Galaxy aware of Whitecaps shape, speed heading into Knockout Round

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy are aware that they’ll need to bring an attacking impetus in Thursday’s Knockout round match against Vancouver Whitecaps.

In Vancouver’s scoreless draw against Real Salt Lake, the Whitecaps conceded the ball to Salt Lake, allowing RSL to control 69 percent of possession. But through an organized 4-2-3-1, Vancouver negated many RSL attacks, and in fact enjoyed the finest chance of the night as a Darren Mattocks header was called back for offside.  

As the Galaxy prepare for Thursday’s Knockout Round match against Vancouver, they know that they must find a way to break down the organized Whitecaps, but also be wary of their speed on the flanks.

“We have to assume that the way that they’ve spoken and the way that they played last week in Salt Lake is indicative of how they’re going to come here, and play,” said Galaxy captain Landon Donovan. “If that’s the case, then two things need to happen. We need to be patient and very alert when they counter. They have two very dynamic attacking players in Dane [Richards] and Darren [Mattocks] who can really make you pay if you’re not alert. We have to be on our toes in that way and if a goal doesn’t come early, and we’re putting pressure on then we just got to be patient and keep going.”

While breaking through a Whitecaps defense anchored by defender Jay DeMerit promises to be difficult, LA are confident that they will be able to unlock Vancouver.

“That’s why we have good players here. We have players that can see situations and make things happen," said Keane. "If you look at the players that we have in the squad, we have players that are quite capable of unlocking defenses so it’s up to us. Who knows how they’re going to play, they might come out, and go for it all or they might sit out and catch us on the counter attack. We won’t know until tomorrow."