LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps | MLS Match Preview
LA GALAXY vs VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
STUBHUB CENTER, Carson, Calif.
Aug. 23, 2014 (WEEK 24, MLS Game #228)
7:30 p.m. PT (TSN2/RDS2; TWCS-LA/TWCD)
The LA Galaxy and Vancouver Whitecaps FC meet for a third time this season when the clubs face off in a crucial Western Conference matchup Saturday evening at StubHub Center. The Galaxy come into the game with a four-point cushion ahead of Whitecaps FC in fourth place in the West, following their come-from-behind 4-3 win at Colorado at midweek. Whitecaps FC are holding onto the final playoff position by a slim two points, following their scoreless draw against Chivas USA in Carson last weekend.
REFEREE: Allen Chapman. AR1 (bench): Jeff Muschik; AR2 (opposite): Felisha Mariscal; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 44 games; FC/gm: 22.4; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 11; pens: 14
SUSPENDED: VAN: Matias Laba (caution accumulation; through Aug. 24)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: VAN: Jordan Harvey
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: LA: Landon Donovan, Dan Gargan, Alan Gordon | VAN: Gershon Koffie, Sebastian Fernandez, Andy O?Brien, Pedro Morales, Nigel Reo-Coker
DISABLED LIST: VAN: Caleb Clarke (season-ending injury)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (10 meetings): Galaxy 7 wins, 21 goals ? Whitecaps FC 1 win, 8 goals ? Ties 2
AT LA (5 meetings): Galaxy 5 wins, 11 goals ? Whitecaps 0 wins, 1 goal ? Ties 0
4/12: LA 1, VAN 0 (Keane 47)
4/19: VAN 2, LA 2 (Mattocks 67; Manneh 86 ? Ishizaki 38; Keane 77)
- The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Kekuta Manneh's 86th-minute goal pulled Whitecaps FC back into a 2-2 draw with the Galaxy on April 19 at BC Place; Robbie Keane scored the game's only goal for an LA victory the week before at StubHub Center.
- Whitecaps FC have won once in 11 meetings all-time in all competitions between the teams - a 3-1 win May 11, 2013 at BC Place. The teams have played to two draws.
- The Galaxy have won all five meetings in Carson between the teams in league play. The 2-1 Galaxy victory last July 20 marked the only time Whitecaps FC had a scored a regular season goal there.
- Coaches record: Carl Robinson vs. LA: P2 W0 L1 D1 | Bruce Arena vs. VAN: P10 W7 L1 D2
LAST MEETING (MLS):
- The Galaxy bagged the game's opener in the 38th minute, when Stefan Ishizaki latched onto a Baggio Husidic header right across the face of goal and put his own header heading into the bottom right corner of the Vancouver goal.
- But Whitecaps FC drew level on the three-quarter mark when Darren Mattocks raced in between defenders to claim a through ball before finishing on the right side from an acute angle.
- The Galaxy once again nosed in front in the 77th minute. After Omar Gonzalez hit a long ball into the penalty area, Rob Friend found Robbie Keane with a header and he scored on the half-volley with his left foot from very close range.
- Yet there was one more final answer from Whitecaps FC, Kekuta Manneh taking a cut back pass from Darren Mattocks before firing into the bottom right corner of goal from just outside the area, beating Jaime Penedo in the Galaxy goal.
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-3-1-2): David Ousted - Steven Beitashour, Andy O'Brien (Johnny Leveron 46), Jay DeMerit, Jordan Harvey - Russell Teibert (Kekuta Manneh 46), Matias Laba, Gershon Koffie - Pedro Morales (Erik Hurtado 65) - Darren Mattocks, Kenny Miller.
- LA GALAXY (4-3-1-2): Jaime Penedo - Dan Gargan, Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo, A.J. DeLaGarza - Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho, Baggio Husidic (Gyasi Zardes 72) - Stefan Ishizaki (Rob Friend 72) - Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane.
The LA Galaxy returned to their winning ways in impressive fashion, storming back for a 4-3 victory against the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday evening at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The Galaxy sit in fourth place in the Western Conference with 37 points from 22 games.
- The Rapids were two goals ahead inside of 17 minutes. A long ball from Edson Buddle picked out striker Deshorn Brown inside the box, and his initial shot was saved with a terrific stop from Jaime Penedo. But Marlon Hairston was first to the rebound, drilling it home from a tough angle.
- Just three minutes later the score was 2-0, when Buddle scored his 100th career league goal, headed home perfectly from a corner kick at the top of the six-yard box.
- But the Galaxy pulled one back just three minutes later, when Robbie Keane sent a looping header from a Dan Gargan cross back inside the right-hand post, eluding Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin.
- Yet the margin was restored on the half hour. Fullback Marc Burch drilled a freekick from 25 yards out that banged it off the bottom of the crossbar and in off the goalkeeper's back to make it 3-1.
- The Galaxy stormed back after the break. First, in the 55th minute, Landon Donovan put a freekick service straight onto the head of a charging Omar Gonzalez, and he made no mistake with his close-range header.
- Alan Gordon turned home a shot from inside the area in the 68th minute to level the score at 3-3. Then, in the 80th minute, Keane sprung Donovan with a through ball up the center of the park, and Donovan used a terrific run and classy finish to round Irwin and slot home the match-winner.
- Galaxy coach Bruce Arena made three changes to the team that fell 4-1 to the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium. Leonardo and Todd Dunivant came into the back four in place of A.J. DeLaGarza and Robbie Rogers, and Baggio Husidic started in midfield in place of Juninho.
- LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Jaime Penedo - Dan Gargan, Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo, Todd Dunivant (A.J. DeLaGarza 78) - Stefan Ishizaki (Alan Gordon 65), Marcelo Sarvas, Baggio Husidic (Juninho 74), Landon Donovan - Gyasi Zardes, Robbie Keane.
- The Galaxy victory put an end to a quick two-game winless run. They sit four points clear of fifth place and the final playoff position in the Western Conference, with two games in hand over the two teams ahead of them (Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas).
- It was the fourth time in club history the Galaxy had overcome a two-goal deficit to claim a victory, the last coming in a 3-2 win at Real Salt Lake on June 20, 2012. Only once in MLS history has a team overcome a three-goal deficit to win a game (MetroStars, at Tampa Bay, May 4, 1996).
- "I think the second half was the defining moment in our season ...," Arena said. "The guys showed a lot of character, played well on a night where, geez, we were so sloppy in that first half."
- Said Landon Donovan: "I don't think I can say what he said without being fined, but there were some choice words that we absolutely deserved to hear. After what happened Saturday [in a 4-1 loss to the Crew] and what happened in the first half, giving up seven goals in a game and a half is unacceptable for this team. So the first order of business was defensively, to do the job. We were embarrassed defensively, all of us, from the front to the back. We know we're good enough to always get chances, and we wanted to get the second goal."
- Robbie Keane scored a goal and added an assist, the fifth time this season he'd been involved in multiple goals in the same game. Keane now has nine assists, tying the second-highest single-season total in his four-year MLS career; he had 11 assists a year ago.
- Omar Gonzalez also netted a goal and added an assist, the first time in his MLS career he's been involved in multiple goals in the same game. His two goals this season have come in the last three games.
- Landon Donovan scored his first goal since July 28, his fifth goal of the season, and now has 139 league goals for his MLS career, the all-time leader.
- "Landon dug deep," Arena said. "I haven't seen that kind of passion out of Landon in a game in a long time."
- With Robbie Rogers out through injury, Todd Dunivant returned to the lineup at left back, his first start since April 6, the third game of the league campaign. Leonardo also returned to the back four for the first time in a league game since July 19.
- Making his second appearance since his return to the club, Alan Gordon scored his first goal for the Galaxy since the 2010 season, and his first goal in a league game since last Aug. 24, when he scored for San Jose.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC stretched their undefeated and shutout streaks, reaching a goalless draw with Chivas USA on Saturday evening at StubHub Center. Whitecaps FC sit in fifth place in the Western Conference with 33 points from 23 games.
- There weren't many golden opportunities for either side, as Vancouver recorded their third straight shutout and Chivas USA were blanked for a fourth straight match.
- Whitecaps FC goalkeeper David Ousted was called upon to make four saves, while Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy was credited with three stops.
- Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson made three changes to the team that defeated Sporting Kansas City 2-0 at BC Place. Russell Teibert, Omar Salgado and Nicolas Mezquida all came into the midfield in place of Gershon Koffie, Erik Hurtado and Pedro Morales.
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-3-1): David Ousted - Steven Beitashour, Johnny Leveron, Andy O'Brien, Jordan Harvey - Russell Teibert, Matias Laba - Omar Salgado (Kekuta Manneh 61), Sebastian Fernandez, Nicolas Mezquida (Pedro Morales 68) - Darren Mattocks (Erik Hurtado 46).
- Whitecaps FC extended their undefeated streak to five games - with four draws in that time - following the scoreless result at Chivas USA.
- "I'm frustrated, the boys are frustrated in there," Vancouver head coach Carl Robinson said. "I think it was a game, again I keep saying it, that we could have won and we probably should have won, but we weren't quite good enough to win. Disappointing in that aspect, but I thought our defensive side was excellent. Another clean sheet, but we need to be better in the final third."
- It was a third consecutive shutout for Whitecaps FC, who have not allowed a goal since the 2-2 draw with FC Dallas on July 27. Their 321-minute shutout streak is the second-longest in MLS this season, behind Chivas USA's 352-minute run from June 8-July 12.
- "I think we're doing a good job, sticking together, playing organized. I think that's the main thing and trying to counter when we can," said defender Steven Beitashour. "I think we were a little poor in the final third, but it's a positive because we got a clean sheet and a point on the road."
- Whitecaps FC were also kept without a goal for a second consecutive road match, having now not scored in their last 197 minutes away from BC Place.
- Following three consecutive starts, Pedro Morales again came off the substitutes' bench, for the final quarter of the match, suffering from hamstring tightness.
- "It was a Catch-22 situation for me with Pedro," Robinson said. "I didn't want to take a risk because he was a little bit tight and sore after Sunday's game. But I want to try and win the game, which is why I made the decision to put him on to try and create something for us because the game had opened up slightly and it was going end to end."
- Omar Salgado made his first start in four matches, since July 19, and Nicolas Mezquida also made his first start and appearance since that July 19 contest.
- "I freshened it up by putting Omar in, but it didn't quite work in relation to creating chances," Robinson said. "I think we got into decent areas without then obviously going by players out wide or getting into that little No. 10 area and creating that final pass. We huffed and puffed tonight without actually having any threat."
- Russell Teibert made his first start since July 16.
- "I thought in the midfield we were excellent. I thought Russell Teibert was arguably the best player of the pack, switched the play from side to side. He got around people, he won second balls and he put in a very mature performance for a young kid, he was excellent," said Robinson. "About four players at midfield, about two players weren't the problem and I'm not saying our front was the problem, all I'm saying is we have to be better in those areas."