VANCOUVER, B.C. – LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano offers his Three Points from the LA Galaxy’s 2-2 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
SUBSTITUTES PLAY THE DIFFERENCE IN DRAW
In a high octane second half, it was the substitutions made by head coaches Bruce Arena and Carl Robinson that proved decisive in the draw.
At the outset of the second half, LA seemed content to spray the ball around the field, but once Darren Mattocks leveled the score in the 67th minute after a defensive error by Leonardo and Jaime Penedo, a change was needed. Just six minutes later, Arena opted to bring in Rob Friend and Gyasi Zardes and the move paid immediate dividends. In the 77th minute, Omar Gonzalez launched a cross to Friend that he aptly knocked down in the path of Robbie Keane who scored LA’s second.
However, Robinson’s own substitutions paid off late as in the 86th minute, Kekuta Manneh beat Jaime Penedo with a beautiful curling shot that helped seal a point for the home side. Friend nearly had the last laugh however as his diving header was stopped by Vancouver’s David Ousted in the waning moments of the game.
MIXED BAG DEFENSIVELY FROM THE LA GALAXY
The LA Galaxy’s draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC may have been an exciting one, but Bruce Arena is unlikely to be pleased by the team’s up and down defending in the draw.
The decisive moment came in the 67th minute when both Leonardo and Jaime Penedo collided during an attack by speedy Vancouver forward Darren Mattocks. With both players out of commission, Mattocks was able to slot home a goal that gave Vancouver the momentum for a second half push.
Although LA battled back, the team surrendered a lead yet again in the closing moments as Vancouver enjoyed a spell of dangerous possession, which allowed Kekuta Manneh to find the ball relatively uncontested at the top of the box before curling in the equalizing goal.
THE RISE OF THE GARGAN
Dan Gargan was the last player added to the LA Galaxy roster this offseason and he’s quickly shown that he deserves a regular inclusion in Bruce Arena’s starting XI.
Gargan was particularly dangerous on the offensive of the ball for the Galaxy in the first half. With Marcelo Sarvas tucking way in, Gargan was forced to press forward in the attack to cover ground, which paid off in the 38th minute of play when the right back played a dangerous cross into Baggio Husidic, who knocked the ball toward Stefan Ishizaki who headed in the opening goal.
After yet another strong showing and a defensive miscue that led to the Vancouver goal, expect Gargan to continue to hold the right back position once left back Todd Dunivant returns from injury.