Correction: I mistakenly wrote the Rapids missed the playoffs last year. They did in fact make it in, my apologies on the mistake and the section is updated.
One month of the MLS season is in the books and the next one will kick off on Saturday, when LAFC continue their 2021 MLS regular season campaign. What’s to come in the month ahead? Let’s take a look and get a glance at the road coming up.
Saturday, May 1: at Houston Dynamo
LAFC head out on the road for this first time this season on Saturday, when they take on the Dynamo. Houston are 1W-1L-0D so far this season, beating the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 in the season opener at home before falling 2-1 to the Portland Timbers on the road last weekend.
The Dynamo still have a talent deficit compared to most of the Western Conference but they seem more competitive so far this season. Tyler Pasher, who they picked up out of the USL, has been terrific so far, and so maybe LAFC will have some competition in terms of signing underrated players out of the lower leagues.
Saturday, May 8: at LA Galaxy
Here we go. The first edition of the rivalry is here and folks, the Galaxy look like they will not be doormats this year, seriously. Chicharito already has five goals on the season, the Galaxy are 2W-0L-0D to start the season, and the gimmes have probably evaporated from a black-and-gold perspective.
If there is a silver lining for LAFC, it’s that even though the Galaxy have won both their games, they’ve conceded four goals so far. People are hammering LAFC and they’ve only let in one! So even though the Galaxy seem improved already, they are not yet the finished article. Still, this one’s gonna be a big game for both teams, as you would expect.
Sunday, May 16: at Seattle Sounders
Hello, again. I actually think Sounders games are great and enjoy them but also I don’t enjoy playing the Sounders every three weeks. For whatever reason the MLS schedule makers always seem to clump LAFC-Sounders games really close together, but at least this year they shouldn’t meet six times or whatever.
We just saw the Sounders so I won’t get into a big thing about it but this one will be in Seattle and the Sounders had LAFC’s number in Seattle last year. We’ll see if both teams have their plausibly available stars ready to play for this one, which should add considerably to the intrigue.
Saturday, May 22: vs. Colorado Rapids
The Rapids have stumbled out of the gate a little bit, drawing FC Dallas on opening day and then losing 3-1 at home to Austin FC last week. Somebody had to be the first victim, LAFC avoided that hot potato.
Colorado have built in a smart manner and in spite of being budget-conscious their signings seem to make sense these days, but we still don’t know if this team can be a reliably good team. Robin Fraser has already showed he is a better coach than his Chivas USA days suggested but he has to continue to make tangible progress to really prove he’s the real deal. Still, the Rapids can be inconsistent but that means sometimes they’re really good, too. We’ll see how LAFC fare this season against them.
Saturday, May 29: vs. New York City FC
MLS seems to want to pair LAFC with NYCFC and the Galaxy with the New York Red Bulls as LA-NY rivals. Ok, sure. I will say the games between LAFC and the Pigeons in past years have been really good, so I guess that’s fine.
NYCFC came into the season with their head coach, Ronny Deila, saying out loud that his team wasn’t very good and they dropped a lead at D.C. United in Week 1 to lose before showing MLS that FC Cincinnati are back-to-back wooden spoon “winners” for a reason, spanking FCC 5-0 at Yankee Stadium last weekend. Everyone agrees that win was a fluke, however, since Cincy conceded five (5) goals off set pieces.
Still, NYCFC don’t yet look terrible to me. I think Deila’s right that they haven’t been upgrading their roster nearly as much as they should, but good players remain on their roster for now. So we’ll see how this one goes.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.