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For the first two months of the season, the Los Angeles Galaxy were one of the top teams in MLS. Now, they're in danger of missing the playoffs.
Looking to keep their winless stretch from reaching four games while also trying to momentarily turn things around on the road Wednesday night, the Galaxy face a Colorado Rapids side that's undefeated in two matches under new coach Robin Fraser.
Los Angeles (13-12-3) was 7-1-1 at the end of April and, at the time, within in reach of rival Los Angeles FC. However, it's since been an inconsistent mess for the Galaxy, who are 6-11-2 since the beginning of May. Worse yet, L.A. has just one victory over its last seven (1-4-2) MLS contests and currently sits just below the playoff line in the Western Conference on 42 points.
They've also conceded nine goals over the last three matches, most recently a 4-3 loss at Seattle on Sept. 1. Twice the Galaxy rallied to level the game, including in the 81st minute on Jorgen Skjelvik's goal. However, the Sounders scored in the 89th to claim the full three points and drop Los Angeles to 0-5-1 over the last six on the road - where it's yielded 19 goals during that winless span.
"I think it's a problem throughout the whole season," Galaxy midfielder Joe Corona told MLS' official website. "It's very sad that they come back after we tie the game. It's something that we have to keep working on, and hopefully get better at. Making the playoffs is our first objective. Hopefully, we can turn this around."
That begins Wednesday against Colorado (9-14-6), which is nine points back of the Galaxy but won 1-0 at Carson, Calif., on May 19. Andre Shinyashiki scored the lone goal in the 82nd minute of that contest.
Shinyashiki (seven goals) recorded a brace during a 2-0 home victory over Seattle on Saturday. The result kept the Rapids perfect in two matches since Fraser was appointed full-time manager. His new side has yet to concede a goal under his direction.
While Colorado is looking to match a season high with its fourth consecutive home victory, it last won three straight overall in 2017. The Rapids last posted three clean sheets in a row during the 2015 season.
"Everybody is playing with confidence," said forward Jonathan Lewis, who assisted on Shinyashiki's first goal just before halftime. "The coach has us playing in a certain way that shows everybody's ability. We were always a gritty team, we worked hard. Now, we're putting football into it and we're going to be a hard team to beat going forward."
L.A. star Zlatan Ibrahimovic has recorded seven of his 23 goals during a four-game scoring streak. He did not face Colorado in May.
Updated September 9, 2019