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Downstream Game 12: Away to LA Galaxy

MLS: Colorado Rapids at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

LA Galaxy Stats

2020 Record: 4-3-3 W-L-T, 6th place in the Western Conference

Goals For: 16

Goals Against: 15

MLS is Back Tournament: Lost to Portland and LAFC, tied against Houston. Did not qualify for playoffs.

Last Result: 0-0 draw against San Jose

Okay, so all the momentum that we had against Real Salt Lake got ruined after playing against FC Dallas and letting in three goals in the second half to lose 4-1 on the road. Once again, we are on the outside looking in for the playoffs, with fewer and fewer games remaining to get back in. But, our microseason has been extended by at least an additional three games against LA Galaxy, San Jose Earthquakes again, and Sporting Kansas City again. Redemption is still possible, but that starts with a trip to Dignity Health Sports Park in not-quite-LA Carson, CA. How do our opponents look as we start the so far final three games of the season?

LA Galaxy is a team that I just flat-out cannot stand. They are always big money splashers and have a desire to be the best in the league, and always seem to do so by spending big on retirement players. I much prefer the signings from a team like Atlanta United FC, who go after young players and sell big after the fact, taking a pretty big risk in the process.

After struggling a bit the last few years, even with Zlatan Ibrahimović on their team, the Galaxy are finally starting to look decent once again. Not an MLS powerhouse quite yet, but decent.

Their major signing was Javier Hernandez, better known as Chicharito, the all-time leading goalscorer for the Mexican national team and a former star for Manchester United and West Ham United. He is the highest-paid player in the league, and though he is adding to that reputation of having MLS be a retirement league, that doesn’t mean that he is any less of a superstar. The problem is, he’s only played four games for the Galaxy due to injury. If he can come back healthy, he could be a real difference-maker.

But Chicharito isn’t their only signing.

They also brought in fringe USMNT player Sacha Kljestan and Yony Gonzalez on loan from Benfica in Portugal. In addition, they signed Jonathan Klinsmann, aka the son of Jurgen Klinsmann, former USMNT coach. While Jonathan is more of a backup keeper under David Bingham, Sacha has been making a significant impact and Yony Gonzalez is sure to make an impact once he starts getting minutes with the Galaxy.

LA has been on a pretty decent streak, having won four of their last five matches. They did have a disappointing draw against San Jose, but that is coming off of a win against LAFC 3-0. While it is pretty safe to say that LAFC is no longer the best team in the league, that is still a pretty impressive victory. A far cry from the

On the Rapids side, we got our nose punched by Dallas after a pretty bad loss, however that is also coming off of a massive 5-0 destruction of RSL. Historically, the Rapids have done well getting points against the Galaxy, as they were the team that kickstarted the Casey era in 2019, with a 1-0 victory on the road from a decisive Andre Shinyashiki goal. Following that, we also got three points against them at home.

Getting three points in a game is becoming more and more important. Currently, we sit below the playoff line, and although the Western Conference is undoubtedly tightly packed (three points are all that separates us from fifth place), we don’t want to just squeak in. We want to earn a place and not have to worry about potentially losing it on whatever the 2020 version of Decision Day will be.

While getting points against the Galaxy has historically been pretty consistent, the Rapids cannot afford to keep their foot anything but jammed on the gas at this point. Get a win, get back into playoffs, and keep fighting for the rest of the season, whatever that might look like.