The Vancouver Whitecaps defensive only blinked once all night long and that was enough for Robbie Keane to score the lonesome goal needed to give the LA Galaxy three points Saturday night in Carson, California.
The Caps lost their second game of the season after falling against the Colorado Rapids last weekend at BC Place. Carl Robinson surprised many with a formation and starting lineup that combined defensive responsibility and offensive threat. Leaving veterans Kenny Miller and Nigel Reo-Coker on the bench. Instead, Robbo tapped Sebastian Fernandez, Pedro Morales, Kekuta Manneh and Darren Mattocks as his attacking weapons while slotting Russell Teibert and Gershon Koffie in as the two defensive midfielders. The experience was left in the back with the usual defensive line of Beitashour, O'Brien, DeMerit and Harvey with David Ousted in net.
The Galaxy spared no punches and fielded their best XI including all of their Designated Players, Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez. The first 15 minutes of the game were all Galaxy, and it looked like the ‘Caps were going to be in for a long night. Luckily, David Ousted was solid in the back including a difficult save on a bouncing volley from Robbie Keane within the first ten minutes of the game.
Once the young and speedy Whitecaps front line started to press up high, they managed to force some turnovers that, in turn, created a few chances for the boys in blue to get on the scoresheet after a wide left-footed shot by Morales and a great chance for Manneh that was saved by Penedo.
The Galaxy had a good chance to get the go-ahead goal close to the halftime whistle via Landon Donovan, who found some space and headed a ball that went very close to David Ousted's right post. The battle, however, went to halftime tied 0-0.
Unfortunately, one of the very few mistakes that Vancouver's defense had all night long cost them dearly just two minutes into the second half when Stefan Ishizaki sent a cross past Jay DeMerit to a wide open Robbie Keane who took advantage of a miscommunication between Andy O'Brien, Gershon Koffie and Steven Beitashour and waltzed into the small box with a finish that left David Ousted no chance.
After going down on the scoresheet, Robinson pulled the trigger on a couple of substitutions - bringing in Hurtado and Miller for Fernandez and Morales at the 70th minute, followed shortly afterward by Mezquida for Manneh at the 77th. The Whitecaps created a couple more chances, including a header from Kenny Miller from a corner kick that Penedo reacted well to and managed to save.
With the Whitecaps, pushing for an equalizer, they allowed spaces to open in the back. As a result, the Galaxy had the chance to double their lead, but substitute Rob Friend was not particularly sharp and missed the two chances he had.
The Whitecaps played toe-to-toe with the Galaxy and it can be argued that they didn't deserve to lose this game, but the reality is that once again they came away from the StubHub Center with a loss. They do, however, have the chance to avenge this defeat as they face the same Galaxy squad this coming weekend at BC Place.