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Vancouver Whitecaps vs. LA Galaxy
2017 MLS Regular Season
BC Place – Vancouver, B.C.
Saturday, March 31 – 10 pm ET
WATCH: TSN1 in Canada, MLS LIVE in the US

While the Vancouver Whitecaps continue to shuffle the deck with yet another high-profile trade, the LA Galaxy prepare to welcome back a cadre of stars, including Giovani dos Santos, just days after losing Sebastian Lletget for months thanks to an injury suffered on international duty.


The Whitecaps are looking for their first league win of 2017 after trading Kekuta Manneh to Columbus Crew SC in exchange for Tony Tchani, $300,000 in General and Targeted Allocation Money and other considerations. With Manneh settling into a new conference half a continent to the west, Carl Robinson will lean on Designated Player Fredy Montero, who is still looking for his first league goal after arriving on loan from China.


Galaxy boss Curt Onalfo, meanwhile, is beginning to welcome back the wounded, even as Lletget begins a long recovery process following foot surgery. Dos Santos and Ashley Cole told reporters they were ready to return to the starting lineup this week, while Gyasi Zardes is training and available if called upon as well.


Vancouver Whitecaps vs. LA Galaxy | 2017 MLS Match Preview - https://league-mp7static.mlsdigital.net/images/Week5_VANvsLAG(FORMATTED).jpg

Vancouver Whitecaps


Tony Tchani, yet to play a single minute in 2017, arrives in Vancouver to find a team with one point from three league games in 2017 and just two wins since July 13 of last year. There's no doubt the Caps' are looking for traction, and a win at home, their third game in four at BC Place to start the year, would go a long way toward providing some much-needed momentum.


Manneh is gone -- like Giles Barnes before him, sent to Orlando City for the suspended Brek Shea -- but Robinson still has weapons to turn to in Alphonso Davies, Nicolas Mezquida, Cristian Techera and Christian Bolanos. Vancouver also know they might not be in this position if not for red cards to David Ousted and Shea in their past two matches.



Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): David Ousted (GK) – Sheanon Williams, Kendall Waston, Tim Parker, Jordan Harvey – Matias Laba, Russell Teibert – Alphonso Davies, Nicolas Mezquida, Cristian Techera – Fredy Montero


Notes: Vancouver has lost once in their last five games against Los Angeles (2W-2D). They had won just one of their first 11 games against the Galaxy (8L-2D).


LA Galaxy


Perhaps the cure to the Galaxy's early woes was a prolonged road trip (and a little time to heal). After breaking their duck in Utah thanks to a goal from -- who else? -- Emmanuel Boateng, LA head to Vancouver with close to a full compliment of players. Onalfo has some decisions to make, namely whether dos Santos and Zardes start and inject attacking pedigree into the side.


Captain Jelle Van Damme is back from suspension, Jermaine Jones is back from international duty and Ashley Cole is fully fit once again. That's all good news, but it remains to be seen how much Lletget's absence will affect the team. The 24-year-old was beginning to exert his influence on the side, and that won't easily be replaced.



Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Clement Diop (GK) – Raul Garcia, Daniel Steres, Jelle Van Damme, Ashley Cole – Jermaine Jones, Joao Pedro – Romain Alessandrini, Giovani dos Santos, Emmanuel Boateng – Gyasi Zardes


Notes: Galaxy midfielder Romain Alessandrini had two assists in the team’s 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake in their most recent fixture. He is one of seven players to record multiple assists in a MLS game this season.


All-Time Series


  • Overall: Vancouver 3 wins (11 goals) … LA Galaxy 9 wins (25 goals) … Ties 4
  • At Vancouver: Vancouver 2 wins (9 goals) … LA Galaxy 2 win (10 goals) … Ties 3


Referees


Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Peter Manikowski, Felisha Mariscal
Fourth Official: Drew Fischer