Major League Soccer: LA Galaxy vs Vancouver Whitecaps
StubHub Center – Wednesday, July 19 – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST)
Match Odds: LA Galaxy 5/6 – Draw 5/2 – Vancouver 3/1
LA Galaxy vs Vancouver Whitecaps: Preview
LA Galaxy take on Vancouver Whitecaps at StubHub Center on Wednesday night. Major League Soccer returns after a short break for the Gold Cup, although several players remain absent as they take part in the knockout rounds of the international competition.
The Galaxy were thrashed 5-2 by Manchester United in a friendly on Saturday night. They were ripped apart after making plenty of errors before scoring two late consolation goals. However, they will hope to have learnt something from that game ahead of the visit of the Whitecaps.
Head coach Curt Onalfo knows his side must pick up their form over the second half of the season if they are to make the playoffs. They come into Wednesday’s game two points behind Vancouver, who sit in sixth heading into Week 20.
That makes this a real six pointer. It’s still only July, but head-to-head clashes like this can really change the shape of the standings. LA know that need to capitalise on the home advantage to move back into the top six.
The Whitecaps might sit sixth in the West but they do boast the fourth-best points-per-game ratio. They have 24 points from 17 games and are on track for a top six finish.
Vancouver have only lost one of their last five games. That came in a 4-0 drubbing at Chicago at the start of the month, but they did bounce back by beating NYCFC 3-2 before the Gold Cup break.
Related: Exclusive photos from Vancouver’s 3-2 win over NYCFC
The worry for Vancouver on Wednesday is that they have struggled away from home this term. They have picked up seven points from a possible 24 on the road, and haven’t won any of their last three away games in MLS.
This will be the 18th MLS clash between the two sides and the second of two this season. LA hold the advantage based on past meetings, having won nine of the previous 17. Vancouver have only won once at LA. That came in a 1-0 win at StubHub in June 2015.Embed from Getty Images
LA Galaxy vs Vancouver Whitecaps: Team News
LA Galaxy welcomed back Daniel Steres and Jermaine Jones in their 5-2 friendly defeat to Manchester United on Saturday night, so both will be in contention to start here. Robbie Rogers, Sebastian Lletget and Baggio Husidic are all still out. Curt Onalfo used 21 players in Saturday’s friendly, so he will hope fatigue is not an issue here. Gyasi Zardes is still away with the USMNT at the ongoing Gold Cup.
Vancouver Whitecaps are set to remain without Brett Levis and David Edgar, while Kendall Waston has been called up to the Costa Rican squad at the Gold Cup. Russell Teibert, Marcel De Jong and Alphonso Davies are with the Canada squad. Matias Laba will be available again after serving a suspension.
LA Galaxy vs Vancouver Whitecaps: Key Points
LA Galaxy’s last five: D/W/L/L/L
Vancouver Whitecaps’ last five: W/D/D/L/W
Key Stat: LA Galaxy haven’t won at home in MLS for more than three months. Their last win at StubHub came on April 8 against Montreal Impact. They’ve drawn three and lost three since.
Key Player: Giovani Dos Santos – The Mexican attacker has only played 12 time this season but remains crucial to the Galaxy. He has been away with Mexico at the Confederations Cup over the past month but is now ready to see his first MLS minutes for six weeks. He scored twice late on against Man Utd on Saturday and will look to prove the difference against Vancouver here.
LA Galaxy vs Vancouver Whitecaps: Prediction
LA Galaxy 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps – Both sides might be a little rusty on Wednesday night, having not played an MLS game for two weeks. But that won’t change the fact that both sides will be out to win. There are still some key absences for both to contend with, however, and ultimately we see this one ending all square.