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Downstream Game 6: Away to LAFC

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MLS Soccer - Los Angeles FC v Colorado Rapids Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images

LAFC Stats

2021 Record: 1-2-2 WLT, 5 points for 1.0 PPG

Goals: 5 for, 6 allowed, -1 differential

Power Rankings: LAFC #9 (-2), Rapids #10 (+6)

Last Result: 0-2 loss against Seattle Sounders

Three wins in a row is officially a streak. After a solid 90 minutes and three goals against Houston Dynamo, the Colorado Rapids are riding high after getting nine points out of nine available. Can we keep that streak alive next weekend as we go into enemy territory against LAFC?

I’m of two minds on Los Angeles. On one hand, it’s LAFC, a team that has been a powerhouse in the Western Conference and were anticipated to be one of the de facto conference champion contenders. They have Carlos Vela, who has been MLS MVP and set records. They won’t sit and be content with not being a perennial playoff contender. On the other hand, a lot of those facts don’t actually apply anymore. Right now, they’re sitting bottom of the conference. It’s only been five games, barely a blip on the radar over the full season, but it’s still five games. At this rate, they won’t even qualify for playoffs. Seattle is essentially unstoppable right now and are already getting the MLS Cup engraved, so no shame in losing to them, but without Vela getting consistent minutes and dealing with minor injuries, they haven’t solidified how they stand this season.

Their offseason wasn’t a particularly disruptive one for LA. They declined Bradley Wright-Phillips option, loaned out Brian Rodriguez to a team in the Segunda División in Spain, and mutually terminated Kenneth Vermeer’s contract. They traded for Marco Farfan from Portland, and in a notable addition they signed Corey Baird from Real Salt Lake. Otherwise, they’re sticking with what the team that they fielded last year. A team that made the playoffs, and as a franchise they have made the playoffs every year since they joined in 2018.

Historically, we’ve actually managed to do fairly well against LAFC. Sam Vines basically took a look at Carlos Vela and said “no,” and kept him off the scoresheet. They haven’t done too well so far this season, but Vela has been injured.

This is a winnable game for Colorado. But win or lose, the game will be spun against us. If we win, they’ll say “of course they won, LAFC is spiraling” and won’t give us credit. If we lose, they’ll bash us and say “They couldn’t beat a struggling LAFC.” Tie, and you’ll get a mix of both.

Credit to the ‘Pids, they played a really good game last weekend for 90 minutes. If that same team shows up and plays like they did, then we should be in for a great game. Let’s make it 4 for 4.