Vancouver Whitecaps vs. LA Galaxy | MLS Match Preview

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC vs LA GALAXY

BC PLACE, Vancouver, B.C.

May 11, 2013 (WEEK 11, MLS Game #97)
4 p.m. PT (Snet Pac; TWCSN-LA/TWCD)

Looking to snap a long winless run, Vancouver Whitecaps FC return home to BC Place to meet the LA Galaxy in a rematch of last year’s MLS Cup Playoffs knockout round game. Whitecaps FC have now gone seven games without a win, following their 2-0 loss at Real Salt Lake last weekend. The Galaxy hit the road following a 1-0 loss to Houston in an MLS Cup rematch, stopping a two-game winning streak. The Galaxy won last year’s postseason meeting, which sent them on their way toward a fourth league championship.

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REFEREE: Sorin Stoica. AR1 (bench): Mike Kampmeinert; AR2 (opposite): Colin Arblaster; 4th: David Gantar
MLS Career: 12 games; FC/gm: 28.2; Y/gm: 4.7; R: 2; pens: 5
DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: VAN: Nigel Reo-Coker
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: LA: Marcelo Sarvas
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (MLS) (5 meetings): Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 2 goals … Galaxy 4 wins, 14 goals … Ties 1
AT VANCOUVER (2 meetings): Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 2 goals … Galaxy 1 win, 6 goals … Ties 1
RETURN MATCHES: 7/20: LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 7:30 p.m. PT; 8/24: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. LA Galaxy, 6 p.m. PT (TSN2, RDS2)

LAST YEAR (MLS):
6/23: LA 3, VAN 0 (Magee 16; Keane 30; Donovan 41)
7/18: VAN 2, LA 2 (Koffie 18; Robson 27 – Beckham 81; Villarreal 87)
9/1: LA 2, VAN 0 (Juninho 41; Beckham 79)

  • The Galaxy have never lost to Whitecaps FC in five league meetings all-time, with four victories and a draw. LA has outscored Vancouver 14-2, the only Whitecaps goals coming in a 2-2 draw last July 18 at BC Place, their only result in the all-time series.
  • The teams also met last season in the Knockout Round game in the Western Conference playoffs, the Galaxy getting second-half goals from Mike Magee and Landon Donovan for a 2-1 victory at The Home Depot Center.
  • Coaches record: Martin Rennie vs. LA: P3 W0 L2 D1 … Bruce Arena vs. VAN: P5 W4 L0 D1

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC saw their winless streak stretched to seven games, dropping a 2-0 decision to Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. Whitecaps FC sit in eighth place in the Western Conference with 9 points from 9 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • RSL took the lead two minutes into the second half. From an goal kick, Nick Rimando opted for a quick restart and hit the ball into space 60 yards upfield to an open Joao Plata. He then bent a beautiful ball to the center of the box where Luis Gil timed his run to perfection headed it in off the right post.
  • Whitecaps FC nearly leveled terms in the 62nd minute when Corey Hertzog's final touch from a long ball snuck past Rimando and was headed toward the net before a sliding Nat Borchers cleared it off the line.
  • Real hit for the insurance goal in the 71st minute. Plata again played provider, delivering a cross into the area that Javier Morales tucked away with a professional finish into the bottom left corner.
  • Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie made three changes to the team that reached a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas at BC Place. Johnny Leveron started in the back in place of Brad Rusin, and Russell Teibert and Corey Hertzog came into the side in place of Jun Marques Davidson and Darren Mattocks.
  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-3-1): Joe Cannon - Lee Young-Pyo, Andy O'Brien, Johnny Leveron, Alain Rochat (Tommy Heinemann 75) - Nigel Reo-Coker, Gershon Koffie - Daigo Kobayashi, Camilo Sanvezzo (Kekuta Manneh 67), Russell Teibert - Corey Hertzog (Darren Mattocks 74).

