After falling out of first place for the first time in nine weeks, the Colorado Rapids will head north to face Vancouver in hopes of regaining the top spot in the Western Conference.

Despite Monday not being the most desirable result for the Rapids, Pablo Mastroeni’s keys moving forward are the development of small on- and off-ball details, and finding the right mindset for this weekend’s match-up.

“I think for us,” Mastroeni said on Thursday, “it’s really getting back and really working on those little things that got us to this point with the ball, without the ball, and really the mentality to go to that place and find a way to get a good result.”

The Rapids have struggled to earn their deference in 2016 despite their status as one of the Western Conference’s top teams, but Kevin Doyle said that’s changing.

“You can tell people pay more attention to us,” he said. “Maybe the games are getting tougher, people are paying us a bit more respect.”

Doyle’s first goal with the club came in the 56th minute of last year’s 2-1 July 4 win over Vancouver, but remembering that won’t factor into this weekend.

“It won’t make any difference when we play them on Saturday,” Doyle said. “We’ve got to go out and try to do the same thing, try to win the game, keep ourselves at the top of the table.”

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The Rapids are on record pace for fewest goals allowed in a season, currently sitting at 11, and Mastroeni points to his forwards as the primary reason.

“I think defense starts with the highest guy on the field,” Mastroeni said. “Kevin Doyle this year, Lucho, have done a fantastic job of starting in the defensive pressure with a certain type of mentality. The guys behind there and the midfield have done a great job of making play predictable for the guys in the back, and the guys in the back have held their own with some of the greatest strikers in this league.”

It’s this defensive effort has Colorado sitting in second place in the Western Conference, after holding the top spot for nine consecutive weeks.

Tim Howard played a spectacular game in goal in his Rapids debut, and will start Saturday’s game.

“I think he showed his character and his quality,” Mastroeni said of Howard after Monday’s game. “He showed his experience.”