TEMPE, Ariz. – The LA Galaxy claimed their first win over a fellow MLS team so far this preseason with a convincing 2-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Arizona State University. Chris Birchall and Juan Pablo Angel each scored in the opening 45 minutes for LA who were able to keep a clean sheet over 90 minutes for the first time this season.
After not being able to train outdoors for the last two days because of inclement weather, the Galaxy started Monday’s game on the back foot. Just five minutes in, Vancouver’s Davide Chiumiento played his fellow forward Camilo Sanvezzo in behind the LA defense. However, Donovan Ricketts was quick off his line to make the save and keep the game scoreless.
The Whitecaps continued to have the better of the play for opening 20 minutes, but it was the Galaxy that got the game’s opening goal in the 26th minute. Landon Donovan, who started the game up front alongside Juan Pablo Angel, won the ball near midfield and quickly fed Paolo Cardozo. The Argentine SuperDraft selection then slid a pass through the right-center channel for Chris Birchall, who got behind the Whitecap defense and hit a shot low past Jay Nolly, giving LA a 1-0 lead.
Despite each team going close over the next 15-20 minutes, it appeared that the game would reach halftime with a 1-0 scoreline, only for Juan Pablo Angel to step up and double his team’s lead just before the break.
Cardozo was at the center of the goal once again, collecting the ball in the center of the field and picking out Juninho wide on the left. The young Brazilian hit a low and hard shot with his left foot that was parried by Nolly in the Vancouver goal, only for Angel to slide in and finish off the rebound, giving the Galaxy a 2-0 lead at the halftime break.
WATCH: Birchall, Angel score first half goals in victory
Bruce Arena sent an unchanged team back onto the field for the start of the second half and the Galaxy continued to control the run of play, with Donovan and Birchall each helping to create chances.
Just after the hour, the Whitecaps brought on a pair of new forwards in Atiba Harris and Long Tan and that pair nearly cut LA’s lead in half in the 65th minute. Harris got in behind the LA defense but was unable to get a shot off after Ricketts came off his line and closed down his angle. Harris was forced to lay the ball back to Tan, who missed high from 20 yards out.
Over the final 20 minutes, the Galaxy made a series of changes and nearly got rewarded with a pair of goals. In the 82nd minute, Donovan played Birchall through on the right and despite having Angel sneaking in at the back post, Birchall went for goal and blasted his right-footed shot off the near post. One minute later, Miguel Lopez, who came on for Cardozo in the 72nd minute, was fouled at the corner of the box out on the right wing. Donovan aimed his freekick for the penalty spot where Leonardo, who had come on for Gregg Berhalter just three minutes earlier, rose above the Vancouver defense, only to see his header clip the top of the bar and go out for a goal kick, with what would be the final chance of the game.
The same two teams are back in action on Tuesday when they face off at 10 a.m. (PT) back at ASU.
LA – Chris Birchall (Paolo Cardozo) 36’
LA – Juan Pablo Angel (Unassisted) 44’
VAN – Terry Dunfield (Yellow Card) 68’
LA Galaxy: Donovan Ricketts; A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Gregg Berhalter (Leonardo 80’), Frankie Hejduk (Todd Dunivant 78’); Chris Birchall, Jovan Kirovski, Juninho (Michael Stephens 72’), Paolo Cardozo (Miguel Lopez 72’); Landon Juan Pablo Angel (Bryan Jordan 84’).
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Day 5 Training Update
Day 4 Training Update
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Day 2 Training Update
Day 1 Training Update
Video: On the Road - Arizona
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