Inquirer Daily News

Chivas, Colorado already looking toward next season

Carson, CA (Sports Network) - It has been a season for forget for both Chivas USA and the Colorado Rapids as two of the bottom three sides in the Western Conference get set to square off at The Home Depot Center on Saturday.

The two clubs have combined to win just once in their last 21 games, and both have been out of playoff contention for weeks.

So Saturday's match will give both teams a chance to get a headstart on next season, which offers a fresh start.

Chivas is in the midst of woeful run that sees the team winless in its last 12 games, while Jorge Villafana's goal last time out against FC Dallas ended the club's 601-minute scoreless streak, which is the second longest in MLS history.

The Rapids themselves haven't been too much better, winning once in their last nine matches to sit two points clear of the Goats ahead of Saturday's tilt.

For Colorado boss Oscar Pareja, Saturday will give the chance to get a look at some of the younger players, while veterans such as goalkeeper Matt Pickens (groin) and striker Conor Casey (knee) will be shut down for the rest of the year, while midfielders Brian Mullan and Jeff Larentowicz could join them.

"For me, this is great timing to see the guys that I need to see, like a [defender] Chris Klute, see a [defender] Tyson [Wahl], see how the other guys are developing," Pareja told MLSsoccer.com. "It has been a good week to accomplish a lot of things."

Among the things that Pareja can accomplish on Saturday is getting a look at which players might be able to contribute next season after not getting too much time the rest of the year.

Young players like strikers Tony Cascio and Andre Akpan fit that description as well as Klute and 20-year-old right back Davy Armstrong, who should be in contention for a place in the team.

Chivas will also have that chance, but veteran midfielder Peter Vagenas is interested in getting a result as well.

"I can only speak for myself but my motivation is a personal pride," Vagenas said. "Maybe it's selfish but I've been doing this a long time, I've sort of been considered a winner in this league and I take it personally, whether I'm fighting for playoffs, MLS Cups, whatever, I want to win."

Chivas will be trying to put an end to Colorado's seven-game unbeaten streak against the Goats, which dates back to 2009.

10/19 16:57:32 ET