Arena critical of LA Galaxy's inability to grab win despite man advantage

VANCOUVER, B.C.—Despite being up a man for more than an hour following Matias Laba's 28th-minute red card, the LA Galaxy found it tough going against the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place on Saturday night, before being forced to settle for a point in a scoreless draw.

The Galaxy had 61.5 percent possession and outshot their host 15 to 5, but struggled to break down a packed Whitecaps defense.

Head coach Bruce Arena was left frustrated after the game, allowing that his side got what they deserved out of the match. He was critical of his team's performance in front of goal, praising Vancouver's defensive resoluteness.

"I think the draw's fair," Arena said. "We could have been a little bit better. We have to play a little bit quicker. We were very poor on our crossing. We've got to do a better job getting players in front of the goal in better positions.

"Games like tonight, where teams are dropped back and playing with numbers, it's not going to be perfect play. We're looking for the last pass, walk the ball in the goal. We need to shoot more from distance. We've got to deliver balls in front of the goal a lot earlier. Just be better."

With Robbie Keane out recovering from knee surgery, Arena chose to give Ariel Lassiter his first MLS start up front alongside Sebastian Lletget, keeping Gyasi Zardes on the bench. Both had their chances in the first half, but the Galaxy looked to have an added spark when Zardes came on as a 61st-minute substitute.

Whether having Zardes on from the start would have made a difference to LA is open to debate, but Arena felt he was left with no option but to start him on the bench.

"Zardes played two international matches this last week," Arena said. "The players are being run into the ground. Generally what happens with these players is that if you start them, they're dead in the second half.

"The travel for the players internationally is way too much. Even though most of the league respects the international fixtures and the window, it's still very demanding on players to come back to their team and play a club game a couple of days later. It's very difficult."

And that wasn't the only thing Arena was unhappy about in his post-match comments.

Despite his side gaining a man's advantage after Laba's first-half challenge on Mike Magee, Arena expressed concern around the number of red cards in MLS matches this season.

"There's just been too many red cards in this league," Arena said. "It doesn't make the game entertaining. I don't think the fans like it. I don't know about the players. It seems like every game in this league there's a red card in it. It's been tough."