Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids: 10 Bold Predictions

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IApril 18, 2012

Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids: 10 Bold Predictions

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    Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy continue their 2011 Major League Soccer season on the road against the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.

    Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, Apr. 21 at 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET and will be televised locally by KDOC and KWHY.

    With every match there are bold predictions to go with it. Here are 10 such predictions for Saturday's tilt between the Galaxy and Rapids.

1. Mile-High Thriller

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    We're looking at a match that will see at least five goals scored between both sides. This is a game between the last two MLS Cup champions and there should be plenty of fireworks.

    There will be no shutout for Matt Pickens or Josh Saunders; both teams have the right combo of firepower and speed to make it an offensive showcase the fans will enjoy.

2. Breakout Game for David Junior Lopes

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    David Junior Lopes was my man of the match last week against the Portland Timbers. Not only can he mark better than Andrew Boyens, but he has a rocket of a leg.

    Which means Lopes could be on the scoresheet again this week against Colorado.

    The Timbers were fortunate enough not to see his surprising debut get even more surprising, and the Rapids cannot afford to give him the same sort of space from which to try his luck.

3. David Beckham Gets a Goal And/or an Assist

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    David Beckham's insurance goal on Saturday against the Timbers is a bona fide goal of the week, but it won't be the last time he scores this season.

    In fact, this could be the start of a hot streak for Becks. Expect him to get at least a goal and/or an assist on Saturday against Colorado. The man can still play.

4. Here Comes Omar Cummings

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    Omar Cummings is the Colorado Rapids' leading goal scorer with two this season. I like his chances of recording at least one goal this Saturday, since Conor Casey may not get on the pitch due to illness.

    Look for Cummings to get on the scoresheet in the first half.

5. Kosuke with Two Assists

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    The Rapids' top provider is Japanese international Kosuke Kimura, who has two assists to his record.

    Watch for Kimura to find Cummings, beating the offside trap in the first half. I predict two assists for Kosuke on Saturday.

6. Matt Pickens Faces the LA Firing Squad

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    Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens is going to face a desperate Los Angeles Galaxy team in search of building consistency.

    The midfield and backline will be shredded every now and then by the pace LA's attack will generate.

    I see Pickens having to make at least six saves on Saturday to make the scoreline respectable.

    It's going to get ugly.

7. A Penalty Kick Will Be Called

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    This is the first time this season that I will be calling for a penalty conversion.

    The frenetic pace both teams can generate could force the DOGSO (deny an obvious goal-scoring opportunity) rule into the limelight, and I see Colorado getting the short end of the stick here.

    Enter Landon Donovan to add another to his career tally of goals for LA.

8. 1-1 Halftime Score

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    A number of matches that the Galaxy have taken part in this season have been 1-1 at halftime, including last week's match with Portland. I can see it happen again this week against Colorado.

9. At Least 30 Fouls Between Both Teams

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    Physical. Dirty. Scrappy. Chippy.

    It's only a month and change into the 2012 season but the physical play is apparent all over Major League Soccer.

    Expect at least 30 fouls and three yellow cards minimum shared between these two MLS Cup champions.

10. Los Angeles Win a Back-and-Forth Goal Festival

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    This is the point in the year where Los Angeles usually put the pieces together and continue their winning ways, building steam like Abney Park and making a hot streak out of it.

    The Galaxy leave it late, but the Rapids put up a fight. Cummings and Quincy Amarikwa score for Colorado; Lopes, Beckham and Donovan counter for Los Angeles.

    Prediction: Los Angeles Galaxy 3, Colorado Rapids 2.