Whitecaps FC-Galaxy Preview
After a disastrous seven-game stretch, the Los Angeles Galaxy
find themselves with a little momentum.
They hope it leads to their first three-game winning streak of
the season Saturday night when they host the Vancouver Whitecaps,
who are riding a five-game unbeaten run.
While Los Angeles has won its last two, it still finds itself in
seventh place in the Western Conference. The Galaxy (5-8-2)
suffered through an 0-5-2 slide from April 28-May 26.
Los Angeles snapped that skid with a 1-0 win over Portland on
Sunday, then rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat
conference-leading Real Salt Lake 3-2 on Wednesday behind two goals
from Landon Donovan.
“We’re not going to get carried away over two wins now,” said
Donovan, the team leader with four goals. “We’ve had a really poor
start to the season so we’ve got a lot of ground to make up. … We
need to do our part to keep winning games and worry about
everything else later.”
Los Angeles could also get a boost from Robbie Keane, who may be
back in the lineup after playing for Ireland in the Euro 2012.
Keane, who missed the Galaxy’s last seven games, is second on the
team with three goals.
While defending Los Angeles’ star-heavy lineup will be a
challenge, the Whitecaps look forward to facing a Galaxy team that
could be at full strength.
“We’re playing against world-class players,” midfielder John
Thorrington said. “That’s a good test for us.”
The Whitecaps will open a five-game stretch of road games
looking to extend a 2-0-3 streak. Vancouver (7-3-5) has been
sparked in that stretch by Joe Cannon, who has allowed five goals
in the five matches.
He faced six shots in a 1-all draw with New York on Wednesday,
though he allowed the tying score in the 86th minute.
“It was one of those games where when you lose a late goal it
feels like a defeat,” coach Martin Rennie said. “It’s something
that we have to learn from.”
Rennie’s squad doesn’t have much time to lament missed
opportunities because of the quick turnaround. Vancouver’s first
three games on this road stretch are against conference rivals.
The Whitecaps have managed five goals in going 2-2-2 away from
home this year. Cannon has three shutouts on the road, but has also
allowed three or more goals in two road games.
Vancouver could get an offensive boost from the return of Darren
Mattocks from a one-game suspension. Mattocks is tied for second on
the team with three goals – all in his last three games.
The Whitecaps will be looking for better results against the
Galaxy than they had last season, as they lost 4-0 on July 30 and
3-0 on Sept. 17.
Cannon was in goal for both games, while Joe Saunders started
each for Los Angeles.
Saunders has been in net the last two contests after missing the
previous seven while taking part in the league’s substance abuse
and behavior health program. The Galaxy are 5-3-0 when he