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LA Galaxy face stacked September as playoff push heats up

Plenty of soccer ahead, as the Galaxy look to solidify spot at the top of the Western Conference.

MLS: LA Galaxy at Los Angeles FC Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After an exciting draw on the road against the rivals, and a week off to get even healthier, the LA Galaxy are back in action this Saturday. The team once again hits the road, this time going up against the season’s surprise, Colorado Rapids, who are currently second in the Western Conference.

Only a few weeks ago the Rapids came into LA and handed the Galaxy a 2-1 loss, in a match the home side controlled throughout. Saturday, the G’s have a chance to return the favor. The match kicks off a stacked September, that sees the Galaxy play three matches in seven days, as well as three matches against teams competing for a playoff spot, all starting with the Rapids.

@ Colorado Rapids, 9/11: As mentioned before, the Rapids handed Galaxy the loss at home just a few weeks ago. LA finished the match leading shots, shots on target, possession, and passing, but not where it mattered, goals scored. Only six points off first place, a win puts the team just two points behind the Rapids, and depending on how Seattle do Friday, puts them as close as three points off the top spot. The biggest question going into this match will be whether or not this is the match Chicharito makes his triumphant return from injury. A situation we will know more on Thursday, hopefully.

vs. Houston Dynamo, 9/15: A quick turnaround takes the Galaxy back home, where they will welcome the Houston Dynamo midweek. This will be the first time these two teams face off against each other in 2021. Houston sit dead last in the Western Conference. At best, they will be coming into the match with one win in 16 matches, at worst, they could be riding a 17 match winless streak when these two meet. This is a classic trap-game for a team like the Galaxy, and making sure to take this one just as seriously as the Rapids match will be the biggest key.

@ Minnesota United, 9/18: The third match in seven days takes place on the road, as the team makes the 1,900 mile trip to Minnesota. From best in the West, to worst, to rounding off the condensed week with a team nipping on the heels of the LA Galaxy. Currently just five points behind the Galaxy, this match could have major implications for playoff positioning. While the Galaxy are only six points off of first place, they are also, only six points clear of seventh. Luckily, Minnesota will also be on the tail-end of three matches in seven days, with their first two matches against Seattle Sounders, and Sporting KC. Coming out of this one splitting the points wouldn't be the worst result.

@ Austin FC, 9/26: The road trip pushes on, returning to Texas to face another bottom-feeding team, in Austin FC. You never want to call matches an easy win, especially in the MLS, but this is as close as it gets. Austin are the unfortunate mix of not extremely talented, and unable to get out of their own way. Seemingly devoted to second half collapses, the biggest key to this one will be keeping it close first half, and pulling away in the second. Or, perhaps a fully fit, in-form Galaxy will have come to fruition, and this will be a statement match to build momentum on.

@ Real Salt Lake, 9/29: Another one. Road match, that is. Given how chaotic, and unpredictable MLS is, it's impossible to tell where RSL will be late September. At the time of this writing, they are in seventh, tied on points with sixth-placed Portland Timbers, only six points off of the LA Galaxy. When these two met in early August, it was the Galaxy who came away with the win, behind a goal from Efraín Álvarez. RSL come into September with a mixed bag of results, but on a mostly positive wave. We may not know these team’s exact positioning come match day, but we do know RSL will be in the thick of the playoff picture, and will be looking to win this match at home in a big way.

A September to remember, to say the least. Not to be dramatic, but this could make, or break, the postseason for the Galaxy. A few solid wins, and this is a team that could go into the playoffs as high as first place in the West, re-asserting themselves as LA soccer royalty. A few bad results, and this could be a team fighting for seventh, just looking for a chair when the music stops. Either way, after so much time on the road, they'll be happy to start October back home, where they will once again welcome LAFC, but that’s an outlook for another time.

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