Vancouver Whitecaps vs. LA Galaxy | MLS Match Preview

VANvLA, 8-23-2013

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USA TODAY Sports

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC vs LA GALAXY
BC PLACE, Vancouver, B.C.
August 24, 2013

(WEEK 26, MLS Game #235) 6 p.m. PT (TSN2/RDS; TWCSN-LA/TWCD)

Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the LA Galaxy meet for a third time this season in a massive match for clubs in the Western Conference playoff chase. Whitecaps FC are in a tie for fifth place and the final postseason berth in the division, following their 2-0 loss at Colorado last weekend. The Galaxy have jumped into fourth place in the conference after their big 4-2 home win vs. Real Salt Lake last weekend.

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REFEREE: Armando Villarreal. AR1 (bench): Anthony Vasoli; AR2 (opposite): Marco Arruda; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 23 games; FC/gm: 23.9; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 10; pens: 6

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: VAN: Nigel Reo-Coker, Russell Teibert … LA: Juninho
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: VAN: Jordan Harvey … LA: A.J. DeLaGarza, Marcelo Sarvas, Sean Franklin
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (MLS) (7 meetings): Whitecaps FC 1 win, 6 goals … Galaxy 5 wins, 17 goals … Ties 1
AT VANCOUVER (3 meetings): Whitecaps FC 1 win, 5 goals … Galaxy 1 win, 7 goals … Ties 1

2013 (MLS)
5/11: VAN 3, LA 1 (Teibert 63, 76; Mattocks 92+ -- Zardes 86)
7/20: LA 2, VAN 1 (Villarreal 29; Zardes 57 – Sanvezzo 19)

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Russell Teibert scored a pair of goals and Darren Mattocks added a third in a 3-1 Whitecaps FC victory on May 11 at BC Place. On July 20, goals from Gyasi Zardes and Jose Villarreal answered an early strike by Camilo, giving the Galaxy a 2-1 victory at StubHub Center.
  • The first meeting victory was the first Whitecaps FC victory ever against the Galaxy, after five winless league meetings all-time (0-4-1), where LA had outscored Vancouver 14-2, and an LA win in the MLS Cup Playoffs last year.
  • 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: Bruce Arena vs. VAN: P7 W5 L1 D1 … Martin Rennie vs. LA: P5 W1 L3 D1

LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • Whitecaps FC opened the scoring in the 19th minute. From the right flank, Lee Young-Pyo sent a sharp diagonal ball toward the middle that Russell Teibert redirected beyond LA's backline and into space. Camilo took it alone to the box and slotted past Carlo Cudicini.
  • The Galaxy were even 10 minutes later. Gonzalez headed Juninho's free kick into the goalmouth, it barely cleared the head of Gyasi Zardes' head and Jose Villarreal poked it home. The assistant referee's flag went up for offside, but the goal was allowed by referee Chris Penso as Zardes did not play the ball.
  • The winner came 12 minutes into the second half. A long ball from Todd Dunivant found Zardes streaking behind the Whitecaps' defense, and he caught up with the ball at the left byeline. Zardes stepped around a defender then beat Vancouver goalkeeper Brad Knighton at the near post from a tight angle.
  • LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Carlo Cudicini - Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Hector Jimenez, Pablo Mastroeni (Rafael Garcia 78), Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas (Michael Stephens 70) - Jose Villarreal (Laurent Courtois 86), Gyasi Zardes.
  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-1-2-3): Brad Knighton - Lee Young-Pyo (Tommy Heinemann 90), Johnny Leveron, Brad Rusin, Jordan Harvey - Jun Marques Davidson (Kekuta Manneh 62) - Nigel Reo-Coker, Gershon Koffie - Russell Teibert (Daigo Kobayashi 76), Kenny Miller, Camilo Sanvezzo.

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC weren’t able to build on a home win, falling 2-0 to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Whitecaps FC are tied for fifth place in the Western Conference with 36 points from 24 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Rapids took the lead in the 36th minute. On his MLS debut, Vicente Sanchez delivered a perfect cross from the right wing Deshorn Brown powered in to finish with a thundering header just in front of goal at the far left post.
  • The Rapids put the game away in the 80th minute when substitute Nick LaBrocca’s through ball found Edson Buddle open on the right side of the box, and his ensuing shot deflected off 'Caps defender Johnny Leveron and past goalkeeper David Ousted to ensure the three points.
  • Colorado goalkeeper Clint Irwin collected three highlight-reel saves to preserve the clean sheet.
  • Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie made no changes to the team that defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 on Saturday afternoon at BC Place.
  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-1-2-3): David Ousted - Lee Young-Pyo (Tommy Heinemann 83), Johnny Leveron, Carlyle Mitchell, Jordan Harvey - Gershon Koffie - Nigel Reo-Coker, Daigo Kobayashi (Matt Watson 61) - Russell Teibert, Kenny Miller (Darren Mattocks 62), Camilo Sanvezzo.

