Sporting hopes to slow surging Rapids

8:03 PM, Aug 30, 2013   |    comments
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Kansas City, KS (Sports Network) - Sporting Kansas City and the Colorado Rapids are headed in opposite directions as the two sides collide at Sporting Park on Saturday.

The Rapids are currently riding a franchise record nine-game unbeaten streak that has seen the club jump into the top half of the Western Conference table.

Sporting, meanwhile, has lost four of its last five games, including a pair of 1-0 defeats in its most recent league outings.

"We're not putting our chances away," Sporting head coach Peter Vermes told after his team's recent 1-0 defeat to the Chicago Fire. "I don't know what else to say. We're creating them, even on set pieces. We had an unbelievable throw-in in the first half, and it goes right through their six- yard box. You've got to be hungry and you've got to be there to finish off the ball."

Vermes saw his side bounce back in Honduras on Tuesday with a 2-0 win over Olimpia in CONCACAF Champions League play, and he will be hopeful that the team can carry that momentum back into the league.

Kansas City has been held without a goal in three of its last five games, but part of the reason could be the absence of forward Kei Kamara, who has missed the last two games with an ankle injury.

Since Kamara's absence, Sporting has gone 180 minutes without scoring, meaning that someone else must step up and assume some of the scoring load.

The Rapids, meanwhile, have a number of options up top who can find the net at the moment, with new additions Gabriel Torres and Vicente Sanchez adding to the rotation.

Both players made their home debut in a 2-0 win over Vancouver two weeks ago, but it was fellow forwards Deshorn Brown and Edson Buddle who tallied the goals.

Brown has now scored seven times in his rookie season for the Rapids, making him a leading contender for MLS Rookie of the Year.

Buddle is no stranger to coming off the bench from his time with Los Angeles, and he is just happy to contribute and make the decision process a little tougher on head coach Oscar Pareja.

"Everyone wants to make Oscar's job tough," Buddle said. "We're all fighting for a spot and it's a good atmosphere right now.

The Sports Network

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