LA Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids | 2016 West Semifinal Match Preview
LA GALAXY vs. COLORADO RAPIDS
2016 Western Conference Semifinal – Leg 1
StubHub Center | Carson, California
Sunday, Oct. 30
5:00 pm ET (ESPN in the US | TSN1/4 in Canada)
It’s glitz vs. grit in this series, as the high-profile LA Galaxy get set to open the Western Conference Semifinals against the upstart Colorado Rapids at StubHub Center on Sunday. The Galaxy ended the season in a bit of a rut, but looked plenty lively in their Knockout Round win over Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, dispatching their longtime Western Conference rivals 3-1 in Carson.
The Rapids enter the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the West and the second-place finisher in all of MLS, second only to Supporters’ Shield winners FC Dallas in the regular season. They drew perhaps the league’s toughest out in LA, who Colorado will try to limit with their disciplined defensive approach.
- LA ready for "completely different game" v. Rapids
- Second Life of Pablo: Inside the Rapids turnaround
- Analyst: Previewing Leg 1 of the conference semis
- Colorado vs. LA: Who's got the edge?
- Are the LA Galaxy now favorites in the West?
- Rapids aim for complete game vs. LA's stars
- Galaxy call Rapids "best team in the league"
- Arena: Gordon will be ready for conf. semis
- Galaxy hoping to sharpen attack vs. stingy Rapids
- Keane, Gerrard likely available Sunday
- Which lower seeds does ESPN make favorites?
- Glitz vs. Grit: Rapids happy to be underdogs
LA Galaxy Snapshot:
- 2016 Regular Season Finish: West No. 3 seed (12-6-16 record, 52 pts / 8-1-8 home record)
- Current Form: L-L-W-D-W
- Strengths: Talented, experienced roster featuring stars in Gio dos Santos, Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard and under-the-radar difference makers Ema Boateng, Sebastian Lletget and Alan Gordon.
- Weaknesses: When all three of their DPs are in the lineup, things can get a little disjointed. That could be fatal against the well-drilled Rapids.
- Injuries/Suspensions: QUESTIONABLE: F – Gyasi Zardes (metatarsal), M – Steven Gerrard (hamstring)
- Player to Watch: Giovani dos Santos. The Mexican national team star is the man for LA at the moment. If he can get firing in the playoffs, LA’s race to seis could end in December.
- Probable Starting XI: Brian Rowe; Ashley Cole, Jelle Van Damme, Daniel Steres, Robbie Rogers; Baggio Husidic, Sebastian Lletget; Landon Donovan, Giovani dos Santos, Emmanuel Boateng; Robbie Keane
Colorado Rapids Snapshot:
- 2016 Regular Season Finish: West No. 2 seed (15-6-13 record, 58 pts / 4-6-7 away record)
- Current Form: W-W-W-L-D
- Strengths: Colorado are built around the stingiest defense in the league. If they can keep things clean, they’ll have a good shot at advancing to the West final.
- Weaknesses: While they’re excellent in the back, Colorado scored the fewest goals of any playoff team this year. If they fall behind in the first leg, it could be a long road back.
- Injuries/Suspensions: OUT: M – Dillon Serna (knee); QUESTIONABLE: M – Jermaine Jones (knee)
- Player to Watch: Jermaine Jones. The US international missed over four months with a knee injury before returning to play 22 minutes off the bench against Houston last Sunday. The Rapids could certainly use a full 90 – or two – from him this series.
- Probable Starting XI: Tim Howard; Eric Miller, Jared Watts, Axel Sjoberg, Mekeil Williams; Sam Cronin, Michael Azira; Sebastien Le Toux, Kevin Doyle, Shkelzen Gashi; Dominique Badji
Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referees: Jeffrey Hosking (AR1), Brian Poeschel (AR2)
4th Official: Chris Penso
LA Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids Head-to-Head
All-Time (70 Meetings)
LA 35 wins, 109 goals • Colorado 25 wins, 79 goals • Ties 10
All-Time Playoff Meetings (7 Meetings):
LA 6 wins, 14 goals • Colorado 1 win, 1 goal • Ties 0
All-Time in LA (35 meetings):
LA 23 wins, 67 goals • Colorado 7 wins, 31 goals • Ties 5
2016 Meetings (3 meetings):
COL 1, LA 0 (Mar. 12); LA 0, COL 0 (June 22); LA 1, COL 1 (Aug. 13)