Posts Tagged ‘LA Galaxy’

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s season is winding down, but there’s still some excitement, and wonder to be found. Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles will likely mark the Whitecaps FC, and MLS debut of Jasser Khmiri.

Vancouver will travel to California for a matinee affair with the LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park. Whitecaps FC come into the match riding a two-match unbeaten streak thanks to a home win over Houston, and a draw vs Columbus.

The 7-15-10 Whitecaps FC squad will switch from a defence of four, to a three or five at the back formation. The ‘Towering Tunisian’, Khmiri, is a strong candidate to feature in Vancouver’s back-line.

“Likely, a lot, likely a lot.” Coach Marc Dos Santos told Har Journalist following training on Friday.

What can Whitecaps FC fans expect to see from the 22-year-old, Khmiri?

“He’s young, he’s a young player that’s been one year out,” Dos Santos explained. “I have to control expectations around him. He’s a fast player, he’s technically good on the ball. On the ball, he’s simple. The quality of his passes is pretty good, strong in the air, aggressive on the man. That’s his main characteristics.”

“We have to put into consideration that he’s been a year out,” Dos Santos added. “He’s recovered now, and his first game is in LA against the Galaxy.”

“We’ll make sure to have him play with no pressure,” Dos Santos continued. “(There’s) no mentality that it’s going to be the game that’s going to set who he is, no, no. There’s a big chance that he participates.”

Vancouver acquired the 6-foot-4, Khmiri from Tunisian Ligue club, Stade Tunisien on February 1, 2019. Khmiri is signed through 2021 with a club option for 2022. His first appearance as a Whitecap has been a long time coming. He has been on the shelf since November 2018 with a left knee injury. That includes knee surgery earlier this spring in Vancouver.

His possible inclusion in Whitecaps FC’s 18-man roster has come as a bit of a surprise.

“He’s done a fantastic job,” Dos Santos said. “It’s tough to do what he did mentally, working a lot alone, for a full season. We feel like maybe having him a minimum of 60 minutes on the field, and giving him another chance in front of our fans against Salt Lake, it could be good for him.”

How is the easily excitable Khmiri, approaching his first minutes in MLS?

“He’s calm,” Dos Santos described Khmiri’s perspective. “He played in sets that were not easy. He played in Tunisia, and you know when you experience that way, it’s sometimes 70,000 people. Aggressive types of fans, different than the North American fan. I don’t think that the stadium is going to fade him out, I think it’s going to motivate him.”

You can forget about Khmiri being two weeks away, his time has come, and now he’s just two days away from his debut.

You might even see some crunching tackles from the athletic, central defender.

“I don’t know, I don’t know,” Dos Santos said. “It’s going to depend on how he feels the next two days. There’s a chance, yes, but final decision, is not taken yet.”

If the final decision is taken, and Khmiri does start, how big of a test would it be to go up against the high-flying, playoff bound LA Galaxy, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic?

“It’s a great test for him, for sure.” Dos Santos said.

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VANCOUVER, B.C – As the MLS season draws closer to an end, teams are jockeying for key playoff positioning in both conferences. Whitecaps FC will not be heading to the playoffs. Instead of a potential run to the MLS Cup, Vancouver has taken on a spoiler role.

Whitecaps FC will head to California this weekend for a Sunday afternoon battle against the LA Galaxy, at Dignity Health Sports Park. Vancouver comes into the match riding a two-match unbeaten streak. A 2-1 win over Houston, and a 1-1 draw vs Columbus Crew SC significantly struck a blow to the playoff aspirations of both clubs.

“It’s kind of a positive note that we screwed with Columbus, and Houston,” Whitecaps FC’s Max Crépeau told reporters on Tuesday. “Honestly, if you can knock someone out, you do it. It’s good to actually get points.”

Vancouver’s number one goalkeeper has missed the previous two matches. Crépeau has been nursing a right ankle sprain. He picked up the knock earlier this month, while on international duty with Canada. Although he wasn’t healthy enough to start on Saturday he was able to back up, Zac MacMath.

Heading into Whitecaps FC’s final road trip of the season, Crépeau is good to go.

“I am, I am,” Crépeau beamed. “Life is good, if you see me in training, it’s because I’m 100%. Obviously it was a little bit of work to do on it, because it happened Friday, before the Cuba game. Now I feel really good.”

The 15-13-3, LA Galaxy currently sit 4th in the western conference with 48 points. Back to back, home victories over Sporting Kansas City, and the Montreal Impact have the Galaxy rounding into form.

If Whitecaps FC are going to disrupt the Galaxy’s momentum, it starts with containing the one and only, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. A task, that’s a lot easier said than done.

The imposing Swedish striker was a handful when Vancouver and LA met earlier this season. Ibrahimovic had a goal, and an assist in a 2-0 win over Whitecaps FC on April 5, at B.C. Place.

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If Vancouver is going to earn another result, they’ll have to stop more than just Ibra.

“Zlatan, even this weekend against Montreal, he’s really dangerous,” Crépeau said. “There’s good players around him too. Sometimes we focus too much on this guy, and we don’t even focus on the other guys. They have a lot of quality around him. We’ve seen it this weekend, he created two good chances for his team, just because he has the ball, and others get free.”

“I expect that Zlatan is going to be up to the task.”

In his first full season as a number one keeper, Crépeau has posted a 6-12-6 record. He has five clean sheets, and his 107 saves, are 4th highest in Major League Soccer.

The Greenfield, Park native, has saved Whitecaps FC’s bacon on numerous occasions this season.

Vancouver’s 7-15-10 record could have been much worse without Crépeau in net.

Having watched his teammates earn results against teams fighting for their playoff lives, Crépeau is eager to potentially return to take on the Galaxy. It would mean a great deal to finish the season on a high note.

“I’m with the boys, I’m with the group,” Crépeau said. “I want us to win, I want us to win the last two games.”

“Now it’s about doing the same with the Galaxy,” Crépeau talked about playing spoiler. “They’re in a tough spot, that they need to win everything. After that it’s finishing off against the last game against Salt Lake.”

Whitecaps FC will be ‘California Dreaming’ of an upset over Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy. The pressure is squarely on the LA Galaxy, Vancouver has nothing to lose.

VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Daily Hive for my LA Galaxy, Zlatan Ibrahimovic story.

https://bit.ly/2Ke6HPp

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Pro Soccer USA for my Whitecaps FC vs LA Galaxy report.

https://bit.ly/2uPmPMH

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Red Nation Online for my Whitecaps vs LA Galaxy match report.

http://www.rednationonline.ca/MatchReport2015/Vancouvercontinuesdreamstartwithwinover.aspx

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Red Nation Online for my Whitecaps vs LA Galaxy match report.

http://www.rednationonline.ca/Articles2014/WhitecapsstormbacktodrawGalaxy.aspx

Thanks