Whitecaps vs Galaxy Matchup Insight
The Vancouver Whitecaps got taken to the cleaners by the LA Galaxy in two regular season encounters last year, getting whitewashed by a combined seven goals to none. The newbie ‘Caps were simply lambs to the slaughter against the much more experienced LA team that went on to claim the MLS Cup.
However, this season has been an entirely different affair with the two teams trading places in the Western Conference.
Vancouver currently occupies 3rd place at 26 points, while LA lies in 7th, nine points back.
Vancouver travels to LA on Saturday looking to increase the distance between the conference rivals.
10:30 PM ET Record
VANWH 7-3-5 (2-2-2 V) Matchup
LA 5-8-2 (3-4-1 H)
Although the Galaxy has had a very poor and disappointing start to their year, on the heels of their championship campaign of 2011, two straight league wins has them at least knocking on the playoff door.
The return of Robbie Keane from a poor Euro 2012 tournament for Ireland also provides a boost for the LA forward ranks.
A frustrated Keane will certainly be eager to get back amongst the scorers to re-energize his year, and he links very well with Landon Donovan and David Beckham.
However, for LA to be successful in this contest they will need to focus first on the backline, as they have leaked an MLS 4th worst 23 goals in just 15 games to date in 2012.
Martin Rennie will have Darren Mattocks available for this game following his one game suspension against the New York Red Bulls, having accumulated two yellow cards previously in the Colorado Rapids match. His speed could be one of the keys to unsettling the suspect Galaxy defence.
Eric Hassli is also likely due to receive consideration for a start as he has been dropped to the bench for the last couple of fixtures.
Sebastien Le Toux might get a rest since he lost his check, leading to the Heath Pearce goal that tied the match for New York in the midweek draw.
Beyond the forwards, Vancouver has benefited this season from varied goal scoring, most pleasantly and surprising of all from their defence.
Martin Bonjour added his name to the list of back four strikers against the Red Bulls on Wednesday, joining YP Lee, Jay DeMerit and Jordan Harvey on the score sheet this season.
The Whitecaps were very disappointed with the letdown in their tie with New York, and will be determined to get back on track against their rival.
But a rejuvenated LA Galaxy will be equally eager to continue their improved form.
Look for Vancouver to escape from LA with another 1-1 draw.
Wrapping up a busy week of Major League Soccer action, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (7W-3L-5D) return to Southern California for the first of three regular season meetings versus defending MLS Cup champions LA Galaxy (5W-8L-2D) on Saturday evening.