The end to any unbeaten streak will be disappointing and Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at LA Galaxy was no different. So what did we learn?
Where we are at?
Highlights: LA Galaxy 2 - 1 Whitecaps FC
Yes there was no Donovan or Keane in the lineup for the LA Galaxy but they still showed why they are the reigning two-time MLS Cup champions. Our 'Caps found themselves under some severe pressure early in the first half with LA creating good chances by hitting the crossbar and having another cleared off the line by Brad Rusin. Martin Rennie’s team found it hard to keep hold of the ball and put any kind of pressure on LA’s back four. We did score against the run of play but were not able to possess the ball for large periods of the game.
This was always going to be a hard match and it’s not been a kind place for us but in the end it will be a chance to see what we need to do if we make the playoffs and have aspirations of challenging for the cup. We have beaten this team at home only a few weeks ago and we did show some flashes in the second half that we can be on the same level. It will be a lesson learned from this game that we cannot start so tentative and give LA the initiative. Once they got into a rhythm of controlling the play they gained in confidence and we struggled to get into the game.
Everybody is disappointed the unbeaten streak has come to an end, however the players will learn from this and now know more of what it is going to take to challenge the top spot and make a run at the title.
Zardes scores the winner
Gyasi Zardes could be a future star in the making if Saturday night’s performance means anything. He was a thorn in the side of our ’Caps all night holding up the ball, making intelligent runs in behind our defence that eventually got him the wining goal on the night. Zardes is only 21 and has been a standout in college scoring 33 goals in 37 matches - one of the leading scorers in college over the last two years playing for Cal State Bakersfield.
Zardes showed a lot of poise on his winning goal, and looked confident most of the night. When Donovan and Keane get back, it will limit his playing time, but with his talent and those two players to learn from we could be looking at a very special player.
Manneh sets up Miller
With another stellar performance from Kekuta Manneh coming off the bench he has surely pushed himself closer to a position in the starting eleven. The team has been on a great run of form and the players playing ahead of Manneh have been playing exceptionally well. However, if the young rookie from the Gambia can keep shining off the bench and impresses the coaches in training, it is going to be very hard not to give him a starting position in the team.