Vicente Sanchez
USA Today Sports

Colorado Rapids expect Edson Buddle, Vicente Sanchez to return after World Cup break

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Just as the Colorado Rapids are starting to find their offensive rhythm, they’re about to welcome back two big pieces back to their lineup.

Striker Edson Buddle and midfielder Vicente Sánchez (above) will be available for the Rapids following the three-week World Cup break, head coach Pablo Mastroeni confirmed to

“They should be available for selection,” Mastroeni said after Friday’s practice, the team’s first since a 3-2 loss to FC Dallas last Saturday. “Now you’ve got to get them into the speed of the game [and] get them grooving again.”

Sánchez suffered a knee sprain on May 3 and Buddle injured his groin on May 24, putting both on the shelf for the Rapids’ last few games. But with the once-scuffling attack having produced nine goals in its last four games, both players' returns could help Colorado maintain their recent run of positive offensive form. Both players appeared to fully practice on Friday.

The next question facing Mastroeni is whether he might give either Buddle or Sánchez, or even freshly-returned striker Gabriel Torres, a run in the Rapids' US Open Cup showdown against Orlando City on Tuesday (9 pm ET). Mastroeni, however, said that he hasn’t decided on that yet.

Sanchez said he feels fully fit after suffering the knee sprain last month.

“It’s better,” said the Uruguayan veteran, who is the Rapids’ co-leader with five goals on the season. “I have to wait to play a bit more soccer and the doctors to get fully cleared. But I’m happy.”

Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for

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