Major League Soccer

Rapids-Fire Preview

Though wins still seem hard to come by for the Chicago Fire, at least they've avoided defeat of late.

The same can't be said for the winless Colorado Rapids.

The Fire look to extend their unbeaten streak to four games while trying to hand the visiting Rapids a fifth consecutive loss on Saturday.

Chicago (1-2-3) should feel fortunate that it managed a point with last week's 1-1 draw against Vancouver FC at home. The Fire trailed from the 53rd-minute mark until Nemanja Nikolic scored in his second straight match by converting a penalty kick in the 84th minute to eventually share the spoils.

The Fire are 1-0-2 since opening 0-2-1 for a total of six points. Perhaps not the ideal start they'd hoped for the season, but at least they are getting something out of most of these contests.

"We need to appreciate every single point," Nikolic told the Fire's official website. "We need to push forward and collect points … We need to collect points at home for sure, and we will for sure. We just need to keep doing (that) and these things will turn. We just need to work for that."

Chicago is 1-1-2 at home, but should feel somewhat confident it can earn all three points against Colorado (0-5-2), which is off to the worst start in franchise history. The Rapids, winners just once in their last 10 matches in the Chicago area, have allowed 19 goals already this season following last weekend's 3-2 home loss to D.C. United.

Benny Feilhaber gave Colorado a 1-0 lead 11 minutes into the game, but D.C. scored the next three goals. The Rapids pulled one back when Feilhaber assisted on Kei Kamara's team-leading fourth goal of the season in the 66th. The Rapids, though, would not get any closer while dropping their third game decided by one goal.

"It just deflates the team when we concede a goal," manager Anthony Hudson told the Rapids' official website. "We need more confidence defending, we need more confidence that if we concede a goal, we're not going to concede another one. That's our biggest challenge. To respond that way is not a given because it can go the other way as well."

Meanwhile, Colorado midfielder Nicolas Mezquida believes the team can't forget about offense. Last weekend marked the fifth time this season the Rapids failed to score more than two goals.

"We need to score," said Mezquida, who has a goal with an assist in his first season with Colorado. "If we want to win and get more points, we need to score. We push hard, take a lot of shots, and create a lot of chances but if we don't score, we can't win games."

Updated April 18, 2019

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