Preview: Sporting KC hosts Colorado Rapids on Saturday

Clubs even on 39 points with 8 games remaining in MLS

Sporting KC vs Colorado Rapids
Saturday, August 31, 2013 - 7:30 p.m. CT
Sporting Park | Kansas City, KS

English TV: KSMO-TV
Spanish Radio: La Gran D 1340 AM

MatchCenter | Game Notes | Media Guide | Scouting Report
By the NumbersSocial Media | GameOn | Press conference | Tickets | MatchDay

Sporting Kansas City returns to Sporting Park after three consecutive matches on the road to face the Colorado Rapids on Saturday. The match, sponsored by UMB Bank, will be broadcast live on KSMO-TV at 7:30 p.m. CT with pregame coverage beginning at 7 p.m. CT. There are a limited number of tickets available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com or at the Sporting Park Box Offices.

Colorado is in the midst of a club record, nine-game unbeaten run in League play which ranks second longest in MLS this season. During the stretch, the team has secured three road results with their lone road win over that span coming against the Montreal Impact on June 29.

Sporting KC holds the all-time advantage over the Rapids (20-17-12) and maintains a 16-3-5 record at home versus Colorado. Sporting KC is unbeaten in the club's last six matches against the Western Conference opponent dating back to 2009 while Colorado is winless in their last 11 matches in Kansas City with their last victory here in 2002.

Colorado enjoyed a week off from MLS play last weekend but defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 their last time out on the pitch. Rookie striker Deshorn Brown and veteran finisher Edson Buddle each scored to propel the Rapids to victory.

Sporting KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen is set to start his 83rd consecutive regular season MLS match, which will tie Scott Garlick (1999-2002) for the third longest consecutive complete games played streak in MLS history. Nielsen leads the League with nine shutouts this season.

Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin is tied with Nielsen for most shutouts earned in 2013. Irwin was third on the Colorado depth chart as a trialist during the preseason and secured the starting role after an injury to Matt Pickens. Irwin has made the most of the opportunity and has started in goal for the rapids in every MLS match since his debut.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early on Saturday. Parking lots open three hours prior to kickoff and the first 10,000 fans to enter the gates at Sporting Park will receive a Sporting KC collapsible water bottle courtesy of UMB. Sporting Style will be selling team-worn merchandise on the south side of the sprint Plaza starting at 5:30 p.m. CT.

Saturday will be the final chance to opt in for the Season Ticket Members First Touch Campaign. The renewal rewards include an Exclusive Tailgate Event or a Fantasy Clinic for Season Ticket Members with children between the ages of 6-11. Season Ticket Members can renew online or visit the Client Services locations at Sporting Park (Boulevard Members Club, East Gate and North end of Sprint Plaza).

For all in-game updates, follow @SKCGameday on Twitter or visit SportingKC.com/GameOn.