Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids
Saturday, April 4th, 2008 – 7:30pm
TV: DK, FS-PT, Match Center
Radio: KLAC (English), KWKW 1330 AM (Spanish)
Los Angeles Galaxy
Conference Position: 4th
League Position: 10th
Last Match: 2-2 vs. DC United
Next Match: USOC Play-in vs. Colorado Rapids (Victoria Street)
2008 Conference Position: 5th
2008 League Position: 9th
Last Match: 2-1 vs. Kansas City
Next Match: vs. Chicago Fire (RFK Stadium)
Last Meeting: 10/12/08 - Galaxy 3-2 Rapids (Victoria Street)
After managing to escape from the jaws of defeat in Week 1 and resting in Week 2, Los Angeles Galaxy is back at home for Week 3 looking to earn the first win of 2009 and keep Victoria Street nice and clean. This weekend’s match against the Colorado Rapids will be the first of three against the same team in the month of April; 2 of these in league play and the other coming in US Open Cup Qualifiers. With the West starting out as the more competitive conference, only 3 points will do for Landon Donovan and LA Galaxy.
The Rapids come into this game having shown already, in just two games, the same cloth from which the Colorado Rapids have been cut since the early days of MLS. A club with the potential to be a dangerous side in MLS, but with levels of inconsistency reminiscent of a mid-table Mexican league club.
In their opening game, early pressure paid off for the Rapids visiting Chivas USA as Zach Thornton spat out a relatively easy ball in front of goal and Omar Cummings jumped on the opportunity to put the Rapids up 1-0. In the second half however, complacency reared its ugly head for Colorado and an uncontested 1-0 lead turned into a 1-2 deficit within a matter of minutes thanks to two goals from an unlikely hero, Paulo Nagamura.
In the second game of their season it was the Rapids who walked away with a 2-1 lead, this time at home and over the Kansas City Wizards. Omar Cummings grabbed his second goal of the season and lifted the Rapids to their first points in 2009.
Along with Omar Cummings, who seems to be coming into his own in MLS as of late, there will be other Rapids to watch with their own individual storylines. Former Galaxy players include Ugo Ihemelu, Ty Harden. Also playing for the Rapids is “almost” Galaxy player Cory Gibbs who put himself on the Galaxy enemies list by refusing to sign for the club when LA was atop the allocation order in 08.
Considering recent form it may seem absurd to make any claims of a positive streak for Los Angeles. However, including last week’s 2-2 draw with DC United, Galaxy is now without defeat at Victoria Street in league play for each of their last 5 games; a streak which extends back to August of 2008 and includes 2 wins, and 3 draws.
For a team that lacked real strength in 2008 it may seem surprising that Galaxy was only 2 wins away from the playoffs last season but that misleading fact is supported by the team’s relative strength at home last season. Even more
In fact, of the 15 home matches of 2008, Galaxy only registered a total of four losses, three of which came against teams that went on to make the MLS Playoffs and at no point did the team follow a home loss with another.
For 2009 Galaxy the season begun at home and the club will have two more opportunities at Victoria Street to earn points before hitting the road for the first time this year. If the club is serious about returning to the playoff picture in 2009, LA must become a bastion for the Angelinos.
OUT: DF Todd Dunivant (R ankle post-surgery); DF Leonard Griffin (L abdominal strain);
QUESTIONABLE: FW Edson Buddle (R quadriceps strain); GK Donovan Ricketts (R groin strain);
PROBABLE: MF Eddie Lewis (L hamstring strain)
Caasi's Expected Starting XI
Sorry for the short & mediocre version of the preview this week. I have had family with me all week and have not been able to work on the preview for long or keep up to date with the side. I absolutely promise a much much better version of this for next week, especially considering.... you know...