Both teams have everything to play for. The Los Angeles Galaxy (17-6-5) come in just one win away from clinching the Supporter's Shield. With a win on Saturday, they'd put the shield out of reach, or they could also clinch with a tie and a tie in the Salt Lake v. Dallas match. The Colorado Rapids (11-8-9) are playing for the best possible solution on the opposite end, they need one more point to earn their first playoff berth since 2006, taking one of two available wildcard spots.
Gregg Berhalter is still listed as questionable. The defensive back has been listed as questionable since August, and was the subject of an article by The LA Daily News:
Berhalter's actual ailment has been described - and even not described - in many forms. It went from viral condition to "neck" to being re-checked because the team said medical staff couldn't find what was wrong.
Today, it's officially described as a neck strain.
"It was a combination of things, a combination of different things," Berhalter said.
Berhalter also had his comeback delayed by a hamstring strain.
On Thursday, he was asked why there was a reluctance to reveal the original reason for his absence.
"I don't know," he said. "It's not a reluctance, it's just a combination of things. It was just weird timing.
"Last week it was my hamstring. I was coming back, I felt great and my hamstring tightened up. I was scheduled to go out against Chivas and I couldn't because of that. It was honestly a combination of things."
Time will tell if Berhalter makes it onto the pitch Saturday, but he certainly won't be in the starting XI.
The Galaxy lead the all time series 27-20-6. This is the second meeting this season between the two clubs after the Galaxy won 1 - 0 at Dicks' Sporting Goods Park. The Galaxy hadn't won in Colorado during regular season play since 2002, when they beat the Rapids 3 - 1 at Mile High Stadium. The Galaxy had however defeated Colorado twice in post season play. The Rapids won at Home Depot Center twice last year, 3 - 2 in league play and then winning a penalty shootout after a scoreless draw in a play in match for the US Open Cup.
Back on May 15, the Galaxy scored their loan goal when Landon volleyed a free kick from midfield into the box and Alan Gordon headed it into the goal on a full dive. This was the Galaxy's first goal of the season not scored by Edson Buddle. Gordon of course would go on to score against the Galaxy in the SuperClassico with the match's most controversial goal.
The Galaxy's win over Philadelphia last week gave them a 9-3-3 road mark, the best in MLS this season and the third best in MLS history. The 1998 Galaxy hold that record with a 13-3-0 mark.
Colorado drew 2 - 2 with FC Dallas in their last game, a quality result on the road. Jeff Larentowicz scored both Rapid goals, the first off an assist from Omar Cummings in the right corner of the goal area, the second heading home a Jamie Smith corner. Coach Gary Smith has deployed both a three pronged and a two striker attack, beginning the FC Dallas match with the three pronged attack, before going back to 2 strikers late in the match. Smith was obviously trying to shake up a club which lost 1 - 0 to last place DC United just the week before.