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.