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Rapids put unbeaten streak on the line against FC Dallas

2:16 PM, May 31, 2013   |    comments
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Commerce City, CO (Sports Network) - The Colorado Rapids will aim to extend their unbeaten run in league play to six straight matches on Saturday when the club battles FC Dallas at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

Colorado got off to a poor start this season, but have turned it around to occupy the final playoff position in the Western Conference with 19 points, despite a myriad of injuries to key players.

In their last league match against Chivas USA at DSG Park, the Rapids cruised to a comfortable 2-0 victory over the Goats.

Colorado got off the mark quickly when Atiba Harris opened the scoring 11 minutes in and Nate Sturgis put the result away with a goal in the 80th minute.

"We're happy with the result. We're happy with the performance," Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja said. "The people came to see the boys, and getting them what they wanted with the three points and a good performance."

Three days later, the Rapids squared off with Orlando City SC in U.S. Open Cup play and were knocked out of the tournament after suffering a 3-1 loss.

Bryan Burke struck first for Orlando four minutes in, but Kamani Hill equalized for Colorado in the 18th minute. However, Dom Dwyer scored in the 48th and 63rd minutes to secure Orlando's first-ever win over an MLS side.

FC Dallas, meanwhile, maintained its place at the top of the Western Conference table after pulling out a 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes at FC Dallas Stadium last Saturday.

The teams battled in midfield and neither created a meaningful chance through the half-hour mark, but the home side finally found a breakthrough in the 33rd minute when Walker Zimmerman sent a ball up the flank to David Ferreira, who ball 40 yards up field before passing to forward Fabian Castillo.

Castillo then did the rest as he curled a well-struck shot past San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch and into the bottom left corner for the only goal of the match.

"It was important that the guys defended to the end, as we had to defend to get a result. I was nervous when they were pressing late in the second half but now that we accomplished what we set out to do," Castillo said. "Let's not think about it anymore because the important thing is we won."

FCD extended their home undefeated streak to 12 games, matching the longest in club history, set June 9, 2009-May 8, 2010.

FC Dallas then took care of business on Tuesday in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup with a 2-0 victory over the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

Blas Perez and Matt Hedges provided the offense as FCD moves on to face Houston Dynamo in the next round of the competition.

The clubs have already met once this season with FC Dallas hanging on for a 1-0 victory at FC Dallas Stadium when Jackson was able to capitalize on a Colorado goalkeeper Steward Ceus's error to score the game's lone goal.

The Sports Network

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