Vancouver Whitecaps FC
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy were pressed from the get-go by Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the club’s meeting last Saturday and when the club’s renew hostilities this Saturday in Vancouver, LA expect much of the same.
In fact, such similarities are nothing new for LA who have played just three teams so in league play despite having played four matches. Add in the CONCACAF Champions League and the Galaxy’s first seven games will have been against just four different opponents.
“I’m wondering what the rest of this league is like. This is like the old days of the league ,” LA head coach Bruce Arena joked after training on Thursday. “We’re looking forward to the game. They have a good team, but I feel comfortable about our team. We’re looking better each week.”
The ‘Caps team that will take on the Galaxy will be slightly different than the one that LA earned a 1-0 victory over a week earlier, however, as Vancouver head coach will be able to call upon defensive midfielder Matias Laba. The Argentine was suspended for the StubHub Center leg of the home-at-home “series” but will be expected to return to the fold on Saturday providing the defensive cover in the center while also playing quick passes forward to kick start the Whitecaps attack.
The task of pressuring Laba is expected to fall to Galaxy midfielder Stefan Ishizaki, who often mans the attacking point of Arena’s diamond midfield.
“We have to be close and close them down quickly in midfield. We can’t be giving them time on the ball and it’s easy to say that, but it’ll take a lot of hard work,” said Ishizaki.
In the latest edition of "By the Numbers," LAGalaxy.com takes a look at the Galaxy's upcoming match with Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy won't simply taking on Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, but they'll also be battling the unforgiving turf surface at BC Place.
The turf surface which was much maligned by Galaxy captain Robbie Keane a year ago was the reason that LA held training on the StubHub Center's turf field on Tuesday. But even though the bounces and grooves of the artificial pitch will cause issues, one member of the Galaxy is unfazed by playing on turf.
Galaxy midfielder Stefan Ishizaki played on turf for seven years while with Swedish first division club IF Elfsborg and believes that experience will help him as he looks to help lead LA to their third straight win.
"It'll be a difference, but I played for eight years on turf when I was in Sweden I'm used to it and I hope that I can take my experience into the game and help us," said Ishizaki.
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena provided his thoughts following LA’s 1-0 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Check it out below.
(On Stefan Ishizaki’s performance…)
A great play by Stefan on the goal. Taking the ball down and getting by [Jay] DeMerit, whipping in a great cross to Robbie Keane. It was a great play. Stefan performed the best of the year. We got close to 80 minutes out of him. He looked a lot better. We think he can certainly continue to get better.”
(On Jaime Penedo’s performance…)
ARENA: “Good solid performance. I think in the first half he made a terrific save on [Kekuta] Manneh. A play where [Dan] Gargan misjudged the ball, and that was a big save. He wasn’t tested a whole lot tonight, but that save in the first half was key.”
(On the team’s performance…)
ARENA: “We got a goal. That helped. I think going into half time they were going to hit a wall in the second half. They worked really hard the first 45 minutes. They had to chase the ball a lot. They were going to lose some of that energy in the second half. Certainly, getting that goal early change the game. They can’t sit back and be content. And, the game opened up a little more. We created more chances. Unfortunately, we didn’t get another goal or two.”
(On Vancouver’s speed…)
ARENA: “Their number 11 [Darren Mattocks] and 23 [Manneh] are certainly dangerous. We were well aware of their speed. They tried at times to get behind our backline, I think our backline played very well tonight, in particular Leonardo and [Omar] Gonzalez. They did a good job to neutralize those dangerous forwards.”
A.J. DeLaGarza "comfortable" at left back as he fills in for the injured Todd Dunivant in Vancouver win
CARSON, Calif. – There were no jitters from A.J. DeLaGarza starting along the left side of defense on Saturday.
DeLaGarza put forth a confident performance at left back as he filled in for the injured Todd Dunivant and James Riley in LA Galaxy’s 1-0 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Throughout the match, DeLaGarza provided his typically settled defending as he was able to track back frequently on plays eventually making a total of three clearances, three recoveries and three blocked crosses.
“I was comfortable,” said DeLaGarza of starting along the left. “My first priority was defending and for the most part, the whole backline defended pretty well tonight.”
In one of the newest LA Galaxy videos, Time Warner Cable Deportes analyst Elmur Souza breaks down the Galaxy's match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. – This is what we know: the LA Galaxy will be without left back Todd Dunivant for Saturday’s match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. But now that Dunivant is out, who slides in along the left side of defense for LA?
The host of candidates begins with A.J. DeLaGarza who has recovered from a left shin hemotoma injury that he suffered during LA’s March 22 match against Real Salt Lake. Throughout the week in training, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena mentioned him as an option and defender Omar Gonzalez also gave him a ringing endorsement heading into Saturday’s match against Vancouver.
“I believe that we have the players to step in and not really skip a beat. Hopefully who ever plays in his position will step in and do a great job. Hopefully that guy is A.J. and we all know how reliable he is,” said Gonzalez. “No one is worrying about how he’ll do. We know that he’ll do well.”
DeLaGarza, who has little experience at the left back position, but plays left center back whenever partnered alongside Gonzalez, admits that he’s ready to go if called upon.
“I’m ready to go and fill in wherever I’m needed if I’m called upon. I simply want to do whatever I can do to contribute,” DeLaGarza told LA Galaxy Insider. “If I play there, I know that I need to be aware of their dangerous attacking core of guys. They’re fast and we have to cognizant of that.”
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan is chasing history, but you wouldn’t know it if you just asked him.
Donovan remains tied with MLS journeyman Jeff Cunningham for the league’s all-time regular season goal scoring record with 134, but has yet to find the back of the net in any of LA’s three league matches this season. A week ago, Donovan was active on the offensive end as he rattled off four shots –one of which forcing a save –while tallying two assists.
Although he’s yet to find the back of the net, Donovan knows that he’ll claim the record, but what is most important is that the Galaxy wins when he does.
“I know that it is going to come,” said Donovan. “I’ve never been the guy that is too worried about scoring. If I get in a good position then I want to score to help the team win, but if I score and we don’t win then it won’t feel the same. I want to make sure that we win.”