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Game 12: Off to the LA Zlatans

MLS: Colorado Rapids at LA Galaxy Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Needless to say, this season hasn’t been going well for the Colorado Rapids. Sadly, the Burgundy Boys have another challenge ahead of them as they go to the West Coast to play the L.A. Galaxy this weekend.

L.A. has had less of an overhaul and more of a refinement since last season. They upgraded the one and only Zlatan Ibrahimovic to a DP contract while shedding former DP Giovani dos Santos. They dropped Ashley Cole, sold Ola Kamara, brought in Uriel Antuna on loan from Manchester City, and signed Joe Corona from Club Tijuana. Aside from that? Not a whole lot of major changes. Instead, they’ve tried to focus more on keeping their best players healthy and dominant.

The formation for L.A. has been relatively fluid in the last few games. In the last five alone, they’ve played in a 4-1-4-1, a 4-2-3-1, and a 5-3-2. Regardless of what sort of formation they bring in, it is practically guaranteed that Zlatan will be up front. He’s doing quite well, with nine goals and two assists in 10 games. Sebastian Lletget, Chris Pontius, and the aforementioned Uriel Antuna are all supporting him as offensive midfielders, while DP Jonathan dos Santos and Joe Corona are playing as defensive midfielders.

The back line has allowed a lot of goals in the last couple of games, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see some changes. The team has put in 18 goals and allowed 16 so far over their 12 games.

The Galaxy have always been defined by their all-star players and status as arguably the team that has been practically synonymous with MLS throughout its 20+ year history, but these days, that status seems to be held by their rivals across town. Carlos Vela and LAFC are the hot team to talk about right now, but the Galaxy aren’t far behind. In fact, they sit second in the western conference and fourth overall. Even though they lost their last three games in a row against the New York Red Bulls, Columbus Crew, and NYCFC, the Galaxy are still comfortably placed in the table.

Additionally, the Rapids are in the unfortunate spot where if we don’t win this game, we’ll officially set the record for the worst start in MLS history. We’ve got an absolutely dismal two points over 11 games, putting us on track for a whopping total of... six points this season. When we’re realistically looking at getting less than 15% of the number of points of average teams, we need to get some serious wins to fight back against that.

I refuse to get my hopes up for this match, but Conor Casey has shown that this team can still improve. As long as this match isn’t a total disaster, I think I can live with that.