The second half of the season starts now!
After a nice lengthy break from league play, LAFC is back in action on Friday night. Their opponent, the Colorado Rapids, will look to continue their turn around from the horrendous start to the season. LAFC will be looking to continue to score goals and win games on the road.
Colorado has gone through a lot of trials and tribulations in the first half of the season. They started the season with a weak roster and a manager, Anthony Hudson, that seemed way over his head. They started the season horrendously with their first win coming on May 19th against the LA Galaxy, just two weeks after they fired Hudson from his duties as manager.
Since then, the Rapids have found a new found resurgence to get out of the last spot in MLS. Connor Casey, a local legend, has taken over the club and started to lead them in the right way. They have won four of their last six league games, with the other two results being draws. They did lose to New Mexico United, a USL team, in the fourth round of the US Open Cup, but their new form is something to be concerned about.
While a majority of fans wouldn’t be able to name a majority of the starting XI for the Rapids, almost everyone would be able to name the starting goalkeeper, Tim Howard. Howard announced at the beginning of the season that this was going to be last season as a professional on the field. Luckily for LAFC fans, this won’t be the only game we get to see him play, as the Rapids play at the Banc of California Stadium in the last game of the season. While he’s not the same keeper as he was 5-6 years ago, he is still a national legend.
Outside of Howard, one of the best players for Colorado is Kei Kamara. Kamara was traded from the Vancouver Whitecaps to Colorado and he has still flourished. In 16 games, he has scored eight goals and created one assist. He is by far the most dangerous person on the field for Colorado, so LAFC is going to have to find a way to close him down.
For LAFC, there is going to be a lot of holes that need to be filled. Starters Walker Zimmerman, Tyler Miller, and Mark-Anthony Kaye will all be all still be away for international duty for the Gold Cup, so head coach Bob Bradley will need to find players to slot in. Pablo Sisniega will likely start in goal for the Black & Gold due to his amazing form in the US Open Cup wins. Likely, you could see Lee Nguyen will start in the midfield for Kaye and Danilo Silva will start for Zimmerman. These three players would likely be regular starters for any other team in MLS, but LAFC is a loaded team.
While it will be LAFC’s first league game since the beginning of June, when they won 3-2 in Portland, they have been able to play a couple of games to keep their recent form up. US Open Cup wins against Real Salt Lake and San Jose Earthquakes have kept LAFC in shape and ready to start the second half of the season.
The first half of the season has been insanely great for LAFC, but they have everything to play for in the second half of the season. Cups are not won in the first 16 games, but at the end season when everything matters. This game will just be the first step toward the Black & Gold reaching all their goals.