August 18, 2018 / 3:28 PM / 3 months ago

LAFC braces for visit from improved Rapids

With a five-match winless streak vanquished, Los Angeles Football Club will look for consecutive triumphs Sunday night when it plays host to a much-improved Colorado Rapids side.

LAFC was 0-3-2 going back to July 15 when it defeated Real Salt Lake in a midweek match Wednesday. It also was eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup in that stretch.

But newcomer Christian Ramirez scored two goals in Wednesday’s victory, his second match and first start with LAFC (11-7-6, 39 points) after his trade from Minnesota United.

“Great start for him,” LAFC coach Bob Bradley said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “He’s the one that, in the right moments, knows how to find space in the box. And he can score in different ways. That was apparent (Wednesday).”

In the Rapids, though, LAFC will not be facing a typical next-to-last-place club. Colorado (6-12-6, 24 points) has two victories and a tie over its last three matches, with a victory and a tie against the Los Angeles Galaxy in that stretch.

It means that two of the Rapids’ six victories this season have come in the last two weeks, all in the time that midfielder Kellyn Acosta has been with the club after his trade from FC Dallas.

Acosta, who has two goals and two assists with his new side, was replaced after 50 minutes against the Galaxy on Tuesday after he became sick on the field. He is listed as probable for Sunday, with an ankle issue listed in the injury report.

LAFC’s Adama Diomande, who leads the club with nine goals over 11 matches, has been upgraded to questionable with a left hamstring injury that has forced him out of the last two MLS matches.

Even without Diomande, LAFC has plenty of firepower as Ramirez’s exploits this week gave the club four players with multiple goals in a match, tied for most in MLS.

“There is no question how good LAFC is up top,” Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard said. “But if we can gain control of the tempo, we can find their danger men early on.”

—Field Level Media

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