Thank you for following today's match between the Colorado Rapids and the Los Angeles Galaxy. The recap of this match will be up shortly. This is Matt Niksa saying "so long!" I hope you all enjoyed the game as much as I did.
Final score: Rapids 1 (3) Galaxy 0 (1). The Rapids move on to the Western Conference Finals to take on either the Seattle Sounders or FC Dallas.
Larentowicz misses! The Rapids are going to the Western Conference Finals! Rapids GK Howard saves Larentowicz's PK and the Rapids win 3-1 on PKs. What a moment!
Now it's Galaxy MF Jeff Larentowicz's turn...
Pappa scores! He sends Rowe the wrong way and the Rapids now lead 3-1 on PKs. If the Galaxy miss the next PK, the game is over.
Now it's Rapids MF Marco Pappa's turn...
Cole's PK is saved! His left footed PK is well-saved by Howard, who dives to his right to save Cole's PK.
Now it's Galaxy LB Ashley Cole's turn...
Le Toux scores! He sends Galaxy GK Rowe the wrong way and fires the ball into the bottom-left corner.
Now it's Rapids MF Sebastien Le Toux's turn...
dos Santos misses! What a moment! He sends the ball just over Howard's goal.
Now it's Galaxy FWD Giovani dos Santos' turn...
Doyle scores! His penalty kick squirms under Galaxy GK Brian Rowe. It was not a good PK but Doyle won't complain.
Now it's Rapids FWD Doyle's turn...
Galaxy MF Gerrard goes first for the Galaxy. He sends the ball past Howard to give the Galaxy a 1-0 lead on PKs!
Both teams look gassed after 120 minutes of play. Anything can happen in a penalty-kick shootout. The penalty kicks will be taken at the right side of the field. The Galaxy will go first.
12o': The whistle blows! We're going to a penalty kick shootout!
120': Galaxy MF Gerrard floats in a great free kick that bounces through the Rapids' box. The ball goes out for a Rapids' GK.
119': Rapids MF Pappa delivers a dreadful corner kick. The ball goes out for a Galaxy goal kick. There are only a couple of minutes left in extra time.
118': Yellow card for Galaxy MF Baggio Husidic, who is now ruled out of the Galaxy's first leg of the Western Conference Finals (if the Galaxy advance past the semifinals).
117': Rapids DM Cronin and Galaxy FWD Keane have words. Center referee Mark Geiger elects not to card either player.
116': Pappa has slid into the CAM (center-attacking midfielder) position while Doyle has moved up top.
114': Galaxy GK Rowe collects the Rapids' CK. Rowe has played well today and has claimed a lot of loose balls around his six-yard-box.
114': Rapids substitute Pappa clips in a cross that forces Galaxy MF Baggio Husidic to head out for a Rapids CK.
112': Substitution: Rapids MF Marco Pappa for Rapids FWD Dominique Badji. The Rapids are now out of subs. Badji worked hard today and made a number of good runs, but his final touch often let him down.
111': Galaxy CK is cleared away by Hairston. The Rapids' set-piece defending has been solid today.
11o': Gerrard wins a free kick about 30 yards from goal. He curls in a cross that Rapids DF Axel Sjoberg heads out for a Galaxy CK.
Both teams have switched sides. Galaxy is attacking from left to right, Rapids are attacking from right to left.
The second half of extra time is underway! Rapids 1 Galaxy 0 (Rapids 1 Galaxy 1 on aggregate)
106': That's halftime in extra time! After 106 minutes, it's still 1-1 on aggregate. The Galaxy look content to park the bus while the Rapids are huffing and puffing in an effort to get that second goal.
104': Rapids FWD Badji gets his head on a hard Eric Miller cross, but his header goes straight at Galaxy GK Rowe.
102': The Galaxy is on their heels at the moment. Hairston fizzes a cross across the Galaxy's box that is deflected out for a throw-in. The Galaxy just can't seem to clear their lines right now.
98': Rapids DM Cronin shoots the ball over the Galaxy's goal. The Rapids look like they're running out of ideas after 98 minutes of play.
95': Rapids CAM Doyle's shot is deflected out for a Rapids CK. The Rapids earn another CK after the first CK is cleared, but the second CK comes to nothing.
