Storylines to Watch:
LAFC is fighting for playoff positioning
LAFC damaged their chances of finishing in the top two in the Western Conference with a first defeat in seven games (4-1-2), falling 3-1 to the Chicago Fire this past Saturday at Toyota Park.
“We were no good today, so we’re pretty angry at ourselves. Things were slow, casual,” LAFC head coach Bob Bradley said postgame. “We paid the price.”
LAFC are currently third in the West with 50 points, just four shy of leaders FC Dallas and two points behind second-place Sporting Kansas City. They will need to take advantage of their final four games to bypass the topsy-turvy knockout round and finish in the top two spots in the West.
"We've built this club not to be content with being in third place or not winning championships," goalkeeper Tyler Miller said. "This club is here to win championships. So we want to be in a situation where we can get a first-round bye, and win the Supporters' Shield and then win the MLS Cup."
Since 2005, only two teams have reached the MLS Cup Playoffs in their debut campaign - Seattle Sounders FC in 2009 and Atlanta United FC in 2017. And only one expansion team in MLS history - Chicago Fire - lifted MLS Cup in their first season. Current LAFC head coach Bob Bradley was in charge of that Fire side in 1998.
Player to Watch: Carlos Vela
It would be amiss to select anyone other than Mexican national team star, Carlos Vela, for Saturday’s player to watch. The world-class forward, is best known for his lethal left-foot, became LAFC’s first-ever Designated Player on August 8, 2017.
Vela is one of six MLS players that have reached double-digits in both goals and assists this season. The 29-year-old has tallied 11 times, while adding 10 assists – both team-leading numbers. Three of those goals have come in the last five games.
Vela’s impactful contribution to LAFC caught no one by surprise as he has been a key contributor in recent years for the Mexican National Team, playing in both the 2010 and 2018 World Cup tournaments, and has featured in 72 games for 'El Tri'.
Colorado Rapids vs LAFC - Head-to-Head
The Rapids met LAFC for the first time on August 19, a 2-0 loss for the visitors from Colorado. LAFC currently sit in third in the Western Conference with a 14-8-8 overall record. The Rapids are coming off a 4-0 loss at CenturyLink Field against the Seattle Sounders. The Rapids' season record currently sits at 6-18-6 overall.
- Head-to-Head Overall: Colorado Rapids 0 wins, 0 goals | LAFC 1 win, 2 goals | 0 ties
- Head-to-Head in Colorado: Colorado Rapids 0 wins, 0 goals | LAFC 0 wins, 0 goals | 0 ties
- Previous Meeting: LAFC 2, Colorado Rapids 0 (August 19, 2018)