TEAM NEWS

  • Whitecaps FC were blanked at the attacking end for the second time in the last four matches, after going more than two months (May 4-July 27) without being shut out.
  • "We had a chance to build out of the back, and when we were doing that, we were actually creating some good chances behind their midfield, and we looked dangerous," head coach Martin Rennie said. "So, first thing is I would like to have seen us do that but we decided to play long. When we did that, we didn't win the second ball – which is obviously a major part of it – any time you play long you have to win the second ball."
  • David Ousted continued to hold onto the first-choice goalkeeper position, making his third consecutive start between the posts.
  • “[The second goal was] just one of those goals you have to shake your head at and say 'that's unlucky,'” Ousted said. "But sometimes that's what happens in soccer. We need to defend as well as possible. Johnny did well get to get there and we were unlucky on that one and we'll keep working hard on it.”
  • Darren Mattocks made his first appearance since July 14, coming off the substitutes’ bench for the final half hour.
  • “I think he looked sharp when he came into the game,” Rennie said. “We know he's a good player, we know he's got a lot of ability and he's got great pace. It was one of those nights where their goalkeeper made some great saves. He was one-on-one maybe four times I think, and [Colorado 'keeper Clint Irwin] came out on top. That doesn't always happen, but that's what happened to us on Saturday – but I thought Darren did well when he was on.”

 

LA GALAXY
The LA Galaxy rolled to a fourth consecutive home win, defeating Real Salt Lake 4-2 on Saturday evening at StubHub Center. The Galaxy are in fourth place in the Western Conference with 37 points from 24 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Real opened the scoring in the 53rd minute. Nat Borchers collected an LA clearance near midfield and quickly played it forward to Ned Grabavoy just above the Galaxy box. Grabavoy sliced it to the streaking Joao Plata, who slotted past LA goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.
  • But the Galaxy claimed the lead with two goals from Robbie Keane. In the 56th minute, Keane took a long ball from Juninho at the top of the box, cut back to his right and fired inside the right post from the edge of the box. His second came 11 minutes later when Sean Franklin ran onto a ball and crossed from the right flank, where Keane volleyed home at the near post.
  • The Galaxy made it 3-1 with a quarter-hour to play, when newly minted Designated Player Omar Gonzalez nodded in Landon Donovan's corner kick from the left. Keane finished off his hat trick in the 86th minute, racing onto a Franklin ball played over the RSL backline and lifting it over an onrushing Nick Rimando into the net.
  • Robbie Findley netted a second goal for RSL with the game's final touch, tapping home from close range after Borchers dropped a free kick into the mixer.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made two changes to the team that gained a 3-3 draw with FC Dallas in Frisco. Jaime Penedo came in between the posts in place of Carlo Cudicini, and Hector Jimenez started in midfield in place of Sean Franklin.
  • LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Jaime Penedo - A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo, Todd Dunivant - Hector Jimenez (Sean Franklin 65), Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho, Gyasi Zardes (Michael Stephens 90) - Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane (Jose Villarreal 90)

 

TEAM NEWS

  • Robbie Keane recorded his second MLS hat trick – both coming this season –against Real Salt Lake. Keane also hit for a triple May 26 vs. Seattle; he has 10 goals and nine assists in 14 league appearances this year, and is tied for fourth in the MLS Golden Boot standings.
  • “Robbie was Robbie. He can do that on any given night, which is crazy to say but if we give him the ball in the right spots he’s going to make those plays,” said Landon Donovan. “He was terrific. His first goal really put us back in and that was all on him— he did a great job of shielding the guy and then cutting and the finish was fantastic. That’s absolutely world class and there are not many players in the world that would have pulled off a play like that.”
  • It was the second consecutive match where a Galaxy striker hit for a hat trick, after Donovan’s triple vs. FC Dallas. Donovan recorded an assist vs. RSL.
  • “I think it's going to be difficult going forward for teams to play against us,” said Donovan. “They clearly put some emphasis on trying to shut me down tonight, and if you do that, you're going to get punished by Robbie. If you try to put emphasis on both of us, then we get Gyasi [Zardes] back going again, Hector [Jimenez] played well, Juninho and Marcelo [Sarvas] were dangerous going forward. I would certainly not want to be a defensive back four or five playing against our team right now.”
  • Just days after signing a contract as the club’s newest Designated Player, Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez scored his first goal of the season, his first against an MLS opponent since netting in MLS Cup 2012 vs. Houston.
  • “I've been waiting for a set piece, and I think maybe a week ago I said hopefully more would be coming, and tonight I got one, which I'm really happy about,” said Gonzalez. “And I think I could have got two more. I'm happy with the one, and, hopefully, I can just built off that.”
  • Newly signed goalkeeper Jaime Penedo made his Galaxy and MLS debut, coming in between the posts. He conceded two goals, the second on a free kick – the 10th goal the Galaxy have allowed from a free kick this season, most in MLS.
  • “My reason for starting Jaime was that I thought it was the best decision to make today, and we wanted to see him with our team ...,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “He put in a good game. Wasn't tested a whole lot but was solid.”
  • Said Penedo: “There were nerves, but everything else was normal. I just prepared a lot mentally because this is a big challenge for me, it’s a new league and even more than being physically prepared I wanted to be mentally prepared to do good.”
  • On Tuesday, the Galaxy kicked off their 2013/14 CONCACAF Champions League campaign with a 2-0 win against Costa Rica’s CS Cartagines at StubHub Center. Robbie Keane netted both goals in the second half, both set up by Landon Donovan.
  • Here’s the Galaxy team: Jaime Penedo; Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, Kofi Opare, Todd Dunivant; Michael Stephens (Hector Jimenez 83’), Pablo Mastroeni, Marcelo Sarvas, Robbie Rogers (Gyasi Zardes 44’); Jose Villarreal (Landon Donovan 61’), Robbie Keane