Vancouver Whitecaps vs LA Galaxy Game Recap

Posted: July 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Vancouver Whitecaps and LA Galaxy played to an entertaining 2-2 draw on Wednesday night at BC Place stadium. The Whitecaps led for the majority of the game until the Galaxy scored 2 goals in the final ten minutes to steal away a point. David Beckham garnered a lot of attention from the sold out crowd of 21,000 cheering fans. Beckham was making his first appearance in Vancouver since 2007 when the LA Galaxy played the Whitecaps in a friendly. The English superstar known all over the world was booed everytime he touched the ball. On a few occasions you could hear the Southsider fans chanting “Olympic reject” Beckham was not named to the Great Britain soccer team that will compete at the London, Olympics later this month.

Beckham had a terrific chance to score the opening goal of the game in the 10th minute. Barry Robson was whistled for a mediocre foul and referee Silviu Petrescu awarded a free kick to LA outside the Whitecaps box. With all the photographer ready and fans on the edge of their seats Beckham stepped up and shot the ball over the crossbar. Whitecaps fans exhaled long enough to cheer Beckham’s missed attempt. Beckham did not factor into any scoring in the first half because the Galaxy looked to be off on a vacation with soccer furthest from their minds. The underrated Gershon Koffie opened the scoring in the 18th minute when he picked up the ball after Camilo collided with a Galaxy player and fell to the ground. The Galaxy players looked like they had stopped playing anticipating a whistle. Koffie split the Galaxy central defenders and made David Lopes look silly before firing a shot across his body past the outstretched arm of Galaxy goalie Josh Saunders. The Galaxy defenders looked horrible and yet Saunders almost bailed his team out with a fantastic save. Defense is not a strong point for the Galaxy having allowed 34 goals in 21 games this season. Only Toronto FC (36), and the Montreal Impact(39) have allowed more goals this season.

Barry Robson made his home debut for the Whitecaps and he did not disappoint the home crowd with his spectacular play. Robson was all over the pitch making plays, and annoying the heck out of David Beckham. Robson got into the scoring act in the 27th minute when he sent a brilliant header into the top corner of the Galaxy net. Y.P. Lee curled in a terrific cross from the right side and Robson got his head on the ball to score his first career MLS goal. This was also Robson’s 100th professional goal. None of the Galaxy defenders left the ground in an effort to thwart Robson’s header attempt. Saunders had no chance to make a save. Once again the LA defense was nowhere to be found.

Robson shared his thoughts on the game and also talked about David Beckham.

“It never finished the way that we wanted it to, but that’s football for you. (Los Angeles) are always going to have a spell in the game where they’re going to come at you, and that’s what they did in the last 30 minutes. We didn’t cope with it well, so it’s something we have to go to the training ground and work on for next time.”

“He’s a terrific footballer and a great ambassador for the game. A lot of people look up to him, and he’s a nice guy, but on the pitch it doesn’t matter who anybody is. At the end of the day I’m trying to win for my team and he’s trying to win for his.”

Dane Richards who was also making his home debut with the Whitecaps, had a lovely chance to put the Whitecaps up 3-0 before halftime. Richards came out of nowhere to chase down a loose ball after sprinting past Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza. Richards had his shot roll wide left past the Galaxy post. With his bursting speed it won’t be long before Richards finds the net for the Whitecaps. The Whitecaps and Galaxy went to their locker rooms at the half with Vancouver leading 2-0.

After the game Richards commented on what happened in the second half.

“Ya we came out flying, it was unbelievable and we had a lot of confidence. In the second half we started out good but the last 25 (minutes) was a total disaster.” he said, “We managed to give up a two goal lead at home that’s not good.”

If LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena offered some stern advice to his team at halftime it sure took a long enough for the Galaxy to get going. The Whitecaps looked to be content on playing defense and shutting down the Galaxy for the final forty-five minutes however that strategy proved to be costly. Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie decided to make only one substitution all game vs LA and that happened in the 69th minute when Camilo came off for midfielder Michael Nanchoff.

Camilo had a great game for the Whitecaps but his durability to go a full 90 minutes just isn’t there yet. As a result the Whitecaps looked weaker on the right side of the pitch and that’s where the Galaxy capitalized to score both of their second half goals. Joe Cannon made some terrific saves but there was no stopping a shot from David Beckham in the 81st minute. With Cannon caught out of position Landon Donovan had the ball in a great position to shoot. Instead of shooting the LA captain made a short pass back to Beckham putting the ball on a tee for him. Beckham smashed the ball towards the goal and the ball took a deflection off the face of Whitecaps defender Martin Bonjour and went past Cannon. Cannon was in no position to stop the Beckham blast and Bonjour was bloodied and had to leave the playing surface for repairs which included a blue head wrap. The goal was Beckham’s 6th of the season.

