Second-most pressing question regarding tonight's 7:30 Rose Bowl encounter between the Galaxy and the Colorado Rapids:
Which of these teams, separated by one point in the standings, will go on to win the MLS Western Conference championship and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs?
Most pressing question:
Can either of these teams score?
The Galaxy and the Rapids come careening down the stretch at something less than peak offensive efficiency. The Galaxy has been shut out in its last two matches--losing 1-0 at Colorado on Sept. 19 before dropping a 2-0 decision to D.C. United's reserve-laden lineup Saturday at the Rose Bowl. Colorado, meanwhile, has managed only three goals in its last nine games, including a 0-0 regulation tie Saturday with Kansas City that eventually produced a 1-0 shootout victory.
"We're still not following our instincts in front of the goal," Colorado Coach Glenn Myernick lamented last week. "We're overthinking because we've been in such a funk."
Yet the Rapids have picked up four points on the first-place Galaxy in their last two games, closing the gap between conference leader and runner-up to a single point, 48-47. Third-place Dallas (45 points) and fourth-place Chicago (44) are also still in mathematical contention for the conference title.
Colorado has won its last three matches while scoring but a single goal in 270 minutes of regulation--Jorge Dely Valdes' game-winner in the 41st minute against the Galaxy in Denver. Bookending that 1-0 victory were two scoreless affairs with last-place Kansas City that resulted in shootout triumphs for Colorado.
The Rapids are getting tremendous mileage out of the recent play of goalkeeper Ian Feuer. Feuer, who played for the now-defunct Los Angeles Salsa of the American Professional Soccer League in 1993, has three consecutive shutouts and has not given up a goal in his last 292 minutes.
The Galaxy, however, features the most efficient defense in Major League Soccer, yielding a league-low 0.86 goals a game. Saturday's 2-0 loss to United marked the first time the Galaxy had given up two goals in a game since July 11--and only the fifth game this season in which the Galaxy had surrendered more than one goal.
Before its current two-game losing streak, the Galaxy had outscored its last seven MLS opponents, 16-7.