LOS ANGELES ― Just three days after a win in Houston, the Colorado Rapids (9-4-4, 31 points) visit second-place LA Galaxy (11-5-2, 35 points) on Tuesday, Aug. 17. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. MT at Dignity Health Sports Park, with pregame coverage beginning on Altitude Sports at 8 p.m. and on Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM at 8:15 p.m.
“They’re a team that have really revamped what they’re doing over the last eight months,” Rapids head coach Robin Fraser said. “[LA Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney] has done a great job. They’ve picked up some very good players and slowly, but surely, they’re becoming more and more of a team. You put that sort of team mentality with talented players and you end up having a good team. For us, it’s going to be a lot about our starting positions, trying to deny them some of the things that they’re really good at and if we can do that, then we put it more on an even playing field.”
Colorado enter Tuesday’s match after defeating Houston 3-1 a 3-1 road win over Houston on Saturday via goals from Lalas Abubakar, Michael Barrios and Braian Galván scored, while William Yarbrough posted a season-high nine saves. Abubakar’s goal came on a header in the fifth minute off a Jack Price corner delivery, while Barrios scored the eventual game-winning tap-in in the 60th minute, finishing off Mark-Anthony Kaye’s centering feed. The Colombian winger now has six goals and 10 assists from 17 career matches against Houston. Galván iced the match with a sweet, left-footed curler in the 80th that was nominated for MLS Goal of the Week.
Abubakar and Galván’s goals were their second of the season, while Kaye earned his first assist in just his second match for the Rapids since joining the club via trade on July 27. Price’s assist was his team-leading sixth of the season and the 26th with Colorado, tying M Dillon Powers for fifth-most in club history. Bassett and Yarbrough were named to the Week 19 MLS Team of the Week for their performances.
The win on Saturday also marked Colorado’s 11th on the road in two years under Fraser. The Rapids are 11-8-2 (W-L-D) all-time on the road under Fraser, and their 1.56 points-per-game mark as the visitors is the best in MLS in that time.
Colorado will look for its fourth consecutive victory over LA Galaxy and its fifth in the last six meetings. The Rapids took four points from two meetings in 2018 before winning both games in 2019. Bassett and Jonathan Lewis scored in Colorado’s 2-0 win in Carson on Sept. 19, 2020. A win on Tuesday would mark the first time the Rapids have won four consecutive matches against the Galaxy.
LA enters the match unbeaten in its last four, most recently knocking off Minnesota, 1-0, on Saturday. Kevin Cabral scored and goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann made seven saves to keep a clean sheet in his first appearance of the season.
Mexican star Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez leads the Galaxy and is fifth in MLS with 10 goals in 10 appearances this season, but has not played since June 26. Julian Araujo, Samuel Grandsir and Sacha Kljestan lead the team with four assists apiece.
Colorado faces another quick turnaround after Tuesday’s match, returning home to host Rocky Mountain Cup rival Real Salt Lake at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park on Saturday, Aug. 21, at 7 p.m.
“Always, when you score against certain opponents it gives you confidence going into the next game,” Bassett said ahead of Tuesday’s tilt in LA. “This field is a field I like to play on. It’s a bigger field. Sometimes, especially in the second half, we’ll have a lot more time and space if we do well to keep the ball. That’s good for me knowing that I’m a runner and I like to use the space well. I’ll just continue to make those runs tomorrow and hopefully my teammates put me in those situations and then it’s up to me to finish them off.”