Colorado Rapids Exhibit Postseason Form in 3-1 Win Over Los Angeles Galaxy

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IOctober 17, 2010

CARSON, CA - OCTOBER 16:  Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts #1 of the Los Angeles Galaxy fails to make the save and watches the ball go into the net for a goal by shot by Omar Cummings #14 of the Colorado Rapids in the second half during the MLS match at The Home Depot Center on October 16, 2010 in Carson, California. The Rapids defeated the Galaxy 3-1.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

The Colorado Rapids clinched the final MLS Cup playoff berth while going through warm-ups prior to Saturday night's contest with Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy.

To be facetious, those Rapids didn't even need to bother suiting up, let alone take the pitch and play 90 full minutes of football.

But Gary Smith's men did, and their postseason form was evident in their 3-1 victory over the Galaxy before a full house of 27,000 strong.

These are the same Rapids that will be facing Real Salt Lake, who crept up on the leaders of the Major League Soccer overall table with their 2-0 victory over FC Dallas, the same FC Dallas that will be hitting the road for the G's regular season finale on Oct. 24.

Hmmm. Clever scheduling, that. Very clever, in the mold of, "Why so serious? Take it easy!"

But here marked the very first time this season that in spite of scoring the first goal, the Galaxy proceeded to trash aside their lead in disjointed fashion. With flying colors. In terms of disjointedness, I give them Los Angeles an 11 out of 10, without any reservations.

Once again, the Galaxy resort to that nasty habit of sleeping in the back as if it was the summer stretch all over again. But it just didn't stop there, oh no. They could not finish their chances, and when Colorado co-swingman Omar Cummings led the counter in the second half, you just knew he was going to convert his goal in the 67th minute of play.

That's not to say Rapids co-swingman Conor Casey's strike via Cummings and Pablo Mastroeni in the 31st wasn't very well played, either. Colorado was the only team that actually ran the game plan. The midfield for Los Angeles was ripped to shreds by the likes of Brian Mullan, Wells Thompson, Jeff Larentowicz, Kosuke Kimura and Jamie Smith.

After that first goal by Buddle, the Rapids regrouped and opted to play their brand of football, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Landon Donovan and Juninho were non-existent in the game. When you have a certain regular season trophy up for the taking, you have to step up. Otherwise, your decision to go AWOL in terms of execution will mean that there will not be any rest for the finale.

The only player that actually made an effort in the midfield was David Beckham. Chris Birchall never stood a chance at disrupting possession. Beckham did his role, but he was on a side that was disjointed in terms of passing, dispossession and especially finishing. He couldn't get any support, he couldn't buy any support. Not even all the riches he has could buy him any support on Saturday night. What a sorry sight.

And the scary thing here, if you are a Los Angeles Galaxy supporter, is that the G's could end the regular season second overall. But at the same time, this result might actually help Los Angeles, and I'll tell you why.

If this Colorado Rapids team can dismantle the league leaders in dominating fashion like they did on the road (and I also say home-field advantage be damned because both teams split this series with road victories), Jason Kreis's Real Salt Lake is going to be on notice on Oct. 23 when they head to Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.

A lot of Angelenos donning blue and gold when they walk into the hallowed grounds of Victoria Street may be masquerading in a different set of colors.

As the old Latin maxim goes, "Honi soit qui mal y pense." Shame be to those who call shenanigans on wearing burgundy and sky blue, if only for one night. It might come in handy; you never know.

Ins and Outs

Chicken Thief No. 11: Edson Buddle!?

Yes, you are not seeing things; the league's leading scorer stole the chickens tonight. What a selfish American Pele, even though I kid. But still, a badly judged clearance off a corner kick by the Rapids in the 18th minute of play escaped Donovan Ricketts's reach, evening the score at 1-1. Poor fellow.

Maybe sticking to steak instead would fare Buddle better. Could you believe that?


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