The Galaxy and Rapids exchanged goals in the opening 45 minutes, with the Galaxy’s Edson Buddle scoring and Colorado’s Cory Gibbs equalizing with his first-ever MLS goal.
The first half took a familiar path with the Galaxy applying much of the pressure – albeit creating few clear-cut chances along the way – and the Rapids soaking it up.
The Rapids’ Tom McManus almost opened the scoring inside the first minute, Sean Franklin clearing off the line.
Former Galaxy defender Ugo Ihemelu, making his first start since Aug. 9, performed almost exactly the same duty at the other end for Colorado 22 minutes later, preventing an Alan Gordon header from counting after goalkeeper Preston Burpo had failed to hold the ball under pressure from Alan Gordon.
Franklin got his first-ever MLS assist in the 36th minute, carving a path through the Rapids defense and slipping the ball to Buddle who scored from about 15 yards for his 14th of the season.
Colorado’s tying goal was a beauty, former Manchester United midfielder Terry Cooke sending a pinpoint corner to an unmarked Cory Gibbs, whose glancing, angled header gave Josh Saunders no chance. It was Cooke’s 11th assist of the season, the third most in the league.
Brandon McDonald replaced captain Pete Vagenas in the 38th minute, when the Galaxy captain suffered a recurrence of his right quad injury that left him sidelined for weeks earlier in the season.