93': Great tackle by Jelle Van Damme stops a Rapids breakaway. Rapids FWD Badji was injured on the play and he hobbles off the field for treatment. The Rapids have one sub left.
The first half of extra time is underway! Extra time will be divided into two fifteen-minute halves. There will be a short break in between halves.
Rapids 1 Galaxy 0 (Rapids 1 Galaxy 1 on aggregate)
94': Mark Geiger blows the full-time whistle. We are going to extra time!
93': Galaxy LB Ashley Cole fouls Rapids MF Hairston about 30 yards from goal. Rapids MF Le Toux delivers a very poor free kick and the Galaxy clear their lines.
90': Four minutes of stoppage time for both teams. Neither team looks likely to score a stoppage-time goal.
88': Van Damme is back on the field after getting treatment on his right knee.
86': Galaxy CB Van Damme is down and in some pain after colliding with Rapids FWD Badji. The center back looked to have hurt his right knee on the play and is walking to the sideline. Van Damme is wincing as he walks to the sidelines for some treatment.
85': Giovani dos Santos hits a left footed shot high and wide of the Rapids' goal. The Mexico international has had little influence today.
83': Substitution: Rapids MF Dillon Powers for Rapids MF Jermaine Jones.
83': That's it for Jermaine Jones. The U.S. international played through cramps and other ailments and worked hard to help neutralize the Galaxy attack. He is substituted for Rapids' MF Dillon Powers.
80': Galaxy substitute Gerrard sends in a dangerous cross that forces Rapids right back Eric Miller to head the ball out for a Galaxy CK. The corner kick comes to nothing and the Rapids clear their lines.
76': Rapids CAM/FWD Doyle takes a left footed shot at the top of the box that goes wide of Rowe's goal. The shot wasn't powerful enough or accurate enough to trouble GK Rowe.
76': Substitution: Galaxy MF Steven Gerrard comes on for Galaxy MF Mike Magee.
72': What a chance for the Rapids! Rapids MF Jones shrugs off a defender, finds Rapids FWD Badji. Badji's first touch is poor, though, and his shot goes wide of Rowe's goal. Badji needs to hit the target there. Jones, meanwhile, is down on the turf; he looks out of gas at the moment.
71': Rapids MF Jones has also played well today. He is fouled by Galaxy midfielder dos Santos in his own half for a Rapids FK.
71': Rapids MF Hairston is everywhere right now. He's winning balls, dribbling past defenders, spraying passes to teammates. He's played well thus far.
69': Galaxy forward Robbie Keane, who came on for Alan Gordon in the 61st minute, just touched the ball for the first time. The Galaxy needs to get him more involved in the attack.
66': Rapids FWD Badji gets kicked by Galaxy CB Jelle Van Damme but no foul is called. Rapids manager Pablo Maestroni is incensed with the no-call. The replays suggest Van Damme got away with one there.
63': Rapids MF Hairston dribbles by Galaxy CB Jelle Van Damme, hits a shot with his right foot that goes by the left post. Good run by Hairston--just didn't calibrate his shot correctly.
57': Rapids MF Sam Cronin goes into the book for a reckless slide tackle. He earns the Rapids' second yellow card of the afternoon.
52': The Rapids can't clear a Galaxy FK and the ball falls to Galaxy FWD Alan Gordon. Gordon's shot is blocked and the ball eventually goes out for a Rapids GK.
Rapids MF Gashi is on crutches. We at VAVEL wish him a speedy recovery.
And the second half is underway! Rapids 1 Galaxy 0
Substitution: Galaxy MF Jeff Larentowicz for Galaxy MF Landon Donovan.
Substitution: Rapids MF/LW Marlon Hairston for Shkelzen Gashi.
Rapids MF/LW Marlon Hairston will come in for Shkelzen Gashi. Hairston is lightning-fast and will try to get to the end line and deliver an accurate cross into the box. It's a big blow for the Rapids, though; Gashi leads the team in goals and scored a world-class goal in the first half.
Gashi is being carried off the field by two Rapids trainers. The word is that Rapids MF Marlon Hairston will replace him in the lineup. I will let you know if that happens.
The Rapids can't be happy seeing Gashi in pain at the moment. He scored a sensational goal in the first half and is capable of producing moments of brilliance. Hopefully, he is able to continue on.
