The Galaxy are looking at a home-and-home series with the Vancouver Whitecaps. Back-to-back games this weekend and next. The Galaxy have just come off their most impressive game of the season against Chivas USA, riding that 3-0 victory. Meanwhile the ‘Caps follow-up their defeat to the Colorado Rapids this Saturday on Galaxy turf. Vancouver is third place in the Western Conference and this rivalry has always been a bit intense. While Vancouver has some solid players, they will also be short some players vital to their victory. Vancouver is a solid team and while the Galaxy defense has been unpredictable, this game seems to be leaning toward a loss for the ‘Caps. Coming off a loss and missing one of their players to suspension will slow them down and leave them vulnerable.
While the Galaxy will be missing Todd Dunivant, the Whitecaps will be welcoming back Nigel Reo-Coker. The Englishman was out due to a concussion which he sustained when he tripped over a bike rack and hit his head two weeks ago. The fall is noticeable by the scar on his head but will it show during the game? After a two week absence and a head wound there’s a chance the midfielder will be rusty. Coker is expected to start. The Whitecaps will, however, be missing one of their designated players. The Argentinian midfielder, Matias Laba, is suspended after a weekend of collecting yellow cards. Laba is one of the strongest players and since he will not be in the line-up, the Galaxy should seek to take advantage of this vulnerability.
WHICH PAIR CAN DO MORE DAMAGE?
Galaxy defense will have to keep an eye out for the explosive players Darren Mattocks and Kenny Miller in much the same way Whitecaps defense will have to be on the look out for Donovan and Keane. Landon Donovan is still looking for his first goal of the season and he is so close to that record. The All Time Regular Season Goal Scoring Champion. He is currently tied with Jeff Cunningham but he will break the record when he scores again. With the Galaxy at a 1-1-1 (W-L-T) standing after three games and Vancouver at a 2-1-2 after five games, we can expect to see the Galaxy really warming up for the season. Kenny Miller leads the Whitecaps with three goals. Both teams have some explosive players, however when we look at the Galaxy, it’s not just Keane and Donovan, though they both play a major threat. Stefan Ishizaki could goal and assist and I wouldn’t put it past Baggio Husidic to want a repeat of his breakthrough goal.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kenny Miller – Leading scorer for the Whitecaps with the 3 goals and 1 assist
Darren Mattocks – Vancouver’s Central Forward with strong assist
David Ousted – Goalkeeper for the Whitecaps with 14 saves
If the Galaxy finds the consistency they have been lacking then we could be celebrating a victory against the Whitecaps. This game should indicate the dynamic between the two teams and we could get a feeling for what the following week will bring. One thing is for sure, these back-to-back games will show which direction the rest of the season will head. My prediction is that without Matias Laba, the Galaxy should benefit and win. Let’s hope that the Galaxy shows who rules the Western Conference.