LA “Outplayed, Outworked” in Humbling Defeat

Those hoping for a 180 after the loss to DC were left wanting Saturday, as the Vancouver Whitecaps trounced LA in a resounding 2–0 defeat. Despite the return of both Gyasi Zardes and Robbie Keane to the starting eleven, Vancouver held the Galaxy to just one shot on goal on a night without any upside to speak of.

“There’s not much you can take from this game,” said defender AJ DeLaGarza afterward. “We just got outplayed, outworked, and I think all the way around [they] won their battle tonight.”

“There’s not much you can take from this game. We just got outplayed, outworked.”
—AJ DeLaGarza

In the first half the Galaxy’s defensive line weathered 45 minutes of relentless Vancouver attack. But despite a strong showing in back, LA’s midfield was utterly hobbled by the Whitecaps. Vancouver was quicker to step to the ball and airtight when it came to closing down passing lanes. Going into the half, the best Galaxy fans could hope was for their team to emerge from the locker room with a new plan of attack. They didn’t.

LA’s defense was bound to break eventually, and ten minutes into the second it was Kekutah Manneh who broke them. Manneh caught Tommy Meyer running backwards to keep up with the Gambian striker, and when Meyer attempted to turn Manneh seized the opportunity. He sent a quick grounder that keeper Jaime Penedo probably should’ve stopped, but Manneh found the back of the net.

Ten minutes later Octavio Rivero put the home side up 2-nil, but truthfully the Galaxy were never getting back into this one. The most positive spin you could put on LA’s showing came not from any Galaxy player but rather from Carl Robinson, Vancouver’s head coach:

“We managed to get two goals against the best team,” said Robinson after the game. “Say what you want, they are the best team. They prove it year in and year out.”

The Galaxy have a week of soul-searching before they return home to a tough game against the Seattle Sounders. It’s worth pointing out that something as small as a home win against the Sounders would change the tune of every fan and journalist. The season is just beginning, and head coach Bruce Arena knows it:

“We have what, 30 more games, 29 more games? There’s a chance to bounce back.”