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Saturday, April 3, 2010
Fire to try to break through vs. Colorado

By Charlie Corr

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- The Chicago Fire travel to the high altitude and take on the Colorado Rapids at 3 p.m. CT Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. The match is televised on TeleFutura.

Since moving to Dick's Sporting Goods Park, the Rapids are 3-0-0 in their home openers. The Fire also hope to continue turning around their harsh road record against Colorado -- just three wins in 15 matches.

"For us, it's always a challenge. I know the record," Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos said. "We need to prepare well and go to Colorado and change the history so we can return home with a good result."

Saturday should be an interesting clash between the teams' front lines. The Rapids (1-0-0) typically fall into the conversation of having one of the best forward combinations in MLS with Omar Cummings and Conor Casey, who earned some playing time with the U.S. Men's National Team and posted some clutch goals for Colorado last year.

Cummings was practically a one-man show during the last Fire-Rapids match, scoring two goals on Aug. 23, 2009, before the Fire netted three second-half goals for a 3-2 victory at Toyota Park.

Brian McBride and Collins John could team up at the start of Saturday's match for the Fire (0-1-0). The former Fulham forwards only played together for a portion of last week's loss to the Red Bulls before Justin Mapp was subbed in for McBride. Patrick Nyarko started the match up front instead of John against New York.

The Rapids changed up their midfield and defensive line a bit heading into this season. One recent switch came shortly before Colorado's 1-0 victory over host Chivas USA. Colorado acquired defender Marvell Wynne, who moved from his typical outside back slot to center back for the Rapids.

Colorado typically enjoys the home-field advantage, as the team clearly showed in 2009 with an 8-2-5 record and a 25-10 scoring advantage at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. But the Fire handed the Rapids one of those defeats, posting enough Fourth of July fireworks to hold on for a 2-1 victory.

Prediction: Chicago Fire 2, Colorado Rapids 2