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● Colorado Rapids have two points after five games and are at the bottom of the Western Conference
● Los Angeles FC have taken ten points from four games and are third in the Western Conference
● The last time these two sides met at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Colorado Rapids beat Los Angeles FC 2-0
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Colorado Rapids are one of four teams in the MLS yet to win their first game of the season. Colorado Rapids have lost three and drawn two in the five games they have played this season. One of those draws came last week when they held Austin FC.
Los Angeles FC are not sitting at the summit of the Western Conference, but a win in the next game will put them within striking distance of league leaders St. Louis City. As things stand, the defending champions are five points behind the leaders with a game in hand.
Considering the recent form, Los Angeles FC have an advantage in this fixture. Playing away will be challenging, but the defending champions should eventually emerge on top and walk away with all three points.
The two sides have locked horns in the MLS on nine occasions. Los Angeles FC are edging ahead in the head-to-head record with five wins, while Colorado Rapids have won on three occasions.
In the last five meetings between these two sides, Los Angeles FC have won thrice and Colorado Rapids are right behind them with two wins. Both sides have been prolific in their own respective backyards.
At the venue, Colorado Rapids have the better record as Los Angeles FC have only won once in four visits. The only time the defending champions walked away with all three points was during the 2018 MLS season. After that, Colorado Rapids have nabbed three successive wins over Los Angeles FC at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
After making a poor start to the new season, Colorado Rapids will be hoping to bounce back in their next game against Los Angeles FC. The club is looking for its first win this season, and to nab that against the defending champions will be no cakewalk.
The only advantage Colorado Rapids can think of in this fixture is that they are playing on home soil. So far this season, they have played four games at Dick's Sporting Goods Park and have ended with a draw and a loss.
Last season, despite finishing tenth in the Western Conference, Colorado Rapids were a formidable side at home. Out of 17 games, they only lost two and won ten. This is something the club will be desperate to replicate this season.
Colorado Rapids were a tough nut to crack in their own backyard last season, but they could not finish higher up the table due to their extremely poor away record. While they lost just two out of 17 at home, Colorado Rapids won just one out of 17 games all season.
The club will be eager to replicate their feat of the 2021 MLS season when they managed to finish at the top of the Western Conference. That was the first time Colorado Rapids seemed like title contenders for the first time since 2010 when they clinched their MLS title.
As things stand, Colorado Rapids are at the bottom of the table and could remain there for another week if they fail to cause an upset against Los Angeles FC. The chances are slim but Colorado Rapids have not lost against the defending champions in the last three home games.
Amidst concerns regarding their position in the league table, Colorado Rapids have another burden to bear as three more players were added to their injury list last week. Defender Steven Beitashour is the latest to join the list with a hamstring injury.
Midfielder Jack Price has been ruled out for the rest of the season after picking up an Achilles tendon injury. Winger Braian Galvan will be out for two or three weeks due to a groin injury. Left-back Alex Gersbach is also out with a hamstring injury.
A win against Colorado Rapids will take Los Angeles FC within just two points of St. Louis City, who are currently leading the Western Conference with a 100 percent record after five games.
A positive result in the next match will lift Los Angeles FC into second place, ahead of Seattle Sounders. A win is crucial for the defending champions as they will face tough challenges in the next couple of games in the form of Austin FC and rivals LA Galaxy.
This will only be Los Angeles FC’s second away game of the season. The first one ended in a draw and now the defending champions are looking to register their first away win of the new MLS campaign against Colorado Rapids
Playing away from home should not be a concern for Los Angeles FC as they have dodged defeat in their last three games on the road. In all competitions, the streak stands at four games as the club defeated LD Alajuelense in the CONCACAF Champions League earlier this month.
Dick's Sporting Goods Park has not been a happy hunting ground for the defending champions, but considering the form Colorado Rapids are in, Los Angeles FC can capitalize on their vulnerabilities and extend their unbeaten away run.
The side will have to step up their game after a narrow win against ten-men FC Dallas in the last match. The game was level till the 84th minute when Denis Bouanga rescued all three points for Los Angeles FC after Carlos Vela had missed a penalty five minutes earlier.
Despite a narrow win in the last game, the goals-per-match record of Los Angeles FC is the third-best in the league. They are scoring 2.3 goals per match, only behind Atlanta United and St. Louis City.
The attack looks clinical and sharp as Los Angeles FC have also attempted the second-highest shots-on-target per match in the MLS. In four appearances this season, Bounga has scored three and assisted one goal and is the top contributor for the defending champions.
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● Teams: Colorado Rapids vs Los Angeles FC
● Location: Dick's Sporting Goods Park
● Time: Saturday, April 1 at 9:30 pm ET
● How to watch: Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes
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With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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