Preview: Los Angeles FC vs. Colorado Rapids – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Major League Soccer clash between Los Angeles FC and Colorado Rapids, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Los Angeles FC can move into sole possession of second place in the Western Conference as they resume their Major League Soccer campaign on Wednesday versus the Colorado Rapids at BMO Stadium.

The Black and Gold are tied with Real Salt Lake for second on 32 points, while the Burgundy Boys are dead-last in the West with 19.

Match preview

Los Angeles FC celebrate the goal scored by midfielder Ryan Hollingshead (24) on August 3, 2023© Reuters

LA have 11 matches remaining in the regular season and an opportunity to close the gap between themselves and St. Louis City atop the Western Conference table, as they currently trail the expansion side by seven points.

However, Steve Cherundolo‘s men do have a game in hand on St. Louis and come into this encounter unbeaten in four successive matches played in all competitions at BMO Stadium.

At the Leagues Cup, the reigning MLS Cup champions rediscovered their scoring touch, with 13 goals in three matches, though they let a 2-0 half-time lead versus Monterrey slip away, losing that quarter-final engagement 3-2.

Los Angeles have not lost a domestic encounter all year when scoring the opening goal, conceding a goal or fewer in their last three league fixtures.

Since the start of the previous campaign, the Black and Gold have transitioned from a possession-based side under Bob Bradley to a deep-lying transitional team with Cherundolo at the controls.

That shift in styles has enabled them to become a much stronger defensive unit, with LAFC tied for the second-fewest goals conceded in the league this year (25).

Colorado Rapids head coach Robin Fraser looks on on August 1, 2023© Reuters

Another MLS campaign in Colorado has gone off the rails, with the Rapids well back of a playoff spot, trailing Minnesota United by 12 points for that final place in the Western Conference with 11 games still to play.

Robin Fraser‘s men put together a pair of solid defensive outings in this competition before the Leagues Cup began, drawing their last two domestic affairs 0-0, but overall it has been another disappointing season for a team that less than two years ago had topped the Western Conference table.

Scoring goals has been a massive problem for the Rapids all season long, with the Burgundy Boys netting fewer than anyone in MLS this year (16), while they have failed to find the back of the net in three of their last four domestic affairs.

Colorado have lost their last four MLS road contests, having been outscored by a margin of 11-2 over that stretch.

The Rapids have lost all four of their road matches versus LAFC in this competition, conceding multiple strikes each time, though they are unbeaten in their last two regular-season fixtures against them, failing to concede in both of those contests.

They rely on set pieces far too often but have rarely created much from open play, failing to find the back of the net in 13 regular-season encounters.

Los Angeles FC Major League Soccer form:

Los Angeles FC form (all competitions):

Colorado Rapids Major League Soccer form:

Colorado Rapids form (all competitions):

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Team News

Los Angeles FC head coach Steve Cherundolo on July 16, 2023© Reuters

Carlos Vela missed the final two Leagues Cup encounters for LAFC but is expected to be fully recovered from a thigh issue for this match, Maxime Crepeau was on the bench throughout that tournament, having missed the entire domestic campaign thus far because of a broken leg sustained in the 2022 MLS Cup final, while Diego Palacios was sidelined for their Leagues Cup clash versus Monterrey with an illness.

Their leading goalscorer in this competition, Denis Bouanga, has failed to find the back of the net in his last two domestic encounters, notching 12 so far in 2023, one fewer than Hany Mukhtar in the Golden Boot race.

The last time they hosted an MLS match, Vela, Stipe Biuk and former midfielder Jose Cifuentes each found the back of the net, while John McCarthy made two stops as they defeated St. Louis City 3-0.

Colorado will be without Jack Price due to an Achilles problem, Alex Gersbach is recovering from adductor tendon surgery, Michael Edwards has a minor knock and Max remains suspended due to betting allegations.

Diego Rubio and Kevin Cabral had the only goals for the Burgundy Boys at the Leagues Cup, while William Yarbrough conceded six times in two games.

The Rapids keeper collected a clean sheet when they drew LAFC earlier this year (0-0), while Rubio was involved in both of their goals when they defeated the Black and Gold 2-0 in 2022, with Jonathan Lewis setting up his insurance marker.

Los Angeles FC possible starting lineup:
McCarthy; Hollingshead, Maldonado, Long, Duenas; Tillman, Acosta, Sanchez; Vela, Biuk, Bouanga

Colorado Rapids possible starting lineup:
Yarbrough; Rosenberry, Abubakar, Maxso, Gutman; Ronan, Leyva; Galvan, Bassett, Priso; Rubio

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We say: Los Angeles FC 2-0 Colorado Rapids

The Rapids have looked uncomfortable on the back end and in possession all year, and while we believe they can keep this game close, we have to think the quality of LAFC will eventually find the breakthrough.

How to watch

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For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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