Galaxy-Rapids Preview

BY foxsports • July 31, 2015

Although they've been nearly unstoppable on their home turf, the Los Angeles Galaxy have certainly been vulnerable when they've ventured away from StubHub Center.

They're also having to deal with injuries to two stars and the departure of their goalkeeper.

The Galaxy will try to avoid setting a team record for futility on the road Saturday night against a resurgent Colorado Rapids club seeking its longest winning streak in 12 years.

Los Angeles has totaled 25 goals in a five-game home winning streak across all competitions, but it's been outscored 22-9 while going 1-6-6 on the road. The Galaxy are 0-9-8 in their last 17 such games in MLS play, including playoffs, one shy of surpassing the team record set from 2003-04.

Making matters worse, the Galaxy (9-7-7) could be missing leading scorer Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard.

Keane had recorded back-to-back hat tricks before feeling pain in his right shoulder during a 3-0 loss to Houston last Saturday. The forward was not able to play in Wednesday's All-Star Game.

After producing a goal and an assist in his first two MLS matches, Gerrard's status is also uncertain after he suffered a muscle strain against the Dynamo.

"We'll see," coach Bruce Arena said. "We'll see how they're feeling (this weekend)."

Goalkeeper Jaime Penedo announced on social media Wednesday that he was leaving "because of principles" after nearly two years with the defending MLS champions. He yielded just three goals in five playoff games last season.

The squad responded by acquiring Donovan Ricketts from Orlando FC. Ricketts played for the Galaxy from 2009-11, helping them win the 2011 MLS Cup title.

Ricketts will share time with Brian Rowe, who has started seven matches. Los Angeles might also get a boost from the returns of defender Omar Gonzalez and forwards Gyasi Zardes and Alan Gordon from Gold Cup duty.

Keane did not play in a 1-all home draw with the Rapids on May 2 due to a strained groin, but he had a goal and an assist in the Galaxy's most recent road victory - 4-3 at Colorado on Aug. 20.

The Rapids (5-6-9) remain at the bottom of the Western Conference but have turned it around by outscoring opponents 6-2 during a three-game winning streak.

Coach Pablo Mastroeni, whose club plays for the first time since a 1-0 win at Seattle on July 18, realizes the challenge Colorado faces as it tries to win four in a row for the first time since a five-game run in 2003.

"To really upend a team like this at home would be great for the spirit of the group and more importantly, will help us to drive toward the playoffs," Mastroeni said.

Kevin Doyle's second goal in three games gave the Rapids their first win in 10 tries at Seattle.

Gabriel Torres, who leads the team with four goals, scored in the first meeting with Los Angeles before Gordon answered in the 75th minute. Torres is expected to be back with the Rapids after playing with Panama at the Gold Cup.


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