Colorado Rapids

Preview | Rapids resume MLS play on Wednesday at LAFC


COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The Colorado Rapids (3-10-10, 19 pts) visit Los Angeles Football Club (8-10-4, 28 pts) at BMO Stadium this Wednesday, August 23, for both team’s return to league play after competing in the inaugural Leagues Cup tournament (8:30 p.m. MT; Apple TV – MLS Season Pass, Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM).

Wednesday’s match, which was originally scheduled to be played over the weekend but was postponed due to safety considerations in the wake of Hurricane Hilary, will mark the Rapids’ first minutes of MLS action in three weeks. The last game the team played was on July 31 when the Rapids fell 4-1 to Deportivo Toluca FC in a Leagues Cup Group Stage match marred by weather delays. Rapids forward Diego Rubio—who led the club in 2022 with 16 goals and has featured in less than 30% of all available minutes this season due to various injuries—made his first appearance since June 24 against Toluca, scoring his second goal of the season. Prior to 2023 Leagues Cup, the Rapids established a three-game unbeaten streak in MLS play and will look to continue build on that as they face the 2022 MLS Cup champions.

New Rapids signings Rafael Navarro and Sidnei Tavares are available for their potential debut in Burgundy against LAFC. Navarro, a Brazilian striker, recently joined the team as a Designated Player on loan from Campeonato Brasileiro Série A champions S.E. Palmeiras where he scored 11 goals and delivered four assists across 65 appearances through all competitions—including eight goals and two assists across 13 Copa Libertadores appearances—en route to helping Palmeiras earn the 2022 league title, as well as the 2022 Recopa Sudamericana. Tavares joins the club as a U22 Initiative signing on loan from Portugals’ FC Porto. The Cascais, Portugal, native is a product of English Premier League side Leicester City, with whom he made his professional debut. The Rapids also recently signed defender Aboubacar Keita to a multi-year contract through the 2025 season with a club option for an additional year. Prior to the closing of the secondary transfer window, the Rapids traded forward Michael Barrios to the LA Galaxy and midfielder Bryan Acosta to the Portland Timbers, as well as completing the permanent transfer of goalkeeper Marko Ilić and signing Costa Rican international and Rapids 2 defender Daniel Chacon to a first team contract.

LAFC host the Rapids after a 2023 Leagues Cup run that ended with a 3-2 loss against Liga MX side Monterrey in the tournament’s quarterfinals. The team earned an automatic berth in the knockout stage as the 2022 MLS Cup winners and saw their offense produce 13 goals through three games before being eliminated. However, prior to their tournament run, LAFC had won just one of its last six MLS matches, including three consecutive losses at the start of July. Despite that, the club is currently tied for second in the Western Conference, conceding only 25 goals this season, tied for second-fewest goals against in MLS. Gabonese international forward Dénis Bouanga leads the team with 12 goals, which is tied for second-most goals by a player in the league. Forward Carlos Vela has also added eight goals, making the two of them the one of the most potent duos in MLS with no other pairing scoring more. Vela also leads the team in assists with six on the season. Ecuadorian international defender Diego Palacios leads the team in tackles and interceptions with 37 and 38, respectively, and is second on the team for minutes played with 1,815.

The Rapids and LAFC have faced each other nine times in their history, with the Southern California side having the slight edge in the head-to-head series (3-5-1, W-L-D). Colorado has never won on the road against LAFC, losing all four of the matchups in BMO Stadium. Outside of LAFC’s inaugural season, however, the two sides have split the matchup every season; 2023 saw the first ever draw between the two after the clubs went scoreless in Colorado back in April.

Wednesday’s match adds an extra dimension with club connections linking the two sides. Rapids defender Steven Beitashour spent two seasons with LAFC, playing 25 matches as the Black & Gold won the Supporters’ Shield and set what was then an MLS-record 72 points in 2019. On the other side, LAFC midfielder Kellyn Acosta joined the Rapids through a trade with FC Dallas in 2018, scoring seven goals and eight assists in 79 appearances before being traded to LAFC ahead of the 2022 season.