The Vancouver Whitecaps take on the star-studded Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday night at B.C. Place, marking the first duel between the two Western Conference powers this season. The Whitecaps enter the match having won their last two, while the Galaxy are coming off a weeks break, having won their last time out on March 19th, a 3-1 victory over the Earthquakes. This will be the only match between the two clubs in Vancouver this season, with the other two matches coming this summer at the Home Depot Center.
Where: B.C. Place
When: 7:00 p.m. on Saturday
Where to watch/listen: TSN 2 (TV), Team 1040 (radio)
The Whitecaps and Galaxy played twice last season, both of which were won by the Whitecaps. In April of 2015 the 'Caps won 2-0 at B.C. Place courtesy of goals from Octavio Rivero and Kekuta Manneh. Russell Teibert had perhaps his best match of the season that night, as he dogged Robbie Keane for ninety minutes rendering him useless. In the return leg in June, the 'Caps again won courtesy of a goal from Kekuta Manneh. The Whitecaps last loss to the Galaxy came in August of 2014*.
*Knocks on all of the wood.
For the Whitecaps, Russell Teibert and Christian Dean will be out once again as they recover from injury. Kianz Froese continues to work through the leagues concussion protocol according to a tweet from Marc Weber. Lastly, the Whitecaps suspension of the week came down on Thursday morning, as Masato Kudo has been retroactively suspended one match for his actions that saw the Whitecaps earn a penalty against Houston last weekend... And that's all I have to say about that.
Meanwhile in Bruce Arenas land, the Galaxy will be coming up to Canada shorthanded. Robbie Keane was held out of friendlies with Ireland last weekend with an apparent knee injury. Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy is still recovering from a torn groin and he's joined in the treatment room by Gio dos Santos, Jeff Larentowicz, Leonardo, Jose Villareal and Steven Gerrard. With the Galaxy coming off of a bye week, it's unclear if these players will feature on Saturday. Gerrard was substituted off against the Earthquakes very early on with a calf injury and it begs the question whether Arenas will risk him on the carpet in B.C. Place.
For Vancouver, it's the speedy winger Kekuta Manneh. Two goals in two matches last season against the Galaxy, Manneh should be sitting on two or three goals already this season. Look for him to break the duck in a big spot on Saturday night.
The short-handed Galaxy may be getting a boost by way of an injury. If Gio dos Santos isn't fit to play, it will be natural winger Sebastian Lletget plugging in on the left wing. A terrific addition mid-season last year for the Galaxy, Lletget could be dangerous working in the space allowed by Fraser Aird.
Make sure to head over to the starting Xl and final score prediction post right here to make your predictions!