The Vancouver Whitecaps may not be perfect, but they are producing. Despite some disjointed performances to start the MLS Season, Vancouver finds themselves 2nd in the Western Conference and riding a three match win streak. That streak will be tested on Saturday, when Robbie Keane and the LA Galaxy make their way to the confines of BC Place.
The Galaxy have certainly had the 'Caps number in the past, as they've held the 'Caps to just one victory in the 11 league matches the two sides have squared off in. However, they come into this weeks match on a slide. After topping the Chicago Fire to open the season, they've gone winless in their last three matches, including a 1-0 loss to DC United last weekend.
Reinforcements are coming for both sides
The Vancouver Whitecaps will still be without Center Back Diego Rodriguez, as he sits the second of his two match ban for his nut grab on Aurelien Collin. That being said, they will be getting Kekuta Manneh back, as he sat last week for a dangerous tackle in the Orlando match. Manneh started the season strong despite not producing on the scoreboard, so hopefully he's hungry and ready to make a difference. If not, the Whitecaps may look at starting Robert Earnshaw, who brought the roof of BC Place with his last minute match winner against the Timbers last week.
Also coming back, Russell Teibert and Darren Mattocks, who were away last week on International Duty. In my opinion, Teibert has been better than Gershon Koffie in the DM role this season, and the Whitecaps should be happy to see him return. Then there's the enigmatic Mattocks, who hasn't gotten much playing time at all this early MLS season, yet scored two goals in two matches for Jamaica while away. Maybe Head Coach Carl Robinson will look at using a confidence filled Mattocks in the match.
Meanwhile, the LA Galaxy will have Robbie Keane back from International duty, a very dangerous player and consistent scoring threat despite 34 years of age. 21 year old Gyasi Zardes is also returning from International duty.
Attacking Strengthened for Whitecaps
The Whitecaps certainly could have used a player like Robert Earnshaw last season. After relying on youth and eventually getting burned for it in 2014, the Whitecaps received immediate dividends for adding the 33 year old to their squad, as he was able to win the match with his last minute goal against the Timbers.
With Octavio Rivero looking like the real deal and Earnshaw available for selection, the Whitecaps are in a much better position than last year. Plus, the team is only going to get better when Mauro Rosales recovers from his ankle injury.
The MVP so far
David Ousted has been brilliant for the Whitecaps this season, and will need to keep bringing that elite level of play match in and match out. The Whitecaps backline has been scattered for large portions of the season, with questions marks at Center Back and a decline in play from Steven Beitashour. While many credit the Whitecaps late scoring prowess as the catalyst behind their strong start, Ousted's heroics in the cage have been their backbone.
The Whitecaps win four in a row for the first time in their MLS history. 1-0 Whitecaps