Whitecaps look to keep Galaxy down in West (Jul 19, 2017)

BY AP • July 18, 2017

The LA Galaxy return to MLS regular-season play for the first time since July 4 by hosting the Vancouver Whitecaps in a pivotal Western Conference match Wednesday night.

The Galaxy are coming off a 5-2 loss in a friendly against Manchester United on Saturday, a match in which LA's Giovani dos Santos scored two goals. He is with the Galaxy after his omission from Mexico's 40-man roster in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Vancouver, which has not played since July 5 when it beat New York City FC 3-2, is in the sixth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 24 points and a 7-7-3 record. The Galaxy (6-8-4) are eighth with 22 points.

"It's still the LA Galaxy. They still have quality players," Vancouver defender Jordan Harvey said in a press conference in reference to the Galaxy's losing record. "There's no taking the foot off the gas pedal. We're going to have to play our best."

LA will be looking to avenge a 4-2 loss suffered to the Whitecaps earlier this season at BC Place.

The Galaxy are 9-4-4 against Vancouver, including a dominant 7-1-1 record at StubHub Center.

In their meeting on April 7, Romain Alessandrini scored his first goals -- two of them -- for Los Angeles before halftime but they would not hold up.

"We've been in each and every game," Harvey said. "Whether it's against the top team or some of the others. But overall, we've played really well. We're just looking for the consistency we need down the stretch."

The Galaxy will benefit from a more healthy defensive midfielder Jermaine Jones, who said he is 90 percent fit after playing 30 minutes against Manchester United.

Jones, 35, made his first appearance Saturday since May 6 when he suffered an MCL sprain in the Galaxy's match with the Chicago Fire.

"It's good to be back after 10 weeks, but it's still not 100 percent. Sometimes I still feel it. The doctors and everyone say that the time is now to go and get over that pain," Jones told reporters. "The ligaments have to get used to kicking balls and that kind of stuff. It was a good training game for the players that were injured."

The Galaxy went 1-0-1 against the Whitecaps at StubHub Center in 2016, earning a 2-0 victory July 4 and playing to a 0-0 draw Aug. 27.

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