LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps | MLS Match Preview
LA GALAXY vs VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
STUBHUB CENTER, Carson, Calif.
April 12, 2014 (WEEK 6, MLS Game #50)
7:30 p.m. PT (TWCSN-LA/TWCD; TSN)
An early-season harbinger of the Western Conference power structure is ahead on Saturday evening when the LA Galaxy play host to Vancouver Whitecaps FC at StubHub Center, kicking off a home-and-home series. The Galaxy won for the first time in league play last weekend, strolling to a 3-0 win against Chivas USA in the Carson SuperClásico. Whitecaps FC lost for the first time in the new season last Saturday, the Colorado Rapids coming back for a 2-1 victory at BC Place.
REFEREE: Jair Marrufo. AR1 (bench): Adam Garner; AR2 (opposite): Mark Cahen; 4th: Ricardo Salazar
MLS Career: 159 games; FC/gm: 23.9; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 32; pens: 46
SUSPENDED: VAN: Matias Laba (through April 13)
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (8 meetings): Galaxy 6 wins, 18 goals … Whitecaps 1 win, 6 goals … Ties 1
AT LA (4 meetings): Galaxy 4 wins, 10 goals … Whitecaps 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 0
RETURN MATCHES: 4/19: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. LA Galaxy, 4 p.m. PT; 8/23: LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 7:30 p.m. PT
LAST YEAR (MLS):
5/11: VAN 3, LA 1 (Teibert 63, 76; Mattocks 92+ -- Zardes 86)
7/20: LA 2, VAN 1 (Villarreal 29; Zardes 57 – Sanvezzo 19)
8/24: VAN 0, LA 1 (Donovan 3)
- Whitecaps FC have won once in nine meetings all-time in all competitions between the teams – a 3-1 win last May 11 at BC Place. The teams have played to one draw, in 2012 in Vancouver.
- The Galaxy have won all four meetings in Carson between the teams in league play. The 2-1 Galaxy victory last July 20 marked the first time Whitecaps FC had a scored a regular season goal there.
- Coaches record: Bruce Arena vs. VAN: P8 W6 L1 D1 … Carl Robinson vs. LA: first game
The LA Galaxy returned to action after a weekend off and strolled to their first league win of 2014, cruising to a 3-0 win against Chivas USA on Sunday afternoon at StubHub Center. The Galaxy sit in seventh place in the Western Conference with 4 points from 3 games.
- The Galaxy put the game in a 20-minute flurry on either side of halftime. First, in the 37th minute, Galaxy right back Dan Gargan sent a header into the box that snuck past Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy to a waiting Robbie Keane, who walked the ball over the line for the opener.
- Four minutes later, Stefan Ishizaki collected a well-placed pass from Juninho, raced past the Chivas defense and hit home with a stellar chip to the far-side netting.
- Nine minutes into the second half, it was 3-0 to the Galaxy. After a give-and-go from Keane to Landon Donovan, Baggio Husidic found just enough space at the top of the box and beat Kennedy with a low drive to the left corner.
- Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made three changes to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Dan Gargan and Leonardo came into the back four in place of James Riley and A.J. DeLaGarza, and Marcelo Sarvas started in place of Rob Friend.
- LA GALAXY (4-3-1-2): Brian Perk - Dan Gargan (Tommy Meyer 85), Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo, Todd Dunivant (Oscar Sorto 75) - Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho, Baggio Husidic - Stefan Ishizaki (Samuel 57) - Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane.
- The Galaxy won for the first time in league play this season, in their third MLS match. They were playing just their second MLS opponent, after facing a home-and-home series with Real Salt Lake; the Vancouver match represents the opener of another home-and-home series.
- “I thought it was a great performance from start to finish,” said Robbie Keane. “Certainly the way we played, the manner that we played – keeping possession, keeping the ball – sometimes an extra pass can open up the defense, and that was certainly the case today.”
- Keane scored his second goal in as many games, opening the scoring after netting the Galaxy’s first MLS goal in the 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake. Keane has four goals over the Galaxy’s last three games in all competitions; he also had an assist on the final Galaxy goal.
- Landon Donovan recorded a pair of assists, and now has 119 for his MLS league career, 16 behind all-time leader Steve Ralston in second place all-time. Donovan is still tied for the all-time league goalscoring lead with 134.
- Arena again ran out his team with a four-man midfield, Stefan Ishikazi playing the attacking midfield role behind the front two of Keane and Donovan, and Juninho filling the holding role in front of the back four.
- “We have more possession. Look at the players that we have [in the diamond], it's certainly not wide players and [it is] players that technically are very, very good,” captain Robbie Keane said. “We keep the ball and we make the opposition run more than we do. Ultimately, they're going to get tired, and I think that was the case [against Chivas] because we had extra bodies in the middle of park.”
