Three storylines for Saturday's Galaxy rematch

Will Laba's presence be the difference Saturday vs. LA?

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC are back at BC Place on Saturday for a much-anticipated rematch with Western Conference powerhouse LA Galaxy, who edged the ‘Caps 1-0 last weekend in Carson, California. Tickets: http://ow.ly/vX8P7

KICKOFF: 4 p.m. TV: TSN RADIO: TEAM 1410 MOBILEbell.ca/mobiletv ONLINE: TSN GO

Here are three storylines to get you set for the match.

TEIBERT TIME

They say that great players thrive on playing against the best competition and that certainly rings true for Whitecaps FC midfielder Russell Teibert.

In last weekend’s 1-0 loss to the Galaxy, Teibert was named the Budweiser Man of the Match (his third Bud MotM recognition against LA) for a standout performance in a defensive midfield position. The Canadian midfielder proved to be a constant thorn in the side of star striker Robbie Keane, and didn’t look out of place one bit despite playing out of his typical position.

And ‘Caps fans surely haven’t forgotten his two-goal performance in last season’s historic 3-1 win over the Galaxy at BC Place. Those two goals, the first of Teibert’s professional career, led Vancouver to their first-ever victory over the Galaxy.

With defensive midfielder Matias Laba returning to the lineup, it will be interesting to see where Teibert lines up this weekend. Will he play alongside Laba? Or will he move up into a more attacking position?

Either way, rest assured he’ll be up for the challenge.

MR. LABA LABA

As he demonstrated last weekend, keeping Keane off the scoresheet is never going to be an easy task. The Irish international has goals in his last three games. But the ‘Caps are hoping that the return of Laba will help them put an end to that streak.

The Argentine holding midfielder, who served his one-game suspension against the Galaxy last weekend, plays an important role in covering the space in front of the back line and disrupting the opposition’s attack. His five tackles per game are second best in the league.

Additionally, Laba is key to the possession game that Carl Robinson has been preaching – Pedro Morales is the only ‘Caps player who has made more successful passes in the opposition’s half this season.

Will Laba’s presence be the difference in Saturday’s rematch?

NOT IN OUR HOUSE

Four games into the 2014 MLS season, Landon Donovan has yet to find the back of the net. A player of his caliber won’t be silenced for long, however, and the next goal he scores is going to be a historic one.

The U.S. national team star is one goal away from becoming the league’s all-time leading goalscorer. With 134 regular season goals, Donovan is currently tied for the all-time lead with longtime MLS striker Jeff Cunningham.

Donovan has scored four goals in seven previous regular season appearances against Whitecaps FC, which is more than any other Galaxy player, but the ‘Caps kept him off the scoresheet last weekend.

Can they do so again on Saturday? Or will the Blue and White become the footnote of a historic occasion for one of the league’s greatest players?

It’s not too late to participate in the best sporting experience in Vancouver. Whitecaps FC offer a flexible range of ticket products, including half-season tickets ($244), 5-packs ($149), student season tickets ($199), and a youth soccer half-season ticket ($100). Single-match tickets start at $22, subject to applicable fees. For more information on all Whitecaps FC ticket options, call 604.669.9283 ext. 2 or visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.