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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 3, 2009

Fire aim to snap losing streak against Rapids

After having their franchise-record unbeaten stretch snapped, the Colorado Rapids still have a chance to extend two other impressive streaks Saturday night.

The Rapids look to continue their success on Independence Day and improve their unbeaten streak at home against the Chicago Fire to 11 games.

Colorado (5-3-6) fell 3-0 at Seattle on Sunday for its first loss since April 19. The Rapids, who were 3-0-5 in their previous eight games, outshot the Sounders 14-7 but only two of those shots were on goal.

"I didn't think we deserved to get beat 3-nil," Rapids coach Gary Smith said. "I think in the first half, we played as good a (game) as we've probably done for some time, especially away from home. The differences in the game were the big plays -- the moments we don't (make) and the ones Seattle does."

Colorado has had plenty of good moments on July 4, with an 11-1-1 record and going unbeaten in nine straight games on the holiday.

The Rapids play five of their next six at home, where they are 3-0-3 this season. They've enjoyed plenty of success there against Chicago, going 6-0-4 in the last 10 meetings in Colorado since a 1-0 defeat Oct. 6, 1999.

The Fire (5-3-6), who split two meetings with the Rapids last season, return to MLS play Saturday after a three-week absence. Since a 2-1 loss to D.C. United on June 13, Chicago has played three SuperLiga matches, going 2-1-0, and most recently a 1-0 loss to Wilmington on Tuesday in a U.S. Open Cup match.

The Fire resume league play looking to snap a three-game losing streak, during which they've been outscored 6-1. It was a particularly tough loss against United, with Brian McBride unable to convert on a second-half penalty kick that would have tied the game.

The loss was the Fire's first on the road, dropping them to 4-1-3 away from home.

Chicago midfielder Cuauhtemoc Blanco was rested for that game, having played in an international match with Mexico earlier that week, but he was back for the SuperLiga games and should play Saturday.

Colorado, meanwhile, will be without Omar Cummings, who has six goals and six assists, while he is with his native Jamaica playing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Leading scorer Conor Casey, though, is expected to rejoin the team though after fulfilling his U.S. national team duty. Casey, who has eight goals and one assist, missed four consecutive games.

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