Two straight losses on the road haven't been fun for the Colorado Rapids, especially since they were shut out both times. Fortunately, the Rapids are homeward bound this weekend, and they have pulled out two wins in their two games at Dick's Sporting Goods Park this season. Both wins were 2-0 victories over mid-tier Eastern Conference teams, so the LA Galaxy coming to town presents a new challenge.
Still, LA have been below expectations this season and for a time were dead last in the Western Conference. David Beckham might or might not play as per usual so we don't know what to expect on that front, but it's still a talented if underachieving group that the Rapids will need to beat tomorrow.
Here's three keys to taking three points from the defending MLS Cup champs.Larentowicz vs. Juninho - Ben covered this one on the Thugcast this week, and it's probably going to be the biggest battle in the midfield. Larentowicz is the only real defensive player other than the back four any more, and he touches the ball more often than anyone else on the team does being in that oh so important pivot position. It will be up to him to keep the ball away from LA's secret weapon Juninho, as well as keeping him without space. When the Brazillian has space, we all know what he can do with his devastating shot from 20-30 yards out. We saw it first hand last season when a wonder goal by Juninho doomed the Rapids in an eventual 3-1 loss at DSGP.
Find Some Damn Offense - Conor Casey, barring some sort of miracle, will not play on Saturday. Unfortunately, the offense has been pretty pathetic looking at times without him as Omar Cummings has fumbled the top forward position and Brian Mullan/Tony Cascio's crosses have had no targets. It kind of goes without saying, but the Rapids need to get some goals if they want anything against LA. The Galaxy aren't the type of team that go a game without scoring these days.
Keep Doing What You're Doing - Yes, the game in Seattle was a loss. It was still one of the more impressive displays of the possession and passing game that this 4-3-3 is supposed to bring the team so far this season. Sure, there is work to be done in the final third but I'll feel good about the Rapids chances if they can hold 65% possession against the Galaxy while getting a few extra shots on net.