It just wasn't meant to be for the LA Galaxy. FC Dallas stunned Bruce Arena's men in a 2-1 extra time victory in the US Open Cup semifinals on Wednesday. Now three days later, the Galaxy take the field again as they play host to the Colorado Rapids.
The Galaxy's extra time collapse is barely worthy of a description. They simply folded and let FC Dallas score two unanswered goals to snatch the tie. The look on Bruce Arena's face after Dallas' second goal said so much. All the belief had been drained from the players, and belief is something they are now going to need to get back.
It doesn't get easier for the Galaxy, though. If it's belief we are talking about, the Colorado Rapids have plenty of it. It's funny what a difference a year makes. After finishing at the bottom of the Western Conference standings last season, the Rapids are genuine contenders for The Supporters' Shield. What's more, they've brought in veteran U.S. internationals like Jermaine Jones and Tim Howard to help out with the team.
The long and short of it is the Rapids are good. They have lost just once in an astounding 17 league games and have the best defense in the league with just 19 goals conceded. In a matter of 22 games, they have showed all the focus and quality needed to drive their campaign to success.
In that sense, it is good that the Galaxy are forced to raise their game almost immediately after a heartbreaking defeat. It shouldn't be forgotten that the Galaxy are enjoying a league unbeaten run of their own. They are quietly eight league games unbeaten, and if you want to be a bit more ambitious, they only trail the Rapids by four points. Pride, momentum, and points. There is more than enough to play for on Saturday.
LA Galaxy 0-0 Colorado Rapids - June 23, 2016 - MLS
Both teams settled for a dreadful goalless stalemate at StubHub Center.
LA Galaxy (4-2-3-1): Rowe; DeLaGarza, Steres, Van Damme, Cole; De Jong, Larentowicz; Zardes, Gerrard, dos Santos; Keane
Colorado Rapids (4-2-3-1): Howard; Burch, Sjoberg, Burling, Miller; Cronin, Powers; Bandji, Gashi, Hairston; Doyle