Pregame Notes: Vancouver end road swing, host red-hot Galaxy

LA looking to continue winning streak on the road against Whitecaps at BC Place

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC vs LA GALAXY
BC PLACE, Vancouver, B.C.
July 18, 2012 (WEEK 20, MLS Game #187)
7 p.m. PT (KDOC/KWHY)

Vancouver Whitecaps FC will be looking for a result of any kind against the LA Galaxy when the teams meet Wednesday evening at BC Place. Whitecaps FC return home after a five-game road swing, ended with back-to-back losses in Toronto and Chicago. The Galaxy started their road swing in impressive fashion, a 5-3 win at Portland. The Galaxy have won all three previous meetings, outscoring Vancouver 10-0, including a 3-0 win three weeks ago.

REFEREE: Silviu Petrescu. SAR (bench): Kevin Duliba; JAR (opposite): Marco Arruda; 4th: Paul Ward
MLS Career: 47 games; FC/gm: 27.4; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 8; pens: 7

DOWNLOAD FULL GAME GUIDE HERE (PDF)

INJURY REPORT:

  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC – OUT: FW Eric Hassli (R ankle strain); FW Omar Salgado (R foot fracture); DOUBTFUL: MF John Thorrington (R quad strain); QUESTIONABLE: FW Atiba Harris (R knee surgery recovery)
  • LA GALAXY – OUT: DF Andrew Boyens (L sports hernia surgery); FW Edson Buddle (R knee surgery); MF Dan Keat (R knee surgery); DF Leonardo (R knee inflammation); QUESTIONABLE: DF Omar Gonzalez (L knee surgery); MF Mike Magee (R shin hematoma); MF Kyle Nakazawa (back spasms); FW Pat Noonan (R quad strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: VAN: Alain Rochat (caution accumulation; through July 18)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: VAN: Martin Bonjour, Gershon Koffie, Dane Richards
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: VAN: Darren Mattocks … … LA: Landon Donovan, David Junior Lopes

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (3 meetings): Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 0 goals … Galaxy 3 wins, 10 goals … Ties 0
AT VANCOUVER (1 meeting): Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 0 goals …Galaxy 1 win, 4 goals … Ties 0
RETURN MATCH: 9/1: LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 7 p.m. PT (TSN2/RDS2)
• The teams are meeting for the second time this season, the Galaxy maintaining their perfect record vs. Vancouver with a 3-0 win on June 23 at The Home Depot Center behind two goals from Robbie Keane.
• The Galaxy won the first two meetings ever between the clubs in dominant fashion, a 4-0 in Vancouver on July 30 and a 3-0 win at The Home Depot Center on Sept. 17.
• Coaches record: Bruce Arena vs. VAN: P3 W3 L0 D0 … Martin Rennie vs. LA: P1 W0 L1 D0

LAST MEETING (MLS)
6/23: LA 3, VAN 0 (Magee 16; Keane 30; Donovan 41)
• It took just over a quarter-hour for LA to open the scoring. David Beckham sent a corner kick to the far side of the box where efforts from Juninho and David Júnior Lopes were blocked. The ball fell to Landon Donovan seven yards out, and his shot was parried by Whitecaps ‘keeper Joe Cannon, but the rebound fell to Mike Magee who tapped in the shot from close range.
• The Galaxy doubled their lead on the half-hour. Donovan found Robbie Keane inside the box and the Irish international knifed through the Whitecaps defense before slotting home from the left side of the area.
• It was 3-0 before halftime. In the 40th minute, Keane once again broke clear of the Whitecaps FC backline and fired a shot at goal that was handled by Jay DeMerit. Donovan stepped up and easily converted the penalty.
• LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Josh Saunders - Sean Franklin, David Junior Lopes, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Hector Jimenez (Michael Stephens 65), Juninho, David Beckham, Mike Magee (Bryan Jordan 75) - Landon Donovan (Chad Barrett 90), Robbie Keane.
• VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-3-3): Joe Cannon - Lee Young-Pyo, Jay DeMerit, Martin Bonjour, Alain Rochat - Gershon Koffie, Jun Marques Davidson (Eric Hassli 66), John Thorrington (Camilo 49) - Sebastien Le Toux (Michael Nanchoff 84), Darren Mattocks, Davide Chiumiento.

