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Rapids-Galaxy Preview

Perhaps a visit from the lowly Colorado Rapids will be just what the Los Angeles Galaxy need to end their roughest stretch of the season.

They'll have to do it, however, without their biggest star.

After learning they'd be without forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the next two matches, the Galaxy will try to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat while trying to hand the visiting Rapids a club-record ninth straight loss Sunday.

Los Angeles (7-4-1) was one of the highest teams in MLS while off to a 7-1-1 start, but has fallen back down to earth relatively quick. The Galaxy have been outscored 8-3 in losing three straight to the Red Bulls, Columbus and New York City FC - all coming over an eight-day stretch. The 2-0 setback to NYCFC last weekend marked Los Angeles' first loss at home. And might have raised the concern level a little higher.

"Three games in a row we've lost, obviously that's not good," star Zlatan Ibrahimovic told the Galaxy's official website. "We need to learn from our mistakes and keep going."

Ibrahimovic won't be around to help the Galaxy turn things around after the MLS fined and suspended him for two games for violent conduct in the 86th minute against NYCFC. Los Angeles is hoping key midfielder Jonathan Dos Santos will be able to return after missing that match with an apparent muscle issue.

"He's an important player for us," Ibrahimovic said. "I think he's the engine for our team. He keeps the game going."

Despite their recent struggles, the Galaxy should feel good about their chances against the Rapids (0-9-2). Already mired in the worst start in club history, Colorado is in danger of setting a team record for consecutive defeats following a third straight one-goal setback.

Despite falling behind 2-0 over the first 27 minutes to Real Salt Lake last weekend at home, the Rapids rallied with goals by Kellyn Acosta and Danny Wilson to go into the half tied at 2. However, Sam Johnson put Salt Lake up 3-2 in the 53rd minute and Kei Kamara missed a penalty kick six minutes later that would have equalized for Colorado, which never got closer.

"Guys understand where we are," Conor Casey, who remains in charge of the team on an apparent interim basis as it looks for a permanent replacement for the recently sacked Anthony Hudson, told the Rapids' official website. "We haven't been as bad as our record shows. We've been so close in many games. My message (to the team), is to 'concentrate on what you can control.'"

In addition to their overall losing streak, the Rapids are aiming to avoid dropping their first six road games of the season for the second time in three years. Colorado is 0-3-4 on the road against the Galaxy since last winning there Sept. 7, 2013.

Updated May 18, 2019

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