Reinforcements ready to arrive as LAFC, Rapids meet

Reinforcements ready to arrive as LAFC, Rapids meet

August 2, 2023; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles FC forward Carlos Vela (10) in action against FC Juarez during the first half at BMO Stadium.
Image: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles FC and the Colorado Rapids could both see crucial attackers return to the fold when they resume their league schedule on Wednesday night in Southern California.

Club all-time leading scorer Carlos Vela could resurface for LAFC (10-6-7, 37 points) for the first time since he departed a 7-1 victory over FC Juarez in Leagues Cup play Aug. 2 with a leg injury.

Vela, now age 34 and four years removed from his 2019 MLS MVP season, had shown some of his most consistent attacking form since that brilliant campaign in recent weeks.

Vela scored four of his eight goals this season in his last eight MLS matches and had two more against Juarez before injury forced him out of the tournament.

Even if he might not be ready to play 90 minutes following the injury hiatus, Vela has shown the ability to influence matches off the bench this season, scoring two of his eight MLS goals as a substitute.

“Carlos is ready and ready to contribute again,” manager Steve Cherundolo said last week before Tropical Storm Hilary forced the match against Colorado to be postponed from Sunday to Wednesday. “Before that smaller issue, he was in real good form, and from what I can tell you on the training field, he’s back. So we’re excited to have him back on the field.”

Colorado’s Diego Rubio could play for the first time since May 13 after a prolonged absence for an upper-body ailment.

Rubio was the Rapids’ leading scorer with a career-best 16 goals last season. Without him, no Colorado player has more than two goals this season.

A pair of summer loan signings — striker Rafael Navarro and midfielder Sidnei Tavares — could also make their club debuts for the last-place Rapids (3-10-10, 19 points), who begin the day 12 points beneath the Western Conference playoff line.

Colorado hasn’t played since July after exiting the Leagues Cup in the group stage.

“We’re getting guys healthy, and we’ve incorporated some new players,” Rapids manager Robin Fraser said. “So it’s actually been a good thing for us to take a break from playing games and really get to work on a few things and incorporate or reincorporate players.”

—Field Level Media

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.