LA GALAXY
The LA Galaxy put on a performance by winning their second game in a row, rolling to a 5-3 win against the Portland Timbers on Saturday evening at Jeld-Wen Field. The Galaxy are in fifth place in the Western Conference with 26 points from 20 games.

LAST MATCH

HIGHLIGHTS: POR 3, LA 5

• The Timbers had the lead after just the third minute. Midfielder Kalif Alhassan found Kris Boyd cutting to the near post on a perfectly placed cross, and he cut in front of defender David Junior Lopes and finished over goalkeeper Josh Saunders.
• But David Beckham struck two vintage, curling strikes from distance to put LA ahead. In the 19th minute, Beckham found himself with the ball in space and, from 35 yards out, beat goalkeeper Troy Perkins with an arching wonder strike. Then five minutes later, on a free kick from 22 yards, he unleashed his patented bending shot that cleared the wall sailed inside the near post.
• VOTE: Beckham's goal nominated for Goal of the Week
• LA made it 3-1 in the 27th minute when Landon Donovan converted a penalty was awarded after right back Kosuke Kimura brought down midfielder Michael Stephens in the box. Then a minute later Robbie Keane tapped home a Donovan cross following a clean run down the right wing.
• Portland pulled a goal back in the 34th minute when Kimura He pounced after Saunders mishandled a Boyd free kick and deposited the ball in the back of the net. But the Galaxy made it 4-2 on Keane's second in the 64th minute off a cross from Sean Franklin.
• Boyd completed a two-goal night of his own with a bouncing free kick from 30 yards that beat a diving Saunders in the 70th minute.
• READ: Despite goal binge in Portland, LA still rue porous defense
• Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made two changes to the team that defeated the Chicago Fire 2-0 at Toyota Park. David Beckham came back from suspension in place of Juninho, and Landon Donovan came in up top for Chad Barrett.
• LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Josh Saunders - Sean Franklin, David Junior Lopes, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Hector Jimenez (Bryan Jordan 63), Marcelo Sarvas, David Beckham (Bryan Gaul 82), Michael Stephens - Robbie Keane (Jose Villarreal 90), Landon Donovan.

TEAM NEWS
• The Galaxy’s five goals were their most in a game since a 5-2 home win against D.C. United on Sept. 20, 2008.
• “Spectacular two goals [from David Beckham]," said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. "I thought Robbie [Keane] and Landon [Donovan] were dangerous. We gave up three goals on set pieces, nothing out of run of play, so that’s somewhat encouraging, yet discouraging, and we’ll get that corrected."
• Landon Donovan became the sixth player in MLS history to reach the 100-assist plateau in the win vs. Portland. Donovan has the most assists among active players.
• Donovan also became just the second MLS player to score 100 goals and record 100 assists for his league career, joining long-time D.C. United icon Jaime Moreno.
• READ: Landon Donovan adds another accolade to his career
• “It’s cool,” said Donovan. “When you’re playing with guys like Robbie and David that are playing well then it makes it a lot easier so I’m happy.”
• Donovan has five goals and four assists in the last six games, dating back to June 20, with a goal or an assist in five of those.

WATCH: Galaxy preview match vs Vancouver

• David Beckham scored two goals in a game for the second time in his MLS career, also netting twice in a 2-2 tie with Real Salt Lake on May 3, 2008. He has five goals this season, tying his MLS career-high, also set in 2008.
• “The last time I scored a goal like [the first] was for Manchester United against Deportivo [La Coruña], it was very similar to that,” said Beckham. “I was happy with it, but I’m more happy with the team’s performance tonight because I think we showed our character. I think we showed that when we pass the ball around we can go through teams.”
• Beckham has scored three of his five goals directly from a free kick this season. Of the 15 league goals in his six MLS seasons, six have come directly from free kicks. Beckham also scored a goal directly from a corner last year.
• Robbie Keane has hit for a brace in back-to-back games and has and five goals and two assists in five games since returning from the European Championships.
• “Giving up an early goal isn’t easy, but I thought as we got into the game in the first 15 minutes we could sense that we could create chances. We were moving the ball well and obviously Beckham’s first goal was big and we did quite well after that,” said Arena. “Disappointed we gave up the second goal around the 35th minute or so. I was disappointed because that could have been a game where we easily could have had control not that we didn’t, but I think we can do better.”

