VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC suffered a 1-0 road loss to Western Conference rival LA Galaxy on Saturday, but it was an encouraging performance on many levels.
Below, we take a look at four interesting statistics from the match.
Whitecaps FC had a season-high nine corners on Saturday, while the Galaxy had just two. Although the Galaxy controlled possession, this stat shows that Vancouver managed to get into forward positions against one of the league’s toughest teams – something they’ve struggled to do in the past when playing away from home. Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson has said that establishing a winning mentality on the road isn’t going to happen overnight, but Saturday’s performance was a positive step.
All season, right back Steven Beitashour has been one of Vancouver’s most involved players and Saturday was no exception. The Iranian international, who looked particularly impressive in the first half as the Galaxy pressed down the left wing, had a team-high 78 touches on Saturday. He now leads Whitecaps FC with 406 touches on the season, which is third best in the league among defenders and 12th best overall. Beitashour also had seven clearances against the Galaxy – centre back Jay DeMerit was the only ‘Caps player with more.
Speaking of clearances, Galaxy centre back Omar Gonzalez had a whopping 21 of them on Saturday. No Major League Soccer player has had more clearances in a single game this season. Attacking players Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane usually make all the headlines for the Galaxy, but this stat demonstrates Gonzalez’s value to the team. The 25-year-old played a major part in keeping the ‘Caps off the scoresheet on Saturday. It’s an encouraging sign that Vancouver got into areas that forced Gonzalez into this many clearances, but they’ll likely need to find a way to evade him in order to get a result in this weekend’s rematch at BC Place.
For the first time this season, midfielder Russell Teibert played in a holding position alongside Gershon Koffie in front of the ‘Caps back line. And the young Canadian didn’t look out of place. Teibert, whose 86.36 passing accuracy percentage was the best on the team, barely put a foot wrong defensively and proved to be a constant thorn in Keane’s side. Teibert excelled in a defensive midfield position throughout the preseason as well, so Robinson likely knew what he was getting. It will be interesting to see how the ‘Caps manager chooses to deploy Teibert with holding midfielder Matias Laba back from suspension this weekend.
Statistics courtesy of Opta Sports.
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