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Those Were the Goals that Were

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Once again the Whitecaps lost to the LA Galaxy. Was our backline really that bad? Did we really, really miss Koffie and Laba? Let's take a look.

Landon Donovan (L) and the LA Galaxy had plenty of reasons to celebrate on Saturday night
Landon Donovan (L) and the LA Galaxy had plenty of reasons to celebrate on Saturday night
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a couple of days since the Vancouver Whitecaps (W7-L5-D12) once again lost a match to the LA Galaxy (W11-L5-D7) at the StubHub! Center in Carson, CA. And once again favorable results from around the Western Conference kept the Caps in the fifth, and final, playoff berth (who ever thought we'd be happy that the Seattle Sounders won a game, but if it helps us out what the heck, right?!).

With the victory over the Caps on Saturday, LA has now opened a seven-point gap between the fourth and fifth spots in the Western Conference playoff race. While there has been a debate going on about the total number of points that will be required to make the playoffs (I still believe the threshold will be around 47-48 points), it certainly is starting to look like the fight will probably be between Vancouver and the Portland Timbers for the final playoff spot.

But I digress.

For weeks fans have been concerned about the lack of goals produced by the Caps, and rightly so. This weekend, however, my concern was not only the lack of scoring, but also the quality of the goals conceded (*cough cough* ball watching... sloppy marking *cough cough*).  Did the backline just have an off night? Does the success of the defence really depend on whether or not Gershon Koffie and Matías Laba are playing?

Let's take a closer look at the two Galaxy goals (place your mouse pointer on the image or tap the image on your mobile device to play the animation):

Firstly, we have Landon Donovan's goal in the 4th minute:

Donovan_medium

And secondly, we have Marcelo Sarvas' goal in the 32nd minute:

Marcelo_medium

Obviously, such defensive gaffes have to be eliminated, or the playoff hunt may end sooner rather than later. Also, is there really that much of a gulf in terms of quality between Vancouver and LA, or did the Whitecaps just have an off night?  I'm curious to know what you, our loyal readers think, so please add your voice to the discussion by leaving a comment in the section below.

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