- Said Donovan: “We're putting our best passing team on the field. We have a lot of quality on the field, so we move well, we pass well and guys are combining. I think it's really difficult to defend against. When Robbie and I come underneath, the other guys are recognizing it well and making runs forward. Marcelo got behind [Chivas' backline], Baggio got behind them, Stefan got behind them. [Juninho[ got forward and made plays. When you have defenders having to deal with all those things, it makes it really difficult.”
- Ishikazi recorded his first career MLS goal, making his second consecutive start in the Galaxy midfield. He also recorded his first MLS assist, setting up Keane’s opener.
- “In time, he's going to give us good passing,” Arena said. “He's capable of scoring goals out of that position, which he demonstrated today. But he needs a little time. He's still making the adjustment to the league, and [this] is a difficult game for a player like that. He's played in Europe his whole life, a lot in Scandinavia, and all of a sudden he's on a field, it's about 80 degrees, it's sticky and all that, so that was a challenge [for him].”
- Brian Perk earned his second career shutout in the win. Perk’s first career shutout came in his first MLS start – a scoreless draw with Seattle Sounders FC on July 4, 2011.
- “I was fairly confident in the way that we were playing, and certainly the way we were training, that it was going to come,” Keane said. “It's only been three games, so don't get too carried away, but it was a performance that I think has been coming for us for a couple games.”
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC saw their undefeated start to the young season come to an end, the Colorado Rapids hitting for two late goals in a 2-1 come-from-behind win on Saturday afternoon at BC Place. Whitecaps FC sit in third place in the Western Conference with 8 points from 5 games.
- Whitecaps FC took the lead on 66 minutes when Darren Mattocks opened his 2014 account, finishing off a breakaway after Kenny Miller sent him in alone with a flicked pass up the center of the park.
- But the match turned around in the 77th minute when referee Ioannis Stavridis showed Vancouver's Matias Laba a second yellow card.
- Just two minutes later, the Rapids leveled the game at 1-1 when José Mari used the outside of his left foot to bend an effort past David Ousted from outside the penalty area.
- Then two minutes later, he fired the Rapids into the lead with a right-footed effort teed up by teammate Nathan Sturgis, again from outside the box, this time straight on from goal.
- Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson made no changes to the team that recorded a 2-1 win against the Houston Dynamo at BC Place
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-3-1-2): David Ousted - Steven Beitashour (Erik Hurtado 90), Andy O'Brien, Jay DeMerit, Jordan Harvey - Gershon Koffie (Sebastian Fernandez 57), Matias Laba (ejected 77), Russell Teibert - Pedro Morales - Darren Mattocks, Kenny Miller (Kekuta Manneh 74).
- Whitecaps FC had their season-opening four-game undefeated streak put to an end in the loss to the Rapids. It also ended a three-game home winning streak for the club, dating back to last season.
- “It’s disappointing, I said we win as a group and we lose as a group, today was our first loss,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson. “But it’s important that we bounce back in the correct way, and we’re going to have more losses throughout the season, I’ve got no doubt about it. It’s a tough one to take, especially at home.”
- Darren Mattocks scored his first goal of 2014, putting Whitecaps FC into the lead. It was his first goal in MLS since last July 6, when he netted the last of his three goals for the season, vs. Seattle.
- “It was annoying, but like, I never questioned my ability for a second. I know what I'm capable of doing, and it finally came tonight, you know, so you can put those questions to rest. Let's focus solely on the team,” Mattocks said. Said Robinson: “Darren got his goal today and that was a reward for his hard work he’s had. You know he had one chance in the first half maybe he could have tucked away as well.”
- Kenny Miller recorded his first assist of the season. He has now been involved in half of Whitecaps FC eight goals on the season (3 goals, 1 assist).
- “You can see me and Kenny playing – it's coming together more and more,” Mattocks said. “I flicked it on to Kenny, and I think he did a fantastic of shrugging off the defender and playing it to me. All credit must go to Kenny on that goal, to be honest.”
- While Carl Robinson ran out an unchanged side for the Colorado match, there will be a change this weekend after Matias Laba was sent off in the 77th minute – the turning point of the loss.
- “He was fantastic today, up until the sending off. He does a lot of the unseen work that obviously a lot of people don’t see, and it goes unnoticed. Everyone sees the passes and the goals, but Matias Laba is a crucial player to us,” said Robinson. Said defender Jay DeMerit: "We all feel like we got punched in the gut a little bit there. Unfortunately, that happens in our sport. There are some things you can’t control. I thought the things we could control were enough to win. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.”
- With the two goals from outside the area by José Mari, Whitecaps FC have now conceded three of their five goals this season from beyond the penalty area. “You have to give credit where credit is due. Those were two great finishes from 20 and 25 yards out, both of them. There was not much that David (Ousted) or anyone on defense could do. Those are the things you take on the chin,” said DeMerit.