Vancouver Whitecaps have never earned a road point vs. LA Galaxy, but this time they feel different
VANCOUVER,B.C. - The StubHub Center has never proved to be a happy hunting ground for the Vancouver Whitecaps. The 'Caps have never beaten the LA Galaxy in their own backyard, but they head into Saturday's game (10.30pm ET; TSN2 in Canada, MLS Live) with a belief that will soon change.
It's a record that Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson needs no reminding of and one that he has been using as a motivational tool for his players in the build-up to the match.
"It's the first thing I said on Tuesday morning," Robinson revealed to reporters. "Six games we've played there, six defeats. No draws, no wins.
"It's a game that we've got to go into with no fear and go and enjoy ourselves because I'm sure no-one will expect us to do anything. I do. I expect us to go there and put on a positive performance, do the ugly jobs very well and then try to put our own stamp on the game so that's what we've been working on all week."
There seems to be something in the air in Carson that the Whitecaps find unsettling because their record away to Chivas USA, which shares StubHub Center with the Galaxy, is not all that much better. The Chivas road fixture at least produced one victory for Vancouver, their first-ever MLS road win in 2012, but not much else.
"Five points out of 33 someone told me," Robinson said of Vancouver's overall record at StubHub Center. "I'm not a big statistician, but that's not good enough. We know that. We've got to address that, so we get a chance on Saturday.
"We've been there four times this year. Haven't won there. I'm going to make the players aware of it. I'm going to say to them we haven't won there [against LA], ever, we haven't beaten them, ever, but it's going to be a season of firsts. We went to Portland, and won. We beat Kansas City. So let's go and beat LA, away."
Despite all the stats, the Whitecaps are heading in to face the Galaxy full of confidence, buoyed in part by LA's recent defensive record that has seen them concede seven goals in their past two games. It's a fact that Robinson feels makes them ripe for the picking by his exciting attacking talent.
"It does give us hope, because they are human and they have conceded a lot of goals," Robinson admitted. "They did play on Wednesday night, so they shouldn't be fresher than us. We'll make sure that we're full of energy and full of freshness and we'll have a go a them because I watched San Jose play them two weeks ago and they parked the bus a little bit and they got a great result.
"I don't think we can do that. I don't want to be a coach that does that. I've got attacking players in the team. There's no point in playing attacking players in a defensive system, so I won't do that."
Michael McColl covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.