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Downstream Game 17: Away vs LA Galaxy

MLS: Colorado Rapids at LA Galaxy Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

LA Galaxy Stats

2021 Record: 11-6-2 WLT, 34 points for 1.84 PPG

Goals: 30 for, 28 allowed, +2 differential

Power Rankings: LAG #6 (+2), Rapids #5 (-)

Last Result: 1-0 win over Minnesota United

This is going to be an interesting one. LA Galaxy has been neck and neck with the Colorado Rapids for most of the season. While Sporting Kansas City and Seattle Sounders have been duking it out for the top spot in the west, LA and the Rapids have been in a hotly contested fight for third place, despite not even playing against each other yet this season. So let’s talk about our very short turnaround as we face off against LA Galaxy on a rare Tuesday night game.

The Galaxy are in a bit of a revival after their disappointing last few years. They missed the playoffs last year due in no small part to their star signing Chicharito failing to produce. Bringing in Greg Vanney, however, has turned the team into one of the most consistently producing teams in the league. He had a tremendous legacy left behind at Toronto FC, who has quite frankly cratered without him. Now he looks to replicate that at his new home.

That isn’t to say the Galaxy are perfect. For starters, their defense is not great. At 28 goals allowed, they have the most allowed for any team in a playoff spot, aside from the Portland Timbers who has allowed a shocking amount of goals over the season, and are only just in the playoff picture. But they make up for that with a pretty solid offense. Thirty goals for is no joke, and Mexican superstar Chicharito has been the main reason behind all of that. Even with him injured, the Galaxy have still been a consistent threat.

Unfortunately for us, the Galaxy have started to look a lot better following the Gold Cup and the close of the transfer window. Jonathan Dos Santos and Efrain Alvarez are back from being with Mexico, and Sebastian Lletget is back from the USMNT. Chicharito is still a question mark for returning, but that has been more on the state of him returning from a muscle injury, rather than national team duty. He didn’t make the flight out to Minnesota, which makes me think he won’t be back in time for the midweek game. But, that isn’t to say we can take it easy. U-22 signing Dejan Joveljic had a pretty impressive debut and could easily make a case for being their starting forward.

The Rapids also have a decision to make: Does Robin Fraser push for three points on the road against the Galaxy after a short turnaround from Houston, or does he rest players and try and get three at home against Real Salt Lake?

For me personally, I think getting three points against RSL is the priority. The Galaxy are four points up, but two games in hand. If we get three on them, that would be huge for our standings. We’d knock them to below us by PPG, and with two games still in hand, we’d be only one point away from topping them by points overall as well.

But at the end of the day, we have the Rocky Mountain Cup to think about, plus another home performance. Don’t be surprised if we don’t bring out the entire A-team against the Galaxy.

Houston was a great result. Any time you get a 3-1 victory on the road is a dang good result. Getting another three against the Galaxy would be stellar. Just prepare for the rivalry game this coming weekend.