LA Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids preview: Mastroeni and friends

USA TODAY Sports

Pablo Mastroeni returns to face his old club the Colorado Rapids. He'll be called upon tonight with Robbie Rogers still on the mend.

The LA Galaxy are in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains to take on the Colorado Rapids. Four points shy of Real Salt Lake, this Western Conference shootout on the Rio Colorado could take LA within a point of the Supporter's Shield with the MLS All-Star Game right around the corner.

There are a few previews out there already, with the Yahoo! preview focusing on Pablo Mastroeni facing his team of 11 plus seasons. The Raleigh, NC paper focused on the same storyline. While Mastroeni facing an old team for the first time in his sixteen year MLS career is a fun story, the bigger deal is that Mastroeni will likely be called on for extended minutes.

With Robbie Keane and Robbie Rogers most likely unavailable (injury reporting has them as questionable, but I'm asked the question the answer is no) we'll have to see if Arena sticks with Mastroeni as Roger's replacement. Last week Arena put Mastroeni in the midfield and pushed Marcelo Sarvas out wide.

Colorado has put together a decent run of form as of late, winning three and drawing two. The Galaxy haven't had good road form recently losing five of six, but the recent display of depth against the Vancouver Whitecaps certainly has spirits high. While LA does have two more loses over the past six matches than Colorado, they've amassed more points with four wins to Colorado's three wins and two draws.

The head to head trends have Colorado scoring from a wingplay situation as the only likely event. Neither team is strong at holding a lead. Who Scored is predicting a 1-1 draw, and after the 1-0 Galaxy victory over the Rapids earlier in the year (where the Rapids went down to 10 men) it's certainly a likely outcome.

It's likely that whichever team scores first will attempt to park the bus. It's probably not going to be an all-time classic, but it's a winnable match with the playoff race about to really take off in earnest.

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