START FAST, END FASTER AGAINST DESPERATE COLORADO
In October, the LA Galaxy face a tiring four game stretch that will determine their placement for both the MLS Cup playoffs, but also the CONCACAF Champions League, however, first LA must take care of business against the Colorado Rapids.
At the moment, the Rapids playoff hopes are hanging by a thread and a loss to LA will inch them close to postseason elimination. Despite being on the brink of elimination, the Rapids remain a tricky opponent as they nearly snatched a point from the Galaxy earlier in the month led by the play of Martin Rivero, Omar Cummings and Conor Casey.
For the Galaxy to earn a victory at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, LA will need to not only start fast against Colorado, but end fast as well as the Rapids have developed a knack for scoring late goals. If LA can nab an early goal and hold the Rapids late, then they should be able to extend their nine-game unbeaten run into double figures.
BRAVE THE ELEVATION
The Colorado Rapids won’t be the LA Galaxy’s only opponent on Sunday as LA must deal with the elevation at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
As a way to minimize the effect of the thin air in Commerce City, The Galaxy are flying into Colorado less than 24 hours before the match to prevent any need to acclimate to the elevation. However, LA will still need to grow accustom to it once they step on the field as the team is expected to take part in rigorous pregame warm-ups that may allow the Galaxy to find their “second wind” during the match.
Although the physical aspect of the elevation is important, the Galaxy must handle the elevation from a mental aspect as well as they look to prevent any lapses late in the half as they tire.
BECKHAM TO LEAD LA MIDFIELD AGAINST RAPIDS
The LA Galaxy midfield will be bolstered by the return of David Beckham, who has missed the club’s last three matches due to a left ankle sprain.
With Christian Wilhelmsson unlikely to feature due to a left calf strain, Beckham is expected to slide into his familiar spot in the center of the Galaxy midfield on Sunday. Beckham’s inclusion is expected to allow Marcelo Sarvas to shift out wide allowing Beckham to pair with Juninho, but the pair are likely to frequently switch positions as the Galaxy press forward in search of a goal.
Expect the Beckham-led midfield to be active from the outset as LA look to press a Colorado midfield that has been prone to defensive lapses.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com