Whitecaps walk over poor LA Galaxy

April 6, 2015 at 10:25 pm | Posted in Whitecaps season 2015 | 2 Comments
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What a difference one year makes. What a difference one player makes.

Landon Donovan retired last year after leading the Los Angeles Galaxy to the MLS Championship. This year, in Donovan’s absence, the Galaxy are a shadow of their former selves. Donovan and the Galaxy used to come up North and make the Whitecaps struggle and mostly lose, but last night’s match was a walk in the park for the home side.

Manneh's goal celebration

Manneh’s goal celebration

Robbie Keane looked like an orphan out there without Donovan.

Coach Carl Robinson clearly told his team to try to love the ball more after last week’s match against Portland, when the Whitecaps only had just over one-third of possession. While the statistics showed the Galaxy had almost as much of the ball as the Whitecaps, in reality the Galaxy were rarely in this match.

The Galaxy’s star now is Robbie Keane, but Keane had very little to do with this match, with no service from his midfield and with Russell Teibert harassing him like a tiger all night.

Robbo started Ousted in goal, Adekugbe, Waston, Kah and Beitashour on the back line. Robinson preferred Teibert to play alongside Laba in defensive midfield on this night instead of Gershon Koffie, who has a bad knee. Mesquida, Morales and Manneh played in attacking midfield, supporting lone striker Rivero up front.

Kekuta Manneh’s return from a one match ban lifted the team, and his running and dribbling on the left flank gave LA trouble right from the start.

A poacher's goal and its 2-0

A poacher’s goal and its 2-0

The good news on this night was that Pedro Morales is starting to get into the groove and be more like his old self. Morales appeared more fit and lively than he has been in other matches this season and performed some stunning trickery, putting the ball through the legs of his opponents at least three times. In one sequence he juggled the ball on his foot while three Galaxy players tried to get the ball off him in vain. It looks like our Captain is starting to enjoy himself again, which is great news.

In a scoreless first half the Whitecaps created plenty of chances but few actually troubled Penedo in LA’s goal. Manneh had several chances but kept shooting the ball high over the goal.

Just past ten minutes into the second half it was Morales who took the ball on the left flank and put a perfect ball through to a surging Kekuta Manneh. The ball had glorious back-spin on it which allowed Manneh to get on the end of it with ease. Manneh went one on one with a rather slow and listless LA defender, easily getting past him to strike the ball low to LA Keeper Penedo’s right. It was 1-0 and it looked as though it was easily going to be Vancouver’s night.

Maestro Morales is back

Maestro Morales is back

Rivero made it 2-0 ten minutes later after a darting Mezquida took the ball from him to the left of Penedo’s gaol. Mezquida’s run caught LA defenders napping and his low cross was only knocked out in front of goal by a diving Penedo to the alert Rivero who had an easy shot into the back of the net.

Looking back on the match I questioned whether the Whitecaps were so good or were the Galaxy just so awful? I give credit to the Whitecaps, there is no doubt they put in a first class effort to a man. But I still wonder if Robbie Keane would have been so easily shut down if he had Donovan to play with.

LA put nowhere near the effort Portland did in last weeks Cascadia clash in BC Place. Bruce Arena later accused his team of not competing enough but the Galaxy lack identity. It looks like they are just waiting for their big designated player Steven Gerrard to show up and save their season.

How the mighty have fallen!



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  1. “I still wonder if Robbie Keane would have been so easily shut down if he had Donovan to play with.”

    Wonder as much as you like but the only Galaxy eleven the Whitecaps’ eleven on the pitch could possibly play are the eleven that Bruce Arena puts on the pitch on the day. They did the business and they did it well.

    Now they have to do it again another twenty-seven times plus Voyageur’s Cup and CONCACAF.

  2. Steven Gerrard is going to be Flop….

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