LA Galaxy 0, Vancouver Whitecaps 0 | 2016 MLS Match Recap
In a phenomenal defensive effort, the Vancouver Whitecaps grabbed a well-earned 0-0 road draw against the LA Galaxy at StubHub Center on Saturday night, and denied Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena his 200th career win.
Arena was forced to burn two substitutions in the first half and switch his tactics when Gyasi Zardes replaced an injured Steven Gerrard in the 31st minute. He then swapped in Daniel Steres for hobbled central defender Jelle Van Damme in the 44th minute.
Despite 70% of the possession and just a hair under a 90% passing accuracy rate, the Galaxy produced only one shot on target in the first 45 minutes.
The home side increased their pressure in the second half. Desperate for three points, they forced eight total corner kicks and took 10 total shots. However, they could not crack Vancouver's defense, led by solid performances from Kendall Waston and David Ousted.
DE JONG ACTIVE DEFENSIVELY
Waston was certainly pivotal in the draw on Saturday night, however it was his teammate, Marcel de Jong, who had one of his best performances of the season; at least in terms of his Opta numbers.
De Jong managed eight tackles and seven interceptions, the only player to do so in MLS 2016 Regular Season play so far.
VAN DAMME ENGAGED BEFORE INJURY
The Belgian was a beast in the back for the LA Galaxy before being forced to exit the game prematurely. Van Damme racked up four tackles in the first stanza alone, equaling the most tackles he has had in an entire game in MLS 2016 Regular Season play.
Van Damme has been huge for LA, of late, so Arena will surely hope his injury does not keep him out for an extended period.
WHITECAPS CAN BREATHE
Saturday’s draw snapped a four-game losing streak for the Vancouver Whitecaps and will certainly bring relief to everyone involved in the Cascadian club.
This marked their third MLS game against the Galaxy in 2016. And while their defense has been strong when facing one of the league’s most storied clubs (two shutouts in three games), they have not notched a goal in any of these contests.