Galaxy-Whitecaps FC Preview
Coming off their first home defeat, the Los Angeles Galaxy won't get a chance to bounce back in the confines of their own stadium. They instead begin a three-game trip Saturday night against the Vancouver Whitecaps, who are desperate to snap a seven-match winless streak.
The Galaxy (4-2-2) had been 3-0-1 at home prior to a 1-0 loss to Houston on Sunday. They're 1-1-1 and own a 4-3 goal edge on the road as they prepare to play seven of nine away from home through the end of June.
"We actually enjoy going on the road especially for a week like this. It will be nice team bonding and we play well on the road," Landon Donovan told the team's official website. "We would have liked to have won (on Sunday), there's no question, but the reality is that it's over and we have a big game against Vancouver now."
Los Angeles may make a personnel change on spot kicks after Donovan failed to convert a penalty in the 25th minute against the Dynamo. He's failed to find the back of the net on both tries this year after only failing twice on his previous 28 penalties in MLS play.
Coach Bruce Arena suggested that he may be out as the team's penalty-taker, something Donovan couldn't argue with.
Mike Magee, whose six goals tie him for the league lead, took the Galaxy's only other penalty this season, scoring in a 1-0 win over Colorado on March 23.
"I'm not doing the job, so someone else is going to have to do it," Donovan said.
Donovan had the go-ahead goal on a penalty shot in the 73rd minute in a 2-1 win over the Whitecaps in a Western Conference knockout game last season, and has four goals and three assists in five career games against them.
Magee also has four goals in five matchups, and Los Angeles owns a 16-3 goal-differential edge in going 5-0-1 all-time against Vancouver.
The Whitecaps (2-4-3) won consecutive home matches to open the season but have been outscored 12-6 since without a victory. They've also been shut out in two of their last three, including a 2-0 defeat at Real Salt Lake last Saturday.
The loss had coach Martin Rennie calling for players to "look at themselves and ask if they are giving enough to the club."
"I think we've just got to start fresh again," midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker said. "We've got to really compete. We've got to look at ourselves and start making it difficult for teams. Motivating each other in a positive way but at the same time it has to come from us as individuals."