The Galaxy were breached on the final play of the match, as a Marco Pappa blast deep into stoppage time doomed LA to a backbreaking 1-0 loss Saturday night at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
LA fielded their usual 4-4-2 lineup, with Brian Rowe coming in for the injured Dan Kennedy, Mike Magee replacing Giovani dos Santos up top and AJ DeLaGarza stepping into the back four for Ashley Cole.
In the 9th minute, LA missed a golden opportunity to seize the early lead when Robbie Rogers neatly cut inside his defender at the left corner of the box and delicately chipped a perfect cross to Robbie Keane from point-blank range, but his header just evaded the near post.
Making his MLS debut, center back Jelle Van Damme was the lone bright spot for the Galaxy offensively, beating three Colorado defenders to narrowly head a Steven Gerrard corner kick over the bar in the 19th minute, then ten minutes later, Gerrard found Van Damme again at the far post, but his powerful left-footed volley from close range mercifully slammed off the crossbar.
In the 35th minute, Gerrard collected with time and space from distance and unleashed a rocket that didn't miss the crossbar by much.
Right before the half, Gerrard, who had been providing excellent service, skidded a cross to Magee at the top of the box but he blasted his shot high.
The Galaxy offense died in the second half as the high elevation and pre-match fitness took its toll, but despite a few close calls, LA was poised to take home a share of the points.
Then in the 95th minute, tragedy struck. A weak Daniel Steres clearance floated inside the area right into the path of substitute Marco Pappa on his favored left foot, and Pappa smashed a volley that beat Rowe and kissed off the underside of the crossbar into the net.
The Galaxy travel back to LA to battle the San Jose Earthquakes next week.