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Colorado hosts first-place Chivas USA
September 14th, 2007 7AM



[MLS PREVIEW] Losers of two in a row, the Rapids do have the edge of playing fresh, whereas Chivas USA knocked heads with the Galaxy Thursday night and took over first place in the Western Conference by winning, 3-0.

COLORADO (7-10-7) vs. CHIVAS USA (13-6-4)
Sunday, 3 p.m. ET, TeleFutura

After shutting out three straight opponents at home, the Rapids have conceded four goals in the last two games on the road.

They lost to Los Angeles, 3-1, last Sunday and lost keeper Bouna Coundoul in the 58th minute to an abdominal strain. The Galaxy scored two quick goals on Zach Thornton to wrap up the points and Mehdi Ballouchy's goal in the 89th minute meant little other than being his first for the team.

Pablo Mastroeni (illness) and Conor Casey (swollen knee) returned to training Tuesday after sitting out the Galaxy game.

Casey scored goals in back-to-back games before being sidelined and his massive presence can get to balls pumped into the middle of the Chivas USA back line.

Colorado fell to Chivas USA, 2-0, at Home Depot Center June 16 after falling behind to a Terry Cooke own goal in the 49th minute and shortly thereafter letting Maykel Galindo race clear to score the clincher.

Containing forwards Galindo and Ante Razov is complicated by the forays up the right flank by Sacha Kljestan and runs up the left by Francisco Mendoza. Razov and Mendoza were among the scorers in the Galaxy victory.

Colorado needs the experience of Mastroeni and defender Mike Petke to come forth against a dangerous opponent. Chivas USA will have to replace midfield linchpin Jesse Marsch, who picked up his fifth caution against the Galaxy.

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