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Rapids-FC Dallas Preview
By SANTOSH VENKATARAMAN
(AP) -- After ending the worst losing streak in franchise history, the Colorado Rapids now look to stop their road skid as they head to the last place where they won away from home.
The Rapids have dropped five straight on the road heading into Saturday night's matchup against an FC Dallas team that has seen enigmatic midfielder Brek Shea finally return to action.
Colorado (8-14-1) ended a six-game slide with a 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake last Saturday. Joseph Nane scored his first career goal and Matt Pickens became the franchise's winningest goalkeeper with his 40th victory for the Rapids.
"Sure, we felt pressure and there was pressure on us to win," Nane said. "We knew that if we did all that we needed to do, we could do something about it."
Colorado posted its first victory since beating Portland 3-0 on June 30.
"It's a relief, you can actually see it in the locker room, everybody is happy," Nane said. "That's what we wanted."
These teams met for the MLS Cup two seasons ago, but both have work to do to reach the playoffs this year. Colorado is seventh in the Western Conference with 25 points and FC Dallas (5-11-8) is eighth with 23.
Shea returned to the Dallas lineup for last Sunday's 1-1 draw at Portland. He was benched the previous two games by coach Schellas Hyndman after they had an argument when the coach took the midfielder out of a 2-1 loss at San Jose on July 18.
The 22-year-old Shea scored 11 goals last season but has been held to three this year.
"I hadn't been out there in a while so I was excited to be back," Shea told FC Dallas' official website.
Shea has not started at home since a scoreless draw with the Earthquakes on July 7.
Colorado's last road win was a 2-0 victory May 6 when two Dallas players were sent off in a three-minute span of the first half. Rapids first-year coach Oscar Pareja had a successful return in his first game against the franchise with which he ended his playing career and served as an assistant coach before joining Colorado.
Dallas evened the season series by ending a 13-game winless run with a 2-1 victory at Colorado on July 14.
Dallas is unsure how much longer Designated Player Julian de Guzman will stay with the club since he could be moving to Europe. De Guzman has started two of four appearances for Dallas since being acquired from Toronto FC on July 13.
"He's played quite a few years in Europe, he might want to go back to Europe," Hyndman said. "We don't know."
Hyndman's team managed to gain a point last weekend despite defender Zach Loyd getting sent off with a second yellow card in the 52nd minute. Loyd, who leads the club with 2,005 minutes, is suspended for this match.
Colorado forward Conor Casey is questionable with a hamstring problem.
Updated August 10, 2012