Beckham spoke to the throng of media after the game and talked about what transpired on the pitch as well as terrific atmosphere.

“I think two months ago we wouldn’t have been able to come back from a two-goal deficit. But we’ve got character over the last couple of months and back into our team. They obviously had a lot of play in the first half and they played well, but we were able to capitalize on the hard work that we put in towards the end of the game.”

“It was a good atmosphere, it’s a good crowd and it’s nice to see the number of people who turned out. It’s great to have a hostile crowd; it’s the way it should be in the game. It brings excitement and brings passion and gets both teams up, so we want more of that.”

In an effort to jump-start his offense in the second half Galaxy coach Bruce Arena brought on 18 year-old Inglewood, California native, Jose Villareal. The teenager who must have dreamt of playing with players like Beckham, Donovan, and Keane one day, scored a brilliant goal that his gifted teammates have probably scored thousands of times in their career. Villareal received a touch from Juniho who got the ball after a cross up the field from Beckham. Villareal stopped and turned just outside the Whitecaps box and scored on an amazing shot to the top corner past Cannon. For someone playing in only their second MLS game Villareal looked calm, cool, and composed.


Some great teams can just flip a switch and play great soccer whenever they need to. The LA Galaxy are the team loaded with the most talent and recognizable players in MLS and they can turn on a tap and play great whenever need be. It would have been nice to see the Galaxy play that way for the entire game. The Whitecaps and everyone at BC Place Stadium knew the Galaxy would come out in the second half and compete a lot harder than they did in the first. The Whitecaps sat back and let the magic of the Galaxy take over. LA did not draw this game they won. The Whitecaps were the better team for long stretches of the game and the Whitecaps and their fans should feel like this was a loss. The Whitecaps had the defending 2011  MLS champions on the ropes and they couldn’t land a knock-out punch. If these two teams meet in the playoffs the Whitecaps would be advised not to let the Galaxy back into the game if the plan on advancing in the postseason.

Notes: The Whitecaps are now 0-3-1 against the LA Galaxy since joining MLS and have been out scored 12-2. Vancouver will host the league leading San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday afternoon July 22, at 4:00 pm P.T. Todd Dunivant left the game for LA in the 30th minute with a suspected muscle related injury. The Galaxy will return home to take on their Southern California rivals Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center on Saturday July 21, 7:00 pm P.T.

  1. Terry Grim says:

    You know there are people who call in to D&C twice a day, and they are nowhere near as interesting as you. And you should be concerned that i am the only one who has addressed your blog since mid-June. You need to promote yourself (or are blogs so 2010 that no one uses them anymore?)!

  2. Terry Grim says:

    You are very quiet these days…

    • Hi Terry how’s it going? That’s funny that you should say that. I’m just working on an interview I did with one of the Whitecaps goalies who is also a huge Pats, Sox and Celtics fan. The Whitecaps had 6 weeks off between home games so I haven’t covered their home games in a while. However with 3 home games in less than 2 weeks I should be pretty busy as the MLS season comes to a conclusion next month. Thanks for taking an interest in my work.

      • Terry Grim says:

        But you seem to have fallen off the radar. You need to get D&C riled up or something. What;s your day job anyway (I should know that, but i am too lazy to dig back into your older posts)?

      • Hi Hmmmm… there isn’t really much to talk about with the NHL lockout going on right now. However I will try really really hard to call D&C after the Patriots game in Seattle. I should get home pretty late so I’ll be awake when they hit the air. I don’t have a day job right now. I’m finishing up at school in what I hope is my last semester. After that I need to find a full time job covering sports. Should be impossible though… arggh. Thanks Terry

      • Terry Grim says:

        I suggest you contact D&C well before the game- it will improve your chances for after the game. Simmons thinks your Seahawks are SB-bound- not so sure. NFC pretty tough this year.

      • Hi Terry I don’t want to call D&C twice in less than a week. I probably won’t get on air anyways. Simmons can think whatever he wants, he doesn’t share my opinion. I’m not a Seahawks fan and I think their inability to perform well on the road will be what costs them a playoff Wild-Card berth.

  3. Terry Grim says:

    No report on the Olympics; even the USA/Canada game?

    Megan Rapinoe coming out?

    • Hi Terry

      I wasn’t able to obtain as much media access as I thought I would. The CanWNT – USWNT game was the best game I’ve ever seen the CanWNT play. The next time I talk to Megan Rapinoe I’ll be sure to ask her all about her big decision. She is a great player and caused all sorts of trouble for Canada at Old Trafford. Thanks Terry.

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