The Colorado Rapids will take the field at Los Angeles FC on Sunday looking to extend the storied career of goalkeeper Tim Howard for at least one more game.
On the outside looking in at the Western Conference playoff race, the Rapids (12-15-6, 42 points) are a long shot to become playoff eligible, but they do have a chance. The scenarios are daunting, but Colorado needs to defeat LAFC on Decision Day, with Dallas and San Jose losing their season finales.
The Rapids also can live to see another day if Dallas loses, San Jose ties and they can defeat LAFC by two goals.
Howard, 40, already announced this would be his last season. He is in his second stint in MLS, having played for the New York MetroStars from 1998-2003 and then starting his current run with the Rapids in 2016.
Howard also played 399 Premier League matches with Everton and Manchester United, with 121 appearances for the U.S. Men's National team.
He has seen it all in a lengthy career, but even he is amazed that after a rough start, when the Rapids were winless over their opening 11 games (0-9-2), they still have a slim chance to make the playoffs.
"This season has been crazy. It's up and down," Howard said, according to the Denver Post. "By the grace of God and some resiliency we've ended up in the conversation. I don't know how, but we are there somehow."
Even after clinching a playoff spot long ago and already wrapping up the 2019 Supporters' Shield, LAFC (20-4-9, 69 points) remain motivated. A victory would leave the second-year club with an MLS-record 72 points, one better than the mark the New York Red Bulls set last season.
And forward Carlos Vela needs one more goal to break the tie with Atlanta United's Josef Martinez for most goals scored in a single season. Vela is currently at 31 in 30 games played.
"There is still much to fight for," Vela said, according to the Los Angeles Tim
- @Los Angeles FC L 1 - 3
- FC Dallas W 0 - 3
- @Sporting Kansas City W 3 - 2
- @Toronto FC L 2 - 3
- LA Galaxy W 1 - 2
- Seattle Sounders FC W 0 - 2
- @New York Red Bulls W 2 - 0
- @Real Salt Lake L 0 - 2
- @Houston Dynamo D 2 - 2
- @Minnesota United FC L 0 - 1
- Seattle Sounders FC L 3 - 1
- LA Galaxy W 3 - 5
- Colorado Rapids W 1 - 3
- @Minnesota United FC D 1 - 1
- Houston Dynamo W 1 - 3
- Toronto FC D 1 - 1
- @Philadelphia Union D 1 - 1
- @Orlando City SC D 2 - 2
- Minnesota United FC L 2 - 0
- LA Galaxy D 3 - 3
- @D.C. United(07-28-18) L 1 - 2
- Orlando City SC(04-29-18) L 2 - 1
- @Vancouver Whitecaps FC(06-22-19) D 2 - 2
- Houston Dynamo(03-30-19) L 4 - 1
- @New England Revolution(03-10-18) L 1 - 2
- Inter Miami CF(12-31-69)
- Philadelphia Union(06-30-18) W 1 - 4
- Portland Timbers(03-10-19) W 1 - 4
- @FC Dallas(05-19-19) D 1 - 1
- @Vancouver Whitecaps FC(04-17-19) L 0 - 1
- Colorado Rapids @ Los Angeles FC 1-3
- Los Angeles FC @ Colorado Rapids 0-1
- Los Angeles FC @ Colorado Rapids 3-0
- Colorado Rapids @ Los Angeles FC 0-2