LA Galaxy 0, Vancouver Whitecaps 1 | MLS Match Recap
CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Keane made his first start since early April, but that wasn't enough to lift the LA Galaxy's dormant attack, and the Vancouver Whitecaps used their blistering speed to claim their second triumph this season over the reigning MLS Cup champions.
Kekuta Manneh scored on a 32nd-minute counterattack as the Whitecaps (8-6-2, 26pts) ended LA's long StubHub Center unbeaten streak -- 23 regular-season home games, 29 matches in all competitions, including two road wins last season over Chivas USA -- and claimed their first points against the Galaxy in Southern California. They also caught Western Conference leaders and rivals Seattle Sounders in the standings.
LA (5-5-6, 21pts) had most of the ball all night -- 65.6 percent possession -- but failed to put a shot on frame and never seriously threatened Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted, who posted his seventh shutout of the season.
Keane, still working his way back to full fitness after missing seven weeks with a groin injury suffered in an April 4 loss at Vancouver, had just three chances, but he sent the ball through the goalmouth after corralling a Juninho lob in the 57th minute, was unable to catch up with a ball over the top from the Brazilian midfielder in the 72nd, and handled the ball attempting a side-volley from a Sebastian Lletget feed in the 90th.
The Galaxy last lost at StubHub in their 2014 MLS opener, a 1-0 decision against Real Salt Lake in a game they dominated. They were 7-0-0 previously at home against the Whitecaps, including a wild-card victory to open the playoffs en route to their 2012 MLS Cup title.
Keane, who had made appearances off the bench in LA's wins two weeks earlier against Houston and the following game against RSL, went the full 90 minutes but had limited impact on the match. Vancouver's backline, with big center backs Kendall Waston and Pa Modou Kah, permitted the Galaxy little space to penetrate. LA spent much of the game surrounding the Whitecaps' box but lacked the final pass.
With Gyasi Zardes away with the U.S. national team, Edson Buddle got his first start of the year up front, and Brian Rowe saw his first action since March in place of goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, who is with Panama's national team. Baggio Husidic saw his third start in the past month at left back, with Oscar Sorto on the right for the injured Dan Gargan, and Mika Väyrynen was back in central midfield.
The Whitecaps, playing their third game in eight days following two cross-continent trips, used the same lineup as in last weekend's victory over Real Salt Lake, except with Cristian Techera on the right side of midfield in place of Mauro Rosales and Manneh on the left, as in Wednesday's loss at Montreal.
The Galaxy's only real chances in the first half were a 27-yard Buddle blast that sailed wide in the 15th minute and two scrums in Vancouver's box, with Ousted slapping the ball away from Väyrynen in the 34th and collecting the ball under pressure from Buddle following a free kick three minutes later.
The Whitecaps attacked primarily through counterattacks, mostly with Manneh on the left, but they came up empty the first three times, with Omar Gonzalez handling the threat in the 13th and 19th minutes. LA wasn't so fortunate in the 32nd.
Manneh, whose only other goal this year was the opener in the 2-0 win over LA in April, intercepted a pass in Vancouver territory, quickly played the ball forward for teammate Octavio Rivero and sprinted up the left channel for the return ball. He raced toward the Galaxy's box, with Gonzalez backpedaling, then cut right at the top of the area and fired a low, sharp shot that split Gonzalez and Leonardo and beat Rowe to the left side of the net. It was the only shot on goal in the first 45 minutes.
The Whitecaps nearly doubled their advantage in the 41st, when Techera hit the left post from a Manneh feed, and they were unfortunate not to add goals in the 54th, when Manneh pushed the ball too far in a one-on-one run toward LA's box, and in the 72nd, when Pedro Morales hit the left post on a counter from a feed by Rivero, who collected the carom but couldn't shoot before he was dispossessed by Leonardo.
The Galaxy take their final trip east of the Mississippi this season to play at Columbus next Saturday, June 13 (7:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE). The Whitecaps return to the field June 20 with an away game against the New York Red Bulls (7 pm ET, TSN2).