Galaxy, Whitecaps battle for second straight week
Vancouver, BC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Galaxy and Vancouver Whitecaps FC will meet for the second time in as many weeks when the two sides do battle at BC Place on Saturday.
Los Angeles emerged from the StubHub Center with a 1-0 victory over the 'Caps last weekend as Robbie Keane produced the lone goal of the affair.
It was Keane's third goal in as many league games and his fifth goal in four games across all competitions, but it was the play of Stefan Ishikazi in his second consecutive match in a play-making role that earned many of the plaudits.
"Stefan performed the best of the year," Bruce Arena said after the match. "We got close to 80 minutes out of him. He looked a lot better. We think he can certainly continue to get better."
Keane echoed Arena's sentiments, expressing his confidence in Ishikazi's ability to find the open man.
"I just knew with someone like him sending the ball there's a great chance he's going to find me. ... I know if I go into a space, then more than likely he's going to find me in that space," Keane said.
Carl Robinson's men, meanwhile, have hit a bit of a snag after beginning the season on a four-game unbeaten run. Prior to falling to the Galaxy last weekend, the 'Caps suffered a 2-1 home defeat to the Colorado Rapids.
But Robinson has refused to hit the panic button just yet. The first-year head coach remained in support of his team, singling out the fine play of his deep- lying central midfielders against the Galaxy.
"(Russell Teibert) was fantastic as was Gershon Koffie. I think today some of my young players came of age," said Robinson. "It's a tough environment to come and play against a very good team, a very organized team, a very successful team and they showed that we can go head to head which was a pleasing thing."
Robinson is playing his cards close to the chest regarding Vancouver's attacking corps for Saturday's rematch with the Galaxy. Kenny Miller was rested last week in favor of Kekuta Manneh and Darren Mattocks, and while the 'Caps failed to produce a goal, Robinson was full of praise for how the duo combined.
"(Manneh) was great. He was great all week and it is about getting him up to speed with his fitness," Robinson said. "No doubt in his ability and he showed it today. Away at L.A. is not an easy game. He was electric in the first half, as was Darren and Seba (Sebastian Fernandez)."
Los Angeles and Vancouver enter the weekend separated by a single point, though the Galaxy have two games in hand.
04/18 16:14:49 ET