Montreal (1-5-4) at Colorado (4-4-3), 9 p.m.
Commerce City, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - The Colorado Rapids will hope that a visit from the struggling Montreal Impact is just what the club needs when the two sides get together at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Saturday.
The Rapids have claimed one win in their last six games, scoring just four goals in the process and earning five points.
But head coach Pablo Mastroeni was encouraged by his team's effort in a 2-1 defeat at Real Salt Lake last time out.
Goals from Joao Plata and Javier Morales put RSL up 2-0 before a goal from Drew Moor in the 83rd minute handed the Rapids a bit of hope.
Yet despite the result, Mastroeni believes his team can bring some momentum into this week's encounter with the Impact.
"This is all a process right now," Mastroeni said following the loss to RSL. "It's not about doing really well one week and then not showing up the next. It's about being consistent and that will come with time. The idea is to get better defensively, to get better offensively and figuring out how we sustain that."
The return of midfielder Jose Mari should help after he was a late withdrawal from the team shortly before the RSL contest, while a three-game homestand which begins with Montreal should offer a chance to collect a few points.
The Impact has claimed only one win from their first 10 games this season to sit on the bottom of the Eastern Conference table.
But despite that lowly place in the standings, assistant coach Mauro Biello is confident his side can get going again with the return of forward Marco Di Vaio and defender Nelson Rivas, who both made the trip to Colorado.
Di Vaio's return, in particular, should provide a boost to an attack that has increased options with Jack McInerney starting find his form and the arrival of Issey Nakajima-Farran.
"Having Marco back will definitely help the team," said Biello. "We have a good record with him in the lineup. Now with Jack [McInerney] scoring goals, Marco coming back and Justin Mapp's consistency, we have a number of options offensively, including the addition of Issey [Nakajima-Farran]."
Montreal has managed to score two goals or more just twice in 10 games, so increased production in the offensive third is a must if this team is going to turn around a disappointing start to the campaign.