Jovan Kirovski

Rapids encouraged by road victory

one game against Chivas and two against Real Salt Lake.

"We're going to play one game at a time," said Rapids coach Fernando Clavijo. "No game is any different. We're going to take every game like it is a final for us. We're going to try to pass the Galaxy and if it occurs, great, if not we're still going to prepare for the playoffs."

The way the Rapids have played in their last two matches - a 2-0 win against Real Salt Lake and Saturday's result - gives them confidence that they will have a strong playoff run.

"We have some dangerous players with (Jean-Philippe) Peguero, (Jeff) Cunningham and myself and (Terry) Cooke out wide and we can catch people on the break," said Kirovski. "We also defend very well and we can hurt people in the playoffs.

"It's a good, honest and hardworking group and we have a few players that can make a difference. I think we'll have a good run in the playoffs."

One question mark facing the Rapids as they gear up for the postseason is the goalkeeping situation.

Regular starter Joe Cannon has been out since Sept. 17 with an abdominal strain and has been replaced by rookie Byron Foss. The young 'keeper, however, has put doubts to rest with his performance. After earning a shutout in his first career start in their win against Real Salt Lake, Foss made several key saves against Chivas on Saturday.

"Byron Foss has an opportunity and he's making the best out of it," said Clavijo. "He played very well and that's why he's here, that's why he's on our roster. He's a good, young goalkeeper and he's played tremendously."

Foss' play is indicative of what Clavijo has tried to instill in the club all season.

"When you look at Cannon being out and Jeff Cunningham being out, the other guys need to step up and they did," said Clavijo.

Cunningham did not dress for the Chivas match after storming off the field after being substituted against Real Salt Lake last week. For his outburst, Cunningham was forced to sit out the match but will be back in the lineup next week.

"It was a disciplinary action that we handled inside the team," said Clavijo. "He's a very talented player, our leading scorer and he will absolutely (be back for the next game). We need him here for the playoffs."

Danny Bueno is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.

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