Halftime score: Rapids 1 Galaxy 0 (Rapids 1 Galaxy 1 on aggregate).
45': Galaxy center back Jelle Van Damme can't control a great Giovani dos Santos chipped pass. At the other end, Rapids MF Gashi and Galaxy left back Cole collide. Gashi is writhing in pain at the moment. Referee Mark Geiger blows for halftime. Gashi is still down.
43': A great turn by Rapids center forward Dominique Badji creates space at the top of the Galaxy box, but he drags his shot just wide of Galaxy GK Brian Rowe's goal.
38': Rapids MF Sebastien Le Toux has a hit from just outside the 18-yard-box. The ball takes a deflection off a Galaxy defender before bouncing out for a Rapids corner kick. The Galaxy is on their heels at the moment.
36': That goal was Gashi's tenth goal of the season (regular season +playoffs). He's proven to be a dynamic player in the Rapid's 4-2-3-1 scheme.
Rapids 1 Galaxy 0. Aggregate: Rapids 1 Galaxy 1.
36': What a goal by Shkelzen Gashi! He collects the ball 30 yards from goal and rips a shot with his left foot that swerves in the air and kisses off the left post before nestling into the back of the net. What a strike. It's now tied 1-1 on aggregate. We have ourselves a series!
34': A great flicked pass by Gordon almost puts dos Santos in on goal, but Rapids GK Tim Howard runs off his line to pounce on the ball.
30': Yellow card for Rapids MF Gashi after he took down Galaxy right back Robbie Rogers from behind at midfield. Gashi receives the game's first yellow card.
23': Rapids MF Shkelzen Gashi cracks a shot well over the Galaxy goal. Rapids are having trouble breaking down the Galaxy's compact, organized defense.
23': Huge crowd at DSG Park taking in the Rapids-Galaxy match. The attendance numbers haven't been released yet, but it looks like a sellout.
22': Best chance of the game so far for the Galaxy. Galaxy FWD Gordon finds teammate Mike Magee, who uses an overlapping dos Santos to create space for a shot. His shot is blocked, though, and the chance is gone.
17': Le Toux gets to the byline but his cross is blocked by a sliding Ashley Cole, the Galaxy left back. The ball goes out for a corner kick, which comes to nothing.
11': Rapids' Jones tries to find Le Toux in space but Le Toux is flagged offside.
8': Neither team has gotten going on offense. Rapids DM Cronin dumps dos Santos to the turf for a Galaxy FK.
4': Galaxy CAM dos Santos tries a through ball, but Galaxy forward Gordon is flagged offside.
1': The wind is blowing hard here at DSG Park. Both teams are struggling to adapt to the windy conditions thus far.
And we're underway here at Dick's Sporting Goods Park!
No Emmanuel Boateng for the Galaxy today after he suffered a hamstring injury in midweek; Mike Magee will take his place in the starting eleven. For the Rapids, Jermaine Jones is starting as one of the two defensive midfielders. Sebastien Le Toux is also in the Rapids' starting eleven.
Los Angeles Galaxy starting lineup:
Colorado Rapids starting lineup:
Lineups have been announced and players are warming up! Kickoff should begin shortly.
It is currently 66 degrees Fahrenheit and partly cloudy in Commerce City, Colorado. The temperature should climb to as high as 69 F before falling to low 60s by end of today's match.
Mark Geiger is the center referee, Sean Hurd and Joe Fletcher are the two assistant referees. Armando Villarreal is the fourth official.
Hello, everyone! My name is Matt Niksa and I'll be covering today's game between host Colorado Rapids and the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Projected final score: Colorado Rapids 1 Los Angeles Galaxy 1
Prediction: The Rapids only scored 39 goals in 34 regular season games, tied for second-lowest in the Western Conference. The Galaxy only conceded 39 goals in the regular season, second-lowest in the Western Conference. The Rapids have trouble scoring goals against any team and they're going up against one of the stingiest defenses in the league. Although the Rapids went undefeated at home in the regular season, this author believes that the Galaxy's stifling defense will neutralize the Rapids' offense and will lead the Galaxy to the Western Conference Finals. The Galaxy will score early in the second half to increase their lead to 2-0 on aggregate, which will force the Rapids to throw men forward. The Galaxy defense will contain Rapids midfielder Hairston and won't give midfielder Gashi a chance to show off his set-piece skills. The Rapids will score a goal late in the game but it won't be enough to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Galaxy will advance to the Western Conference Finals and will face either the Seattle Sounders or FC Dallas, while the Rapids will head into the offseason, disappointed but proud after greatly exceeding expectations this season.
