Where: Stub Hub Centre, Carson, CA
When: Wednesday July 19, 7:30 PT
How: TV – TSN 1, TSN 3. Radio – TSN 1040
The Vancouver Whitecaps return after a break from MLS action to accommodate the opening rounds of the Gold Cup. They take on the LA Galaxy in the traditionally formidable confines of Stub Hub Centre in Carson California. This time around, the cleat seems to be on the other foot as Vancouver (7-7-3) is coming off a five game stretch of two wins and a draw, while LA (6-8-4) has struggled with only one win and a draw in their last five. In fact, the Galaxy uncharacteristically suffered a 6-2 loss in their most recent game against lowly Real Salt Lake. LA has only one win at home this season and is on track for its worst home record of all time.
Easy peasy right? Coach Carl Robinson doesn’t think so, and he doesn’t expect a return of the team that fell so dramatically against RSL. The Galaxy have, “top, top players, we all know that” and DP players Jermaine Jones and Romain Alessandrini look to return to the line up. The ‘Caps are preparing for a stiff competition and their record of 1 win, seven losses, and one draw is a sobering reminder of just how difficult life can be for them in southern California.
The ‘Caps are fielding a rested, if not first choice team for the match. Kendall Waston has been called up for Gold Cup duty with Costa Rica, and Russell Teibert, Marcel de Jong, Sam Adegkube and the much-celebrated Alphonso Davies continue on into the knock out rounds for Canada. Thankfully, the long list of injuries is coming to an end, as most are healthy.
Yordy Reyna will return to the line up after his brilliant home debut against NYCFC. The only question will be, does he start or come off the bench? I think he starts in LA and enters as an impact sub on Sunday against the Timbers.
According to Robbo, he and the coach of Costa Rica came to an agreement to leave Christiano Bolaños with the ‘Caps, so expect to see him in the starting line up. Spencer Richey will join the bench after Paolo Tornaghi has returned to Italy, and while Tornaghi’s absence will likely not be felt on the pitch, we wish Paolo well and many minutes as he looks to play at home.
What do we expect to see Wednesday night? If both teams hold to form it will be a happy night for WFC fans. But, the ‘Caps being the ‘Caps and the Galaxy being the Galaxy, it will likely not be that easy. Still, the door seems open for a series sweep.