May 11, 2013; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena during the first half against the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps: 6 Things We Learned

Russell Teibert, take a bow. Here is a super sub that knows how to score against teams like Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy. Teibert’s second half brace gave Martin Rennie’s Vancouver Whitecaps their first-ever victory over the Galaxy, 3-1, at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, B.C. Every result warrants some lessons to be learned. Here are six things we learned from Saturday afternoon tilt between Los Angeles and Vancouver.

1. A slow first half

Early on in the first half, Vancouver looked to apply pressure via a 4-3-3 formation against Los Angeles’s 4-4-2. In the third minute, Jose Villareal was harshly-challenged by Honduran international Johnny Leveron, who earned a yellow for his thoughts. The first big break in the contest came in the fifth minute, when Villareal tested Whitecaps netminder Joe Cannon. A corner by Landon Donovan in the seventh minute was cleared by Leveron.

A shot from Darren Mattocks was collected by LA goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini in the 13th minute of play. In that same minute, Daigo Kobayashi has to be subbed out for Russell Teibert due to injury. Mattocks was offsides in the 16th minute of play. Omar Gonzalez nearly got one to go in the 23rd minute, but Cannon parries away his tap. Another corner from Donovan in the 26th was cleared.

Juninho was harshly challenged by Jun Marques Davidson in the 28th minute but was able to return to action a minute later. Offsides No. 3 came for Mattocks in the 34th minute of play. Gonzalez nearly became his own enemy in the 36th minute, and Cudicini had to save a would-be own goal that was eventually swept by A.J. DeLaGarza. Donovan’s next corner in the 39th minute was cleared and forced another corner in the 40th that was also cleared. A Vancouver corner in the 45th minute was cleared and eventually collected by Cudicini. Two more corners from Donovan fizzled out, and at the end of the first, there was no score.

2. Los Angeles dominate stat sheet in the first half

Despite a scoreless first half, Los Angeles dominated the stat sheet, getting a lion’s share of chances. The problem for the Galaxy heading into the second half was that this performance eerily resembled their half-hearted efforts against Houston last weekend.

Vancouver Whitecaps LA Galaxy
3 Attempts on Goal 8
1 Shots on Target 1
0 Shots off Target 4
2 Blocked Shots 3
1 Corner Kicks 7
7 Fouls 4
3 Open Play Crosses 10
3 Offsides 0
1 First Yellow Cards 0
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
27 Duels Won 22
55% Duels Won % 45%
135 Total Pass 204
70% Passing Accuracy % 74%
39.2% Possession 60.8%

3. Vancouver makes plans for Nigel

Nigel Reo-Coker decided try his luck at goal in the 46th minute. That was the warning shot from the hosts that opened up the second half. Los Angeles were nearly caught sleeping in the 51st minute of play but the Galaxy back line were awake on that sequence from Vancouver. The objective from the Whitecaps in the second half was to successfully implement the counter against a vulnerable Los Angeles Galaxy side that had a history of surrendering goals late.

In the 55th minute, a Landon Donovan corner was poorly cleared, but cleared nonetheless, by Vancouver left back Alain Rochat. Vancouver’s second corner in the 57th minute was sent over the crossbar by Gershon Koffie. A chance for Gonzalez in the 61st minute from Hector Jimenez was headed wide right. In the 63rd minute, Reo-Coker found Teibert to make it 1-0 Vancouver, but that was also Cochrane’s inexperience on display to go with a poor save effort from Cudicini.

4. Teibert makes LA pay…again

The Teibert goal broke the match wide-open. Camilo’s one-time blast in the 65th minute was easily collected by Cudicini, and Mattocks also was testing the Galaxy netminder one minute later. Vancouver began to gain more possession and win more of their duels. Teibert scored a second goal in the 76th minute to effectively put the game out of reach. That goal came out of poor marking by Gonzalez on Koffie.

5. Gyasi Zardes pulls one back, but Mattocks ices it

There is a silver lining to every bad result. In the 86th minute, Galaxy substitute Gyasi Zardes pulled one back for his first-ever goal for the Galaxy first team. Zardes was coming off a solid shift for the Los Angeles Galaxy reserves in their 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Blues. A major question now for the coaching staff is whether or not Zardes will be starting next week up top in the East Coast portion of the Galaxy’s May road trip.

But in the second minute of stoppage time, Mattocks was finally able to get one past Cudicini to seal all three points for Vancouver. That brings another major question the View would like to ask: will Cudicini be starting in goal against Philadelphia and New York, or will Brian Rowe get the nod?

The breakthrough second half for the Whitecaps made the match stats not so one-sided, despite the Galaxy leading in a number of categories.

Vancouver Whitecaps LA Galaxy
14 Attempts on Goal 14
8 Shots on Target 2
2 Shots off Target 6
4 Blocked Shots 6
3 Corner Kicks 9
15 Fouls 6
5 Open Play Crosses 22
4 Offsides 0
2 First Yellow Cards 0
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
39 Duels Won 37
51% Duels Won % 48%
285 Total Pass 438
72% Passing Accuracy % 76%
38.9% Possession 61.1%

6. Get well soon, Robbie Keane

This is the third straight match in which Robbie Keane was absent from the lineup. The recent losing streak that Los Angeles is going through right now is the result of Keane not being healthy enough to play for the Galaxy. Keane is expected to suit up for the Galaxy against the Philadelphia Union, and his return cannot come any sooner.

Tags: Los Angeles Galaxy Major League Soccer Mls Vancouver Whitecaps

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