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC concluded their long road swing with a second consecutive defeat, falling 1-0 to the Chicago Fire on Saturday evening at Toyota Park. Whitecaps FC are in fourth place in the Western Conference with 30 points from 20 games.

LAST MATCH

HIGHLIGHTS: CHI 1, VAN 0

• The Fire took the lead after 10 minutes when Pável Pardo connected on a curling free kick from just beyond the top of the area.
• Chicago played the final 21 minutes a man down after defender Arne Friedrich was sent off after seeing two yellow cards from referee Jose Carlos Rivero in the space of two minutes, but Vancouver were unable to were unable to find th equalizer and the home side held out for the win.
• Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie made two changes to the team that lost 3-2 to Toronto FC at BMO Field. Jun Marques Davidson and Michael Nanchoff came into the side, in place of Camilo and the traded Sebastien Le Toux.
• VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-3-1): Joe Cannon - Lee Young-Pyo, Jay DeMerit, Martin Bonjour (Eric Hassli 75), Jordan Harvey - Jun Marques Davidson, Alain Rochat (Dane Richards 46) - Barry Robson, Gershon Koffie, Michael Nanchoff (Camilo 59) - Darren Mattocks.

TEAM NEWS
• Whitecaps FC conclude their five-game road swing – which started with the first meeting with the LA Galaxy – with a 1-3-1 mark on the trip, losing back-to-back games. The Galaxy match is the first at BC Place since June 20.
• “It’s hard going on the road for that many games," said Rennie. "The league’s tough and to play so many games in quick succession, two Saturdays in a row we’ve played a team that didn’t play during the week. They have that advantage over you. But that’s a part of what happens in MLS. We really want to make sure that we were able to match their intensity and their energy and their drive. Really pleased we did that. I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t get something out of it in terms of the scoreline.
• Whitecaps FC were shut out three times on the five-game journey, after being blanked on the attacking end just twice in their opening 15 matches.

WATCH: Interview with Vancouver's new DP, Kenny Miller

• “We were pinning them back. We put the ball wide, which is what you want to do, and you want to get balls in the box, which is what we did,” said Rennie. “Obviously we want to see that more, but they defended well with 10 men. I think maybe with a little more energy we might have more chances but as I say, coming off the back of all the games we’ve had, we didn’t quite have the energy we would have liked to get that final pass or that final shot.”
• Dane Richards, acquired from the New York Red Bulls the day before the game, made his Whitecaps FC debut as a halftime substitute in place of Alain Rochat.
• “Dane [Richards] was fantastic and I thought Barry Robson drove the game on, always wanting the ball,” said Rennie. “His final pass and his shot will come but his overall play and determination and drive was fantastic for us tonight.”
• With the introduction of Richards, Barry Robson moved from the right flank to the central attacking midfield role, with Richards taking his place on the right.
• “Obviously those two players need to get to know the others and obviously being on the training ground always helps to establish that, but for Barry to have played 60 minutes, then 90 minutes three times in basically a preseason schedule for him is amazing,” said Rennie to TEAM 1040 Radio. “He’s always wanting the ball and is always getting on it. He’s going to add an awful lot to the team, as will Dane.”
• Michael Nanchoff, the eighth overall selection in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, made his first start of the season in the Chicago game, playing 59 minutes in a wide midfield role.
• “We definitely picked up the energy, that’s for sure.We kept pushing on, we kept getting wide, we kept getting crosses in and we had a couple of really good chances but their keeper made some really good saves,” Nanchoff said. “…It’s tough to have a first start on the year and come away with a loss, it’s never fun. There’s always next time, we have to push for the win.”