Colorado Rapids look to maintain lead atop the standings with clash against Los Angeles Galaxy

Major League Soccer is entering the dog days of summer; the fixtures are coming fast and furious. The Los Angeles Galaxy and Colorado Rapids will battle at the StubHub Center as a big three points are on the line.

Form

Currently, the visiting Rapids are sitting at the top of the Western Conference standings with 31 points. They have a three point lead over FC Dallas while playing less matches. This is quite a turnaround considering the fact that the Rapids were one of the worst team in all of MLS last season. Now, Colorado has a huge gap in the Supporters’ Shield race as well. To go along with the point differential, the Rapids have the best defensive record in the league having only given up 11 goals.

The Colorado Rapids have a habit of scoring late in matches, and against the Chicago Fire, they did the same. Kevin Doyle scored three minutes before the hour mark while the Fire’s Joey Calistri equalized with nine minutes remaining. Marco Pappa, as he did against the Galaxy earlier in the season, scored in the 89th minute of the match to secure the victory in impressive fashion.

The Galaxy are missing some big names in their attack and it’s hurting them. Robbie Keane is at the Euros for at least another week and Gyasi Zardes is wrapping up Copa America Centenario with the United States Men’s National Team this weekend. As a result of that, their offense has suffered. In their last four league matches, Los Angeles has only found the back of the net three times. This is not typical of the Galaxy and the goals will need to come from somewhere soon.

Against Toronto last time out, the Galaxy looked to be comfortable with cruising towards gaining a solitary point. They were sitting back and absorbing pressure that was being initiated by Sebastian Giovinco. And in the 76th minute, Toronto found a crack in the Galaxy defense and Drew Moor scored the late winner.

Ashley Cole watches as Drew Moor scores winning goal. | Photo: odd Korol/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Ashley Cole watches as Drew Moor scores winning goal. | Photo: odd Korol/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Key Players

The Galaxy could welcome back both Steven Gerrard and Giovani dos Santos into the starting eleven tomorrow night. If they do make a return, more creativity will be thrown into the middle of the pitch. This could be a big test for the Rapids backline and if they falter, then the Galaxy will capitalize.

Kevin Doyle is going to be the main focus in attack without Jermaine Jones. The Irishman wasn't included in the national team squad for the Euros and that seemed to be a bit of a motivating factor for him. His veteran presence is hugely important for the Rapids and will certainly be a handful up front.

Prediction

Being in front of their home fans will reinvigorate their attack. The goals will come from and when they do, there will be a big sigh of relief from everyone in the stadium.

Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0 Colorado Rapids

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