Preview: 'Caps seek upset of Shield front-runners Galaxy
The LA Galaxy will look to continue their march toward the MLS Supporters’ Shield when Vancouver Whitecaps FC come to The Home Depot Center on Saturday evening. The Galaxy became the first team to secure their place in the MLS Cup Playoffs in a 1-0 win against Colorado last weekend. Whitecaps FC are still mathematically alive for a postseason berth in their expansion season, after a 1-1 draw at New York last weekend.
REFEREE: Michael Kennedy. SAR (bench): George Gansner; JAR (opposite): Corey Parker; 4th: Baldomero Toledo. MLS Career: 138 games; FC/gm: 28.9; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 26; pens: 47
- LA GALAXY – OUT: DF Sean Alvarado (R knee surgery); DF Gregg Berhalter (R foot sprain); DF Leonardo (R knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: MF David Beckham (back spasms); MF Juninho (L hamstring strain) …
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC – OUT: FW Atiba Harris (R knee surgery); GK Brian Sylvestre (L knee surgery); MF Russell Teibert (R toe laceration); QUESTIONABLE: MF Davide Chiumiento (L ankle contusion); MF John Thorrington (L groin strain); MF Michael Nanchoff (R iliotibial band syndrome)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: LA: David Beckham, Landon Donovan … VAN: Jordan Harvey, Alain Rochat
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: LA: Chris Birchall, Omar Gonzalez, Frankie Hejduk, Juninho, Michael Stephens … VAN: Michael Boxall, Jeb Brovsky, Jay DeMerit, Jonathan Leathers
- ALL-TIME (1 meeting): Galaxy 1 win, 4 goals … Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 0 goals … Ties 0
- When the clubs met for the first time, the Galaxy rolled to a 4-0 victory, July 30 at Empire Field, as Landon Donovan scored two goals and set up another and Sean Franklin added a goal and an assist.
- Coaches record: Tom Soehn vs. LA: P7 W2 L2 T3… Bruce Arena v VAN: P1 W1 L0 T0
LAST MEETING (MLS)
- 7/30: VAN 0, LA 4 (Donovan 61, 75; Franklin 80; Cristman 90)
- The Galaxy finally broke through just after the hour mark. Sean Franklin's ball over the top sent Landon Donovan in alone on goal, and he coolly finished with a left-footed shot across his body inside the right post.
- Donovan doubled the Galaxy lead in the 75th minute with a well-placed penalty kick past Cannon, who went the right way but not in time. Referee Baldomero Toledo gave the penalty for a handball from left fullback Jordan Harvey.
- Franklin made the score 3-0 in the 80th minute. Todd Dunivant set Donovan free down the left flank and he drove a low ball across the face of goal which Franklin bundled over the line with a sliding finish.
- LA made it 4-0 in the final minute when a cross from the left wasn't cleared and Adam Cristman was free to nod a header over Cannon from close range.
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-3-1-2): Joe Cannon - Jonathan Leathers (Peter Vagenas 73), Alain Rochat, Michael Boxall, Jordan Harvey – Shea Salinas, Gershon Koffie, Camilo - Davide Chiumiento (Michael Nanchoff 81) - Eric Hassli, Mustapha Jarju (Nizar Khalfan 62).
- LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Josh Saunders - A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant - Sean Franklin, Juninho, Michael Stephens (Dan Keat 85), Landon Donovan (Miguel Lopez 85) - Juan Pablo Angel (Adam Cristman 67), Mike Magee.
The LA Galaxy became the first team to secure their place in the MLS Cup Playoffs, defeating the Colorado Rapids 1-0 on Friday night at The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy have 55 points from 28 games on the season, leading the Western Conference and the MLS overall table.
- The game's lone goal came in the 36th minute at the end of a flowing move. Chad Barrett received the ball in the center of the park after just staying onside. He slipped a ball forward to Sean Franklin, who then found Landon Donovan unmarked on the left side of the box. Donovan hammered the ball inside the far post, leaving Colorado 'keeper Matt Pickens no chance.
- Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made four changes to the team that played to a 2-2 draw with Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park. Donovan Ricketts returned to goal in place of Josh Saunders, Bryan Jordan came in at right back for Frankie Hejduk, Landon Donovan reclaimed his place ahead of Mike Magee, and Paolo Cardozo started up top in place of Adam Cristman.
- LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Donovan Ricketts - Bryan Jordan, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Sean Franklin, Juninho (Michael Stephens 74), David Beckham, Landon Donovan - Chad Barrett (Robbie Keane 60), Paolo Cardozo (Mike Magee 67).
- The LA Galaxy were the first team to clinch a playoff berth last year, sealing their MLS Cup Playoffs spot with five weeks remaining in the regular season.
- This year, they did it with six weeks still left to be played. The Galaxy were the earliest to clinch a playoff berth since FC Dallas did in 2006, also with six weeks remaining in the season.
- “I think we clinched one a while ago to be honest with you. That’s probably not close enough to jump through hoops and have parties but that’s part of having a chance to win the MLS Cup – you have to be in the playoffs,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. “We are in the playoffs and it would be nice to win the Supporters’ Shield, that’s the next objective for us. Win the Supporters’ Shield and advance out of group play in the CONCACAF Champions League, which is going to be another big challenge for us. We have those objectives in the short term and certainly we want to go after the MLS Cup as well.”
- Landon Donovan scored his 12th goal of the season, pulling into a tie atop the MLS Golden Boot standings with New York’s Thierry Henry.
