The Los Angeles Galaxy are on the verge of winning their first
Supporters’ Shield in eight seasons, while the Colorado Rapids are
close to securing their first postseason berth in four years.
Both clubs will try to clear up the playoff picture Saturday
night when they meet at The Home Depot Center.
Coming off back-to-back road wins, Los Angeles (17-6-5) begins
its final homestand of the regular season needing one victory in
its last two games to clinch home-field advantage throughout the
The Galaxy, who lead Real Salt Lake by four points, could also
clinch their first Supporters’ Shield since 2002 with a tie and a
loss or draw by RSL against FC Dallas on Saturday.
“Let’s be fair, it could go down to the end,” coach Bruce Arena
told the Galaxy’s official website. “We can control our destiny
with a win. If we win, it’s done.”
Looking to make their first playoff appearance since 2006, the
Rapids (11-8-9) would clinch the eighth and final spot with a win
or tie, or if Kansas City doesn’t win at New England earlier
“(The postseason) is very much in our court, and the players
realize that,” coach Gary Smith told the Rapids’ official web site.
“The future is what we want it to be at this point – our own
performance and adding points to what has already been a good
season tally is in our own hands.”
Colorado, 0-4-5 on the road since a 1-0 victory against
MLS-worst D.C. United on May 15, will face a Galaxy club that is
4-1-0 since midfielder David Beckham returned from a torn left
Achilles’ tendon suffered while playing for AC Milan in March.
Beckham recorded his first assist of the season on a corner kick
in a 1-0 victory at Philadelphia on Oct. 7, setting up Edson
Buddle’s career-high and MLS-leading 16th goal.
“Once I get playing I feel good,” Beckham said. “It’s still
going to take a while to get match fitness, but I’m definitely
While Beckham has provided a boost to a Galaxy offense led by
Buddle and Landon Donovan, the league leader with 14 assists,
goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts has been equally important to Los
With three saves in the victory against the Union, Ricketts tied
Kevin Hartman’s single-season franchise record with his 11th clean
“It would feel special if I had a record and we win a
championship,” Ricketts said. “You play to win championships. If we
don’t win a championship, that record means nothing.”
Goalie Matt Pickens has helped the Rapids hold opponents to 29
goals this season. The team record is 32, set in 2004.
Los Angeles is 19-5-2 all-time at home against Colorado, but
Conor Casey’s hat trick helped the Rapids win their last visit to
Carson, Calif., 3-2 on April 4, 2009.