsink (Santino Quaranta 74) - Andy Najar, Dax McCarty, Chris Pontius - Joseph Ngwenya, Josh Wolff (Charlie Davies 46).

TEAM NEWS

  • Charlie Davies scored his third goal in two games with D.C. United, converting his second penalty of the year in the 2-1 loss at New England. Davies sits atop the Budweiser MLS Golden Boot table after two weeks.
  • “It doesn’t matter if we don’t win, and that’s the way I look at it. If you score a hat trick and you’re team loses, it’s good for nothing,” Davies said. “Our main goal and focus is to win the game. We should’ve won. We have the level, we have the quality to win these games, and we just have to play better.”
  • Davies came off the bench at halftime, his second substitute appearance, after scoring two goals in a 38-minute shift in the season opener.
  • “[Josh Wolff] is struggling with a little hammy, but I had plans to bring in Charlie anyways. He’s done well off the bench for us. He’s done a very good job of being the guy off the bench for us,” Olsen said. “Will he be a starter for us eventually? That remains to be seen. But, his attitude, the energy he brings to this group has been fantastic.”
  • All three of Olsen’s changes were attacking options, bringing on Davies and Fred at halftime, then Santino Quaranta for the final quarter-hour, as he also shifted into a 3-5-2 scheme.
  • “I was proud of guys like (Santino Quaranta) and Fred coming in and giving us a boost. Charlie (Davies) coming in and giving us some energy, so there were some positives,” said Olsen. “I hope we learned a lesson from today that (in) this league, you have to match energy, you have to match commitment and then we can become the team we want to be.”
  • Olsen will be forced into a change in central defense with Dejan Jakovic suspended after he was adjudged to have barged into Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis late in the match.
  • “The ball was bouncing, the goalie came flying out and I jumped into the air and protected myself and put up my hand,” Jakovic said. “He fell down and everyone swarmed me and got into my face. I didn’t hit anyone.”
  • With First Kick starter Perry Kitchen also unavailable (with the U.S. U-20 national team), Rodrigo Brasesco is return to the lineup, with Marc Burch possibly moving inside from left back, or Daniel Woolard making his 2011 debut. Brasesco was taken off at halftime of the New England match.

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