- Paolo Cardozo made his third start of the season – and his first start at forward. His last appearance was July 9 vs. Chicago; he had not figured in the previous seven league games.
- “Over the past couple of months we forced him to adapt to us and it’s never easy but it’s all part of the development of a young player. He’s responded well and has had such a great attitude over the past couple of months to try and get better and listen to some of the things we’ve talked to him about,” Arena said. “Tonight I thought his performance was real good but he hit the wall a little bit tonight and we got him out."
- Bryan Jordan also returned to the lineup for the first time since July 9, coming in at right back, and Chad Barrett made a second consecutive league start after missing six consecutive MLS games.
- “I think you saw tonight that we rotated some guys in and they did a great job. Paolo Cardozo, Michael Stephens, you saw Chad Barrett come back in and really do a good job, (Bryan Jordan) did a great job at (right) back,” said Todd Dunivant. “Those guys stepped up and that’s what we have to have because we have so many games this month that we need to have guys stepped up when they have to.”
- Donovan Ricketts was also making his first appearance since suffering a fractured forearm June 25 vs. San Jose. “It was a nice game to be back. Not too much. So, I can get back into the groove so hopefully I can build on this.” Ricketts said. “ … I didn’t feel any pain so that’s good. Hopefully moving forward it will get even better.”
- “He wasn’t tested a whole lot but when he had to make important saves, I thought, in the game he looked pretty good,” Arena said. “He’s been out I think it’s been nine or 10 weeks now. It’s good to get him back and we’re not going to push him real hard. We’re still going to be using he and Josh [Saunders]. I think it’s a real good problem to have.”
- On Tuesday, the Galaxy went down to defeat for the first time in the CONCACAF Champions League, falling 2- 1 to Monarcas Morelia in Mexico. Robbie Keane put the MLS side into the lead in the 51st minute, but Adrián Aldrete scored an 82nd-minute equalizer, then Miguel Sabah scored the winner from a corner in stoppage time.
- Here’s the Galaxy team:Josh Saunders - Frankie Hejduk, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant, Chris Birchall (Jovan Kirovski 87), Michael Stephens, Landon Donovan, Mike Magee (Bryan Jordan 77), Robbie Keane, Adam Cristman (Chad Barrett 64)
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC nearly put an end to their road winless streak, finally settling for a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena. Whitecaps FC have 22 points from 27 matches, sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference.
- Whitecaps FC took the lead in the 23rd minute through another highlight-reel goal. Camilo cut the ball back from the byeline on the left, finding Davide Chiumiento. He chipped the ball up with his left foot, spun, and then hammered a dipping volley with his right foot into the corner of the goal.
- The Red Bulls were left a man short just before the break when Camilo was dragged down by Jan Gunnar Solli some 35 yards from goal as he looked to break in alone, and referee Terry Vaughn showed the Red Bulls right back a straight red.
- But down a man, the home side evened terms in the 68th minute. Rafa Márquez lofted a cross into the penalty area from the right flank toward a hard-charging Juan Agudelo, who turned a right-footed shot past goalkeeper Joe Cannon from the heart of the area.
- Whitecaps FC head coach Tom Soehn made two changes to the team that defeated the Houston Dynamo 1-0 at Empire Field. Shea Salinas came in for Jonathan Leathers, and Camilo started in place of Mustapha Jarju.
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-4-2): Joe Cannon - John Thorrington (Jonathan Leathers 78), Alain Rochat, Jay DeMerit, Jordan Harvey (Long Tan 92+) - Shea Salinas, Peter Vagenas, Gershon Koffie, Camilo – Davide Chiumiento (Mustapha Jarju 57), Eric Hassli.
- The game is a meeting of the only team still undefeated in league play at home, LA (9-0-5), against one of two teams still winless on their travels in Vancouver (0-10-5; along with Houston).
- “It’s just that if we were going to win one on the road, that was probably going to be our best opportunity (in New York),” goalkeeper Joe Cannon said. “We have two more [away] games, but you have to think that if you can’t beat a team when you’re up a man and up a goal, it’s going to be a really big uphill battle when you go to places like LA and Dallas.”
- Whitecaps FC striker Davide Chiumiento scored his first goal since May 11 in impressive fashion, a full volley on the turn in the 1-1 draw at the New York Red Bulls last weekend.
- “We found a lot of space with Davide like we thought we would and he made a real difference in the hole and distributed, and Camilo and Shea [Salinas] got involved in the game,” head coach Tom Soehn said. “I thought the first 10 minutes of the second half went well, and it hurt when Davide went out because he was a big difference.”
- With Mustapha Jarju returning from international duty, Chiumiento was put into an underneath striker role behind Eric Hassli, after playing on the left flank against Houston.
- "Personally, I'm really happy because I played in my position and felt really comfortable,” Chiumiento said. "I felt great today, really fast and I'm really disappointed [to come off]."
- Jarju made his third substitute appearance in his last four games, after starting in his first two games with the club.
- "Every time we've got him back from national team duty, he comes back with very heavy legs and I thought he came in and didn't give us much on a day that we needed him," Soehn said to The Province. "Whether it's the travel he goes through from Africa, that's two times we've used him as a sub and didn't think we got enough and that's something we're going to have to watch."
- After making his first four starts of the season, all in a midfield role, John Thorrington started at right back for the first time with Whitecaps FC.
- Goalkeeper Joe Cannon could be the 16th player in MLS history to reach 300 league appearances if he figures in LA. The only other goalkeeper on the list is also the all-time record holder – FC Dallas shot-stopper Kevin Hartman, with 381 appearances after last weekend’s match.