BARCELONA – Already getting plenty of contributions from others since Conor Casey's season-ending Achilles' injury, the Colorado Rapids just got stronger with the return of striker Macoumba Kandji.
Chivas USA is hoping one of Kandji's former teammates can provide a lift.
Looking to win four in a row for the first time in eight seasons, the Rapids go for their fifth consecutive shutout in this matchup Saturday night when Juan Pablo Angel could make his Chivas debut.
Casey tops Colorado with six goals and was lost for the season July 16, but the club has responded with a 4-0-1 run in league play as eight Rapids players have scored - led by four from Sanna Nyassi.
Kandji seems ready to add his name to that list after scoring twice in Wednesday's 3-2 victory over Isidro Metapan in the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League.
For Kandji, who made his season debut as a second-half substitute in last Saturday's 3-2 victory at San Jose, it was his first start since the 2010 MLS Cup when he suffered a torn ACL on the Rapids' game-winning goal in overtime.
"Everybody's been waiting for him to come back and he's had nothing but a positive attitude, like he showed tonight," midfielder Jeff Larentowicz told the Rapids' official website.
Colorado (10-6-10), which last won four straight during a five-game run July 4-Aug. 9, 2003, has outscored Chivas 9-0 in winning the last four meetings. In the clubs' only matchup this year, Quincy Amarikwa beat goalkeeper Zach Thornton in the Rapids' 1-0 victory in Carson, Calif., on March 26.
While Chivas (7-8-9) has earned points in seven of its last eight matches, it has been shut out three times during that stretch and remains outside the playoff picture.
The club is hoping the addition of Angel, acquired from Los Angeles on Wednesday for a third-round pick in next year's supplemental draft, will provide a boost. The Colombian forward had just three goals and an assist in 22 games for the Galaxy, but he scored 61 times in all competitions for the Red Bulls from 2007-10.
"Since the first day I arrived, I've been asked, "Who's going to score goals for you?" first-year Chivas coach Robin Fraser told the club's official website. "... Certainly now we have a player who is renowned for scoring goals. If we continue to play well and we incorporate a player who knows his way around the box, it's going to be a good fit."
This will be the first time Angel will be playing against Kandji after they spent parts of three seasons as teammates with New York.
Angel is looking to help Chivas make a move up the standings, and that effort will be made easier if Dan Kennedy continues to shine in net. He's third in MLS with eight shutouts after making two saves in last Saturday's scoreless draw at Seattle.
"He has had way too much to do at points throughout the year," said Fraser, a Rapids defender from 2001-03. "But he has done the job superbly. As I watch him, he gets better and better, and his confidence gets better. And that breeds confidence.
"But we have to get to the point where Dan is the last person we talk about."
Colorado is 9-5-4 all-time versus Chivas.