LA Galaxy vs Colorado Rapids
MLS Regular Season, Week 12
May 19, 2019 - 6:00 PM
Dignity Health Sports Park - Carson, California
No Zlatan, no party?
Sunday's match will be missing one of Major League Soccer's biggest stars, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It was announced on Friday that the Swede had been suspended for two games for grabbing goalkeeper Sean Johnson by the neck during last weekend's 2-0 defeat to New York City FC. He will miss Sunday's home game against the Rapids as well as the Galaxy's May 24 game at Orlando City SC.
Zlatan is currently in second place in Major League Soccer with nine goals in just 900 minutes. Meanwhile on the Rapids side, Kamara is close behind the Galaxy star with seven goals to his name in 990 minutes
|Player||Goals||Minutes||Goals per 90|
|Vela (13 matches)||13||1159||1.01|
|Ibrahimovic (10 matches)||9||900||0.90|
|Kamara (11 matches)||7||990||0.67|
New LA signing may make his debut
The LA Galaxy are hoping new acquisition Favio Alvarez will be available for Sunday’s clash. Alvarez, a 26-year-old Argentine attacker signed on loan from Atletico Tucuman as the MLS Primary Transfer Window closed, is awaiting his P-1 Visa. Alvarez can play as a No. 10, wide player, striker and second forward, is known for his passing ability.
“I think he's the kind of player we need to bring to the team, because he can make a pass, give the last pass really good,” said Galaxy head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto. “He imagines the play every time. He's the kind of player we don't have. I like him. He's a good professional, good player, and he can help a lot.”
The Galaxy are also eager for two other key figures to return to the lineup in time to face the Rapids. Jonathan Dos Santos, who departed with a hamstring injury in the Galaxy's 3-1 loss at Columbus Crew SC, was absent against NYCFC last Saturday as was right back Rolf Feltscher due to a toe injury. The Galaxy are of course down a creative presence already, with Designated Player Romain Alessandrini sidelined following knee surgery last month.
What to watch for...
Connor Cape, Radio Play-by-Play Announcer
The Colorado Rapids fell to their fiercest rivals on Saturday as leg one of the Rocky Mountain Cup went to Real Salt Lake. It was a hectic match that included multiple penalties, multiple VAR reviews and was one waved-off goal in added time.
The result won’t change and it will hurt, but there’s good news. First, 16-year-old Sebastian Anderson grew up right in front of our eyes. Second, two of the newcomers, Lalas Abubakar and Jonathan Lewis made an impact and showed exactly why they were acquired. And lastly, we’re seeing the commitment to playing attacking soccer. Sunday in Los Angeles against the Galaxy is nothing but an opportunity to build on the promise we’ve seen, and put it all together over 90 minutes.
Jordan Angeli, Radio Analyst
The Rapids shifting into a 4-3-3 (and then a 4-4-2) last weekend shows the teams depth and versatility with the addition of another winger, Jonathan Lewis, via the transfer window. Lewis and Sam Nicholson each had the defenders for RSL in their back pockets last Saturday. Decision making in the final third for those two will be key in order to get a result against the Galaxy. Making the correct final pass is the most challenging part of the game, and now with the RSL performance under their belts, I think Rapids fans are in for more quality (and exciting) play from them. What I'm looking at is the second wave of runners into the box to yet again make an impact.
In other areas of the game, keeping possession for longer streaks of the game could work in favor of the Rapids in LA. If the Galaxy are without Jonathan Dos Santos again, expect there to be pockets of space on the weak side where the Rapids will have opportunities to hurt the Galaxy.
Defensively for the Rapids, they will need to keep track of a certain Galaxy forward who can punish you from just about anywhere in the attacking half. Ibrahimovic, of course, is dangerous in and around the box, but it is his movement into the midfield to pull defenders into no-man’s land, along with the coordinated midfield runs, that need to be tracked by the Rapids. Lastly, caution must be on high alert to defend hard but not give up any set pieces within shooting range. Plus, LA is coming off their first home loss of the season which means they will have extra motivation to get a W. Handing the Galaxy back-to-back home losses and gaining the first win on the season against a very good team would have the Rapids buzzing.