TEAM NEWS

  • Whitecaps FC saw their winless streak extended to seven games in the loss at Real Salt Lake. It’s the longest MLS winless slide for the club since they went 14 games without a win from March 26-June 11 in their inaugural season.
  • “This is a game where the players have to really – you know, have they done enough for the fans? I think they’ve let the fans down,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie. “I apologize to the fans for that defeat and disappointment. But I think the players have to as well. I think they need to do a lot better than that.”
  • Said Nigel Reo-Coker: “Best way to describe us was soft. We were a soft team. We don’t compete enough. We didn’t compete enough today and we were just soft and that’s the best way to put it. Being hard at football doesn’t mean going around and tackling and smashing people, being hard means competing and being hard to beat, hard to face as an individual, helping your teammate out. We didn’t do any of that today. So for me at the moment the realization of it is we have to be honest with ourselves we’re soft and we need to toughen up, real quick.”
  • It was also a second attacking shutout this season, both on the road, and the fourth loss in five away matches this season.
  • “Today’s a point where I really question them and I think they need to stand up and be counted. I didn’t think they showed enough desire. I didn’t think they showed enough quality,” said Rennie. “There was over 30 balls we put into the box in the game, which is incredible, especially away from home. And I don’t think we got on the end of one of them. Again, our finishing was a little bit weak. We’ve lost goals out of really nothing, I think counter attacks more than anything.”
  • With Brad Rusin out following concussion-like symptoms, Johnny Leveron made his MLS debut, playing the full match in central defense.
  • “I thought he was composed. I think he defended pretty well. He won his headers, helped us in the build-up, I thought he looked pretty comfortable. For his first ever MLS game, I was pretty impressed,” said Rennie. “[Rusin] has a concussion, so he’s going through concussion protocol. We missed him on Wednesday, we missed him today. So yeah, we’re missing quite a few guys, but it’s no excuse.”
  • After not featuring in the last two league matches, Corey Hertzog returned to the lineup as the spearhead striker, in place of Darren Mattocks. Mattocks came off the bench for the third time in the last four games.
  • “Mattocks missed six chances last week and Corey came on for 20 minutes or half a game and scored. So we decided to give him a chance,” said Rennie. “That was [Hertzog’s] first full game for a while so we just thought he was getting a bit tired.”
  • Whitecaps FC were without Scottish international striker Kenny Miller for a seventh consecutive match in all competitions. “We do definitely miss him. But, at the same time, the players who are playing need to do better,” Rennie said.

READ: Whitecaps frustrated by latest setback to forward Omar Salgado

LA GALAXY
The LA Galaxy has their two-game winning streak put to an end, the Houston Dynamo coming to The Home Depot Center and leaving with a 1-0 victory in an MLS Cup rematch. The Galaxy are in a tie for second place in the Western Conference with 14 points from 8 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Galaxy had a glorious chance to open the scoring in the first half. Jose Villarreal pushed the ball past goalkeeper Tally Hall in the penalty area, and after contact that sent Villarreal sprawling, referee Allen Chapman pointed to the spot. But Hall stopped Landon Donovan's penalty attempt.
  • The Dynamo hit for the winner in the 56th minute. Bobby Boswell's long ball found Giles Barnes, who cut a pass back from nearly the endline, and Andrew Driver hit it first time with his left foot from right on the edge of the area and drove it inside the left post.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made two changes to the team that came away with a 2-0 victory against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Landon Donovan came back into the side in place of Hector Jimenez, and Jose Villarreal started up top for the injured Jack McBean.
  • LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Carlo Cudicini - Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Greg Cochrane - Landon Donovan, Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho, Mike Magee - Jose Villarreal (Hector Jimenez 73), Charlie Rugg (Gyasi Zardes 55).

READ: How Jose Villarreal explains the future of MLS youth development | THE WORD

TEAM NEWS

  • The Galaxy lost for the second time this season, both by shutout. They also lost at The Home Depot Center for the first time this season, following three wins and a draw.
  • “We played poorly and deserved to lose, that simple. We weren't good, in all phases of the game,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. “Technically we were very poor, our passing was poor, we had a few plays where if our passing was better we could get at them. In the first half we had chances to get a goal or two, but we were not good tonight.”
  • “Two weeks in a row now we’ve played very well,” Landon Donovan said. “Some nights you just don’t have it and we have to figure out a way when we don’t have it to get a result and maybe even if we walk out with a tie tonight we can say, ‘OK, fair enough, we didn’t play well but we got a point.’ But to lose the game is difficult, especially at home.”
  • Donovan missed a second penalty kick in two attempts this season. The Galaxy have lost both games by 1-0 scorelines where Donovan has missed from the spot.
  • “Never good to miss a penalty kick,” Arena said. “We're probably going to have to change that. He's missed two in two games that we've lost, 1-0. Not good, so we probably need to make a change there.” Said Donovan: “I'm not doing the job, so someone else is going to have to do it, but aside from that, we've got to play better. Certainly, goals change games, and I could have made a difference and changed the game, but it happens and you have to move on.”
  • With Jack McBean sidelined for up to three months with a fractured collarbone, rookie Charlie Rugg made his second consecutive start in attack. Homegrown Player Gyasi Zardes came on in relief of Rugg, his second consecutive first-team appearance.
  • Robbie Keane also missed his fifth league game out of the last six, with an ankle ailment. Jose Villarreal started his first league game since March 23.
  • "I thought Jose had a solid game. I think Charlie had a rough night and didn't play particularly well. Gyasi had his moments, technically he could have been a little bit better. It is going to take him a little bit of time,” said Arena. “Obviously we missed Robbie (Keane) there, but that's life. Injuries are all part of the game."
  • Said Villarreal: “They have a solid defense in the back and we couldn’t get through them in the beginning. We had a couple of chances in the second half but I don’t think we were that sharp in the finishing third so we just have to work on that.”