Major League Soccer

Crew-Rapids Preview

It took well over two months, but the Colorado Rapids finally have a victory to build on.

They'll get the opportunity for that and to avoid a club-worst fifth straight home defeat Saturday night against the struggling Columbus Crew.

Amid an early season that's featured near-misses, a coaching change and plenty of frustration, Colorado (1-9-2) finally has a result worth getting excited over. Taking advantage of a reeling Los Angeles Galaxy club playing without suspended star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Rapids managed an Andre Shinyashiki goal in the 82nd minute to stun the hosts with a 1-0 victory Sunday.

"They've worked so hard this season, they haven't quit and (Sunday) should give them a lot of confidence," interim coach Conor Casey told the MLS official website. "We've been working so hard and they haven't stopped believing in each other. To pull through the way we did (against Los Angeles) showed a lot of character."

Colorado has not won back-to-back games overall since Aug. 4 and 11. Last weekend's result also marked the first clean sheet recorded this season by the Rapids, who have yielded 30 goals in 2019.

"It was a very important team performance for us, and you really have to take this win and move forward from it." said Shinyashiki, who scored his second goal of the season Sunday.

Though the Rapids are off to their worst home start in club history at 0-4-2, they're 6-1-1 in the last eight there versus Columbus (5-8-1), which has been outscored 15-5 while losing seven of the last eight entering this contest. Making matters worse, the Crew have been blanked in two straight matches and have totaled just one goal during a five-game road skid - their longest since a seven-match MLS slide away from home in 2013.

"We'll keep working with the group and improving the group because I know we're capable of scoring the goals," coach Caleb Porter told the Crew's official website following last Saturday's 1-0 loss at Minnesota United FC. "We need to improve - no doubt it - and we are willing to.

"The bottom line is that we are not scoring goals, so we have to look at how we can create more chances."

Columbus's Gyasi Zardes has a team-leading four goals, but only one in his last nine games. The talented midfielder has recorded a goal in each of his last two matches versus Colorado.

The Rapids' Kei Kamara, who began his illustrious MLS career in Columbus, has a team-leading seven goals. He's posted six in 15 league matches against the Crew.

Updated May 23, 2019

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