The Colorado Rapids head into their final five games needing to leapfrog four teams to claim the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The team directly above them in standings is the Houston Dynamo, their next opponent.

Even with both teams’ playoff chances a distant hope at this point, there’s plenty to play for on Saturday in Houston. Just one point separates the Rapids and Dynamo from the last place position in the Western Conference, a spot neither club wants to occupy at season’s end.

Following Wednesday’s practice, head coach Pablo Mastroeni and captain Drew Moor went on record with the team website to offer their insight and expectations for a match whose three points could save a club from a last place finish.

“Neither team wants to give in,” said Moor, who said he will be prepared for a crowd near 20,000 spectators at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.

Mastroeni agreed that the crowd will be a big factor in the match. “The atmosphere will be fantastic,” the coach said.

“The last five games, there’s a lot on the line for everyone,” which Mastroeni expects will mean a big effort from the players and fans alike.

With the battle for the last position hanging in the balance, both Moor and Mastroeni know they need to make some key improvements over their last effort, a 3-1 loss at Toronto.

According to Moor, the Rapids must make sure they “don’t concede anything early.”

After allowing three goals within the first 38 minutes at Toronto, that will require a team effort in Mastroeni’s eyes.

“We need better collective team defending,” the coach said.

Colorado and Houston kick at 6:30 p.m. MDT on Saturday. Listen to the game live on Mile High Sports AM 1340.