New York City FC and the Colorado Rapids are trending in opposite directions ahead of their match on Saturday in Commerce City, Colo.
NYCFC (7-3-8) has answered a spirited 7-0-5 surge by dropping back-to-back contests, including a controversial 2-1 setback at the rival New York Red Bulls in the Hudson River Derby on Sunday.
Colorado (5-10-5), however, rebounded from an 11-match winless stretch to begin the season by posting a 5-1-3 record over its last nine. The Rapids rallied from a pair of deficits to secure a 2-2 draw against Portland last Saturday.
Forward Jonathan Lewis scored his third goal in five games to equal his sum total in 32 league matches during his two-plus-year stint with NYCFC, which selected him with the No. 3 overall pick of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft.
Lewis, who was acquired in May via trade, isn't placing extra importance on Saturday's match against his former team.
"I have respect for the guys there, no hard feelings," the 22-year-old U.S. international told MLSsoccer.com. "Again, hopefully it'd be just another goal in another game."
Kei Kamara has a team-leading eight goals for Colorado, which is 0-2-2 in four all-time matches against NYCFC.
Midfielder Maximiliano Moralez, who scored in NYCFC's 4-0 romp over the Rapids at Yankee Stadium on May 19, 2018, set up forward Heber Araujo dos Santos' team-leading seventh goal in Sunday's match against the Red Bulls. The 32-year-old Moralez has a club-best 12 assists.
"(We're) disappointed after the way we lost the game. The team gave it all," NYCFC defender Alex Callens said. "Now it's time to pick ourselves up and go again."
Despite his team's recent run of misfortune, NYCFC coach Dome Torrent remains optimistic about his club's chances against the Rapids.
"They've responded really well (in training)," Torrent said. "We have to be ready to play in Colorado ... Everybody knows we need to get points after (we lost) the last two games in MLS."
--Field Level Media