Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s decision to skip the MLS All-Star Game on Wednesday night means the LA Galaxy won’t have his services Saturday night.
MLS policy calls for a player who withdraws from the All-Star Game to miss his team’s next match, so the Galaxy will be without Ibrahimovic when they visit the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.
The Rapids (4-12-5, 17 points) surely won’t be complaining as they won’t have to figure out how to slow Ibrahimovic, who scored three goals last Sunday in Los Angeles’ 4-3 victory over Orlando City to raise his season total to 15.
The Galaxy (10-7-5, 35 points) have playing superbly as they look to extend their unbeaten stretch (5-0-4) to 10 matches. The hot stretch has allowed Los Angeles to move into third place in the Western Conference.
The Galaxy have scored 25 goals during the stretch and have tallied three or more six times.
However, LA also has allowed multiple goals in five of its last seven matches, and that concerns midfielder Sebastian Lletget.
“We know we are going to score goals. It’s just the other side of things that we have to get together,” Lletget told reporters. “To win a championship in modern-day football, we’ve got to collectively defend and we’ve got to help each other out.”
With Ibrahimovic out, the Galaxy will count on the potent duo of forward Ola Kamara (nine goals) and midfielder Romain Alessandrini (six goals, five assists) to lead the attack.
Meanwhile, Colorado has been struggling with a five-match winless stretch (0-3-2) and is coming off a disappointing 2-1 loss against D.C. United last Saturday.
Midfielder Kellyn Acosta scored the lone goal in his team debut after being acquired from FC Dallas.
Acosta’s performance was admirable in the eyes of coach Anthony Hudson, who also liked the effort of his team.
“After the start we’ve had to the season, which we agree was horrible and tough, tough for everyone, not one player has given up the whole time,” Hudson told reporters. “We’ve had a few performances where we’ve played some really, really good stuff.”
Colorado dealt leading scorer Dominique Badji (seven goals) to Dallas to acquire Acosta. No one on the Rapids’ active roster has more than two goals this year.
—Field Level Media