VANCOUVER—LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano offers his Three Points to the Galaxy’s Western Conference clash against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
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START THE ROAD TRIP OFF RIGHT
The LA Galaxy’s suitcases will get plenty of wear and tear over the next week plus as the team hits the road for a nine-day, three-city transcontinental road trip. As LA prepare to live the jet set life, starting that trip off the right way on Saturday against Vancouver Whitecaps FC will be vital.
On the surface, the Whitecaps are an appealing target as Martin Rennie’s squad is winless in their last seven league matches and have failed to earn a victory since March. However, Vancouver are chock full of talented players from speedster Darren Mattocks, English veteran Nigel Reo-Coker and Japanese playmaker Diago Kobayashi, each of whom are capable of creating havoc for LA. The Whitecaps will certainly be a hungry side on Saturday as they look to reassert themselves in the West.
On the other side, a Galaxy win on Saturday will be critically important as the team looks to build momentum and continue their pursuit of Western Conference leader FC Dallas.
WHERE WILL THE GOALS COME FROM?
Robbie Keane does not expect to participate in LA’s clash in Vancouver, leaving the question just who will start up top for the Galaxy on Saturday?
Jose Villarreal and Charlie Rugg earned the start in the Galaxy’s defeat to the Houston Dynamo with mixed results as Villarreal drew a penalty kick, but Rugg struggled to deal with Houston’s physicality. Villarreal is likely to earn the start as he looks to relieve his heroics of a year ago when he scored his first career goal in the Galaxy’s 2-2 draw with Vancouver.
Two options immediately jump out as Landon Donovan and Mike Magee are the most experienced choices that Arena has at his disposal. However, if the Galaxy boss decides to go a different route, he may choose to give Gyasi Zardes his first start of the year alongside fellow Homegrown Villarreal against Vancouver.
COCHRANE OR DUNIVANT AT LEFT BACK?
Bruce Arena will have plenty of lineup questions heading into Saturday’s clash against Vancouver Whitecaps FC, but none may be bigger than his choice at left back.
Starting XI regular Todd Dunivant has declared that he is optimistic that he’ll be available for selection on Saturday after missing two games due to a left leg strain. In Dunivant’s stead, Greg Cochrane shined as his energetic play on defense as well as his ever-improving crossing ability benefited the Galaxy. Whoever gets the start will have plenty of work as they match up against talented Brazilian midfielder Camilo.
Both Cochrane’s energy and Dunivant’s experience can be useful assets against a hungry Whitecaps FC side, but the deciding factor may end up being the turf at BC Place. Artificial surface is unforgiving when it comes to injuries and Arena may choose not to throw Dunivant in the mixer with matches against the Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls looming.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com