The end of the MLS regular season is here, with just one more game for every team in the league. Los Angeles Football Club have wrapped up the Supporters’ Shield, but there are some very, very consequential games ahead in October, albeit a month that is full of uncertainty.
Here’s the month ahead for the black-and-gold:
Sunday, October 6 - vs. Colorado Rapids
The regular-season finale is here, as LAFC look to enact revenge on the Rapids, one of five teams across all competitions to beat them in 2019.
But not so fast. Colorado are in the very best form in the league, believe it or not, with a 5-1-0 record since Robin Fraser (remember him?!) took over. And incredibly, the Rapids have an outside shot of making the MLS playoffs this year, if they beat LAFC.
So Fraser won’t be trotting out scrubs for this game, sorry. But for those who think Bob Bradley will play a bunch of reserves, think again. Because of the upcoming schedule (more on that in a moment), I expect no more than a couple players rotated, at most, for the game. Expect the usual frontline and basically the guys they’ve been running with lately, not only to get the better of the Rapids this time around but also to try and maintain some rhythm.
Weds., Oct. 23 or Thurs. Oct. 24 - vs. TBD
LAFC’s next game will be two and a half weeks later, when they host their first playoff game of the year, opponent to be determined. This is why I think Bradley will play a full-strength (or close to it) squad against the Rapids, to try and keep the players in a rhythm. Even so, having this much time off is a lot.
The reason? MLS is taking a break during the October international window. The good news is that no players will be at risk of missing a crucial playoff game because he’s on international duty. The downside is that rust is highly likely to develop. It’s going to be a big concern for the teams that get a first-round bye like LAFC.
There’s one more game left to determine seeding for the playoffs, but based on the standings today, the winner of the LA Galaxy-Real Salt Lake first round game would head to The Banc to play LAFC. Hoo boy. Stay tuned on that front.
Any other games in October?
Glad you asked. If LAFC win their opening playoff game on the 23rd or 24th, they’ll move to the Western Conference final, scheduled for Oct. 29 or 30. If they win that game, then the season will end in November with MLS Cup final. Fingers crossed! But we’ll cross that bridge if we get to it.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!