Battle of the league's best strike duos
When Vancouver Whitecaps FC and LA Galaxy step onto the field at BC Place on Saturday night (6 p.n. PT on TSN2, TEAM 1410, teamradio.ca, Bell mobile devices), it's hard to believe anyone will be looking at the defenders. With all apologies to newly DP'ed LA center back Omar Gonzalez and the back-from-injury Andy O'Brien, but this is a matchup of two of MLS's best attacking duos.
It starts, of course, with Vancouver's Camilo Sanvezzo and Kenny Miller. They are the highest-scoring duo in MLS, with 21 goals between them, two more than Philadelphia's Jack McInerney and Conor Casey.
Camilo is currently atop the Budweiser Golden Boot table with 14 goals. (He's tied on goals with Chicago's Mike Magee, but gets the nod because he has one more assist than Magee.) He has cooled off slightly in recent weeks, after scoring in seven of eight starts between June 8 and July 20, but he did score the winner against San Jose two weeks ago and he still leads the league in shots.
Arguably, Camilo's success is attributable to the improved play of his strike partner, Miller. The Scottish international struggled in his first season at BC Place, but he seems to have found his rhythm now, doing a lot of the dirty work up top that winds up freeing Camilo to create chances. Miller also has seven goals to his name, up from just two in 2012.
But on the other side is the third best attacking pair in MLS. LA's Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan have 16 goals between them. The two are coming off back-to-back hat-tricks in MLS, not to mention a brace for Keane in a midweek win in CONCACAF Champions League play.
Keane, with 10 goals now, has pushed his way into the Golden Boot conversation. He now sits in 4th place. But he has lacked consistency in his scoring. His 10 goals came in just five matches, and his hat-trick against Real Salt Lake last weekend was his second of the season.
The Irishman is making up for it in the set-up role, though. He's third in the league in assists with 9.
Donovan, meanwhile, has put away his lackluster early form and built on his performances for the US national team in this summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup. He now has six goals, including the hat-trick two weeks ago in a 3-3 draw at FC Dallas, and seven assists, good for 8th in the league.
So who will have the upperhand on Saturday night?