VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC are back in California on Saturday for a massive Western Conference matchup with LA Galaxy. This will be the third and final meeting between the West Coast rivals this season.
Here are three storylines to get you set for the match.
Canadian midfielder Russell Teibert always seems to give a good account of himself against the Galaxy.
Last year, the Niagara Falls, Ontario native scored his first two professional goals in a 3-1 win over the Galaxy, before picking up an assist in their next meeting. And earlier this year, Teibert was named Budweiser Man of the Match in a hard-fought 1-0 road loss at LA.
There’s a good chance the 21-year-old will get the nod again this weekend, as he’s coming off an impressive performance against Chivas USA – head coach Carl Robinson called him the best player on the park.
If he does get a second straight start, Teibert will have a big role to play in managing the game and containing the likes of Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan. But he’s up for the challenge.
“These games are among the best to play in,” he told reporters this week. “You touch on Portland, you touch on Seattle, and for me I like playing against LA. It’s always nice going out and playing against the best and trying to beat the best.”
SHUTTING THE DOOR
After a scoreless draw with Chivas USA, the ‘Caps are now undefeated in six matches and have posted three straight clean sheets. Their 321-minute shutout streak is the second longest in the club’s MLS history – their longest streak was 427 minutes.
Keeping a clean sheet against the high-flying Galaxy won’t be easy. LA has one of the most potent attacks in all of MLS year in, year out. So far this season, they have scored 39 goals in 22 matches – only FC Dallas has more goals.
Bruce Arena’s side hasn’t been kept off the scoresheet in MLS competition since mid-May – largely due to the three-headed monster that is Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan, and Gyasi Zardes.
Can the ‘Caps buck the trend and keep their streak alive?
Speaking of Keane, he’s one of the leading candidates for league MVP this season. The Irish striker, who scored a goal in each of LA’s matches against Vancouver in April, has a combined 22 goals and assists this season, which tops MLS.
Another player who’s been in the discussion for MLS MVP as of late is Whitecaps FC playmaker Pedro Morales, who leads the ‘Caps seven goals and nine assists this season. And the addition of fellow South American playmaker Mauro Rosales, who should slot in alongside Morales on the wing, will likely bolster his chances even further.
Robinson said that Rosales will be “involved” this weekend, so we could get a first glimpse of the Morales-Rosales connection. Either way, some of Major League Soccer’s finest will be in the Hollywood spotlight.
It’s not too late to participate in the best sporting experience in Vancouver. Whitecaps FC offer a flexible range of ticket products, including prorated season tickets, 5-packs, student season tickets, and a youth soccer half-season ticket. 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.