LAFC at Colorado Rapids
Sunday, Nov. 27, 2021
3:00 p.m. PT
TV: My13 KCOP, Estrella TV
RADIO: 1110 AM ESPN, ESPN App (Audio), KFWB 980 AM
Decision Day. Never before has the final match of the regular season loomed so large for LAFC. After a difficult, up and down season – the scenario is simple. To qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs for the fourth straight season, LAFC must defeat the Colorado Rapids in Colorado. Then, they will need a little help from two Western Conference opponents. Either the Vancouver Whitecaps must lose to Seattle, or Real Salt Lake must lose or tie in Kansas City. If either of those results occur in combination with an LAFC win – the Black & Gold’s 2021 season will continue.
But it will not be easy. Colorado has only lost one time at home in 2021, suffering a 3-1 defeat to Austin on April 24. Since that time, the Rapids are 8-0-7 (W-L-T) at Dick’s Sporting Good Park.
LAFC defeated the Rapids 2-1 back on May 21 behind two goals from Diego Rossi. The Black & Gold are a drastically different team from that day however, as Rossi is now scoring goals in Turkey for Fenerbache, and Mark-Anthony Kaye, who played 90 minutes for LAFC is now the Rapids starting midfielder after a mid-season trade.
Overall, a total of three players who started that match vs. Colorado are no longer with the team, and two more (Eddie Segura and Eduard Atuesta) are not available due to injury.
COLORADO RAPIDS IN-DEPTH
The Rapids are a strong and solid team. Very sound defensively, the Rapids have allowed just 33 goals this season, and are difficult to break down while playing in a low block. The Rapids are also one of the best teams in MLS in defending set pieces, giving up only one goal off a re-start, and they are also adept at finishing off of corner kicks. Michael Barrios leads the Rapids with eight goals and four assists this season for a team that features former LAFC members Kaye and Steven Beitashour.
LAFC WILL WIN IF
They can play with urgency and break down the Rapids defensively. Carlos Vela will be playing in his third game back from an extended injury lay-off to help the offensive cause. LAFC must defend well on Rapids set pieces.
COLORADO RAPIDS CAN WIN IF
They play their game and do not panic while absorbing the pressure that a desperate for a win LAFC throws at them, while maintaining danger on quick counterattacks and set pieces.
Inspired by The Shining (1980).