Colorado Rapids vs Los Angeles FC: Preview and Prediction

AdColorado Rapids will be looking for a quick return to winning ways when they play host to Los Angeles FC at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in the MLS on Saturday.

Colorado Rapids were on the wrong end of a tightly contested 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Houston Dynamo last weekend as they get set to lock horns with Los Angeles FC on Saturday.

Chris Armas’ troops looked on track to come away with a hard-earned point from a nail-biting affair before Bradley Smith scored right at the death to throw a spanner in the works. That put a stop to a three-game unbeaten streak for the hosts, which included a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake sandwiched between 1-1 stalemates against Nashville SC and the Seattle Sounders.

As a result, the Pids have plummeted to tenth in the Western Conference in the MLS table, one point behind Sporting Kansas City in the fight for the playoffs. They face the challenge of an opposing outfit that ran out emphatic 4-0 winners in the corresponding fixture back in August.

LAFC snapped a three-game winless and scoreless streak with a 5-0 rout of Nashville SC on Saturday night, with star-man Denis Bouanga bagging two goals and a late assist.

The reigning Western Conference champions were eager to provide a resounding response to their early-season doubters, and it did not take long for the Black & Gold to hit the back of the net, as Timothy Tillman tapped in following a corner kick on the ninth-minute mark.

The US international earned a penalty less than 10 minutes later, allowing Bouanga to open his 2024 account. Cristian Olivera and Eduard Atueste also got on the scoresheet in an emphatic victory. With seven points picked up from five games so far, the Black and Gold sit sixth in the standings, although just three points adrift of division leaders Minnesota United.

Team News & Tactics

Colorado Rapids

Colorado Rapids will take to the pitch without the services of German midfielder Jasper Loffelsend, who came off injured against Real Salt Lake on March 10. He is joined on the club’s injury table by 22-year-old defender Daniel Chacon Salas, who continues his lengthy spell on the sidelines through a cruciate ligament tear.

Irish midfielder Connor Ronan missed last week’s clash with the Seattle Sounders through a knee injury and will be out for 6–8 weeks.

Moise Bombito and Miguel Navarro, who were away on international duty with Canada and Venezuela, respectively, during the international break, are both expected to return to the starting lineup at the back and up front.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Steffen; Vines, Maxso, Bombito, Rosenberry; Bassett, Larraz; Yapi, Mihailovic, Fernandez; Navarro

Los Angeles FC

Los Angeles FC remain without the services of Colombian forward Tomas Angel, who is dealing with an adductor injury and is questionable after missing the last two matches. Lorenzo Dellavalle is out for the season with a torn ACL picked up against Real Salt Lake on March 2.

Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris only had one save to make to earn the club’s first clean sheet since a 4-0 win over Moca FC in the CONCACAF Champions Cup. LAFC could further add to their attacking firepower as reports have surfaced of interest in France’s all-time leading goalscorer, Olivier Giroud.

For a team needing a true No. 9 and with DP flexibility, LAFC could be the perfect landing spot for Giroud to team up alongside Denis Bouanga in a lethal two-pronged attack.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Lloris; Palencia, Murillo, Long, Hollingshead; Tillman, Sanchez, Atuesta; Bogusz, Olivera, Bouanga

Key Stats

  • Los Angeles FC have won six of the last 10 games against the Rapids.
  • Head coach Steven Cherundolo has a positive 2-1-1 record against Colorado Rapids.
  • LAFC are currently on a run of four losses from their last five matches on the road.
  • Colorado have won only one of their past five MLS games (D2, L2).

Player to Watch

Denis Bouanga

Embed from Getty Images

Denis Bouanga is finally off the mark in 2024. Last season’s MLS Golden Boot with 20 goals and seven assists, Bouanga scored his first two goals of the season on Saturday, leading LAFC back to winning ways in a 5-0 rout of Nashville SC. He will looking to maintain his goal-scoring streak here.


Colorado Rapids 1-2 Los Angeles FC

Buoyed by their win over Nashville, LAFC will head into the weekend with renewed confidence as they look to put together a fine run of form. Colorado Rapids have been inconsistent this term., but only lost narrowly last time out and will be looking to return to winning ways.

This one could go either way really, but the attacking potency shown by LAFC against Nashville SC means The Hard Tackle fancy the away side to continue building some positive momentum and emerge victorious here.

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