Those watching this weekend’s LA Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids match must be gluttons for punishment or hardcore fans of either club. The Galaxy finds itself in 13th place with six points in the Western Conference after a humbling 2-0 away defeat to Orlando City in their last match. They struggled to create chances without club DP Riqui Puig against the Lions. But they’ve struggled all season in that regard even with Puig and have a -7 goal differential as a result. However, the expectation is that Puig’s return should bolster LA.
The return of former DP Kevin Cabral will be of note as well and should cause a meltdown in Galaxy-land if he scores against his former club. Although the Rapids haven’t been much better, they find themselves a place higher on the table. This battle of Western Conference bottom dwellers might be the springboard for either team to turn its season around. Indeed, these are the matches the Galaxy must win if it is to save its season.
LA Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids at Dignity Health Sports Park
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) May 3, 2023
LA Galaxy’s Current Run of Form
The Galaxy dare not lose this game. After the glimmer of hope that was the 2-0 win over Austin, Orlando City happened, and now LA faces the prospect of having won just once in 10 matches. There are signs of improvement.
When Los Angeles plays in their 3-5-2, they can be dangerous. This formation also gets two forwards onto the field, which should be Dejan Joveljic. With the announced injury to Douglas Costa, Head Coach Greg Vanney might be forced into it, although his preference is for his much beloved and underwhelming 4-3-3.
If the Galaxy does go three at the back, Julian Aude and Jalen Neal will be the players to watch in the back line.
Colorado Rapids Current Run of Form
The Rapids are only slightly better than the Galaxy. They hold a 1-6-3 record and are in 12th place in the West with nine points and a -5 goal differential. This makes them one place better than LA. But, they can claim they are unbeaten in their last six matches.
Colorado has played to four ties in their last five games, including a scoreless draw against Vancouver last Saturday. The downside for Robin Fraser’s men is that they only picked up one win in those five games. That win was a 1-0 victory over a team more hapless than both teams somehow, SKC.
But if Diego Rubio and Micheal Barrios get going, watch out LA.
The all-time series is at 12-6-12, meaning whoever wins takes the lead. The Galaxy took the last match 4-1 at home in September 2022. That day Gaston Brugman was the star man with two goals, while Chicharito and Raheem Edwards scored as well.
Before that, the Rapids had claimed a 2-0 win. Goals by Diego Rubio and former Galaxy player, Gyasi Zardes, downed LA on their visit to Denver. The Rapids can take heart in knowing that they were unbeaten in eight matches before the Galaxy’s recent win.
LA Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids Prediction
Everything is lining up here for LA. The Galaxy gets Puig back, they’re back home, and Vanney doesn’t have to worry about having to integrate players into the lineup that clearly aren’t cutting it. But things are never simple for this team. Add the intrigue of both these teams battling for scraps at the bottom of the table right now, and it could turn into a physical battle.
Both teams can’t afford to lose, which makes it almost a certainty that those gluttons that are watching this match will get one thing. A cautious, but scrappy draw that neither team will really be happy with. Look for a 0-0 or 1-1 tie.
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