Bruce Arena is the manager for Los Angeles Galaxy, while Pablo Mastroeni is the manager for the Colorado Rapids.
Notable Subs: DF Bobby Burling, MF Sebastien Le Toux, FWD Dominique Badji.
Tim Howard; Eric Miller, Jared Watts, Axel Sjoberg, Marc Burch; Sam Cronin, Michael Azira; Marlon Hairston, Jermaine Jones, Shkelzen Gashi; Kevin Doyle.
Colorado Rapids projected starting lineup/formation (4-2-3-1)
Notable Subs: DF A.J. DeLaGarza, MF Steven Gerrard, FWD Robbie Keane.
Brian Rowe; Robbie Rogers, Jelle Van Damme, Daniel Steres, Ashley Cole; Baggio Husidic, Sebastian Lletget; Landon Donovan, Giovani dos Santos, Emmanuel Boateng; Alan Gordon.
Los Angeles Galaxy projected starting lineup/formation (4-2-3-1)
Here are the projected starting lineups for Los Angeles Galaxy and Colorado Rapids.
Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes (metatarsal) and midfielder Steven Gerrard (hamstring) are both questionable for Sunday's match.
Rapids midfielder Jermaine Jones (knee) is questionable for Sunday's match. Rapids midfielder/forward Dillon Serna (knee) is out.
The Rapids' game plan against the Galaxy will be to rely on Marlon Hairston's pace and Shkelzen Gashi's set-piece ability. Hairston will need to use all his guile and speed to outplay experienced Galaxy left back Ashley Cole. The 22-year-old Rapids midfielder enjoyed a breakout 2016 regular season campaign because he was able to get to the end line and deliver accurate crosses into the 18-yard-box. Hairston will likely aim his crosses toward Rapids center forward Kevin Doyle, who knows how to evade defenders to get on the end of crosses. Hairston is one important part of the Rapids' offense; teammate Gashi is another. Gashi contributed nine goals and four assists in his debut season in MLS, and he wowed MLS fans with his penchant for scoring brilliant free-kick goals. The Galaxy can't commit any fouls near their own 18-yard-box; if they do, Gashi may make them pay on the ensuing free kick.
The Galaxy's game plan against the Rapids will be to use forward Alan Gordon's hold-up play to open up the Rapids' defense. In the Galaxy's first-leg, 1-0 win over the Rapids on October 30, Gordon did a good job holding up the ball and spraying it to Galaxy wide men Emmanuel Boateng and Landon Donovan. Boateng is a defenders' nightmare in one-on-one situations but can only get in one-on-one situations if Gordon is in the starting lineup. Expect Galaxy manager Bruce Arena to use Gordon as the lone forward in a conservative 4-2-3-1 formation. If Gordon is able to hold the ball up well and get on the end of some crosses, he will wreak havoc on the Rapids' defense and may score an important away goal.
The Galaxy is in a good position to advance to the Western Conference Finals after winning the first leg 1-0 last Sunday. After a scoreless first half, the Galaxy broke the deadlock when center back Jelle Van Damme crossed the ball to Mexico international Giovani dos Santos, who headed the ball towards goal. Rapids center back Axel Sjoberg attempted to head the ball away from goal, but instead redirected dos Santos' header past Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard. Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe preserved the Galaxy's lead after saving Rapids midfielder Jermaine Jones' fierce shot in the 59th minute. The Galaxy kept the Rapids' offense at bay and now hold a slim 1-0 lead on aggregate entering this Sunday's match.
The Colorado Rapids look to advance to the Western Conference Finals when they take on the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday, November 6, at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado. The game will kickoff at 2:00 PM ET and can be seen on ESPN. This will be the 71st all-time meeting between the two sides, with the Galaxy holding a (win-loss-draw) 35-25-10 all-time series lead.