Javier Hernandez and Kevin Cabral will need to improve their combination play as LA Galaxy look to bounce back from their defeat to Seattle Sounders, so says Greg Vanney.
The Galaxy went down 2-1 at home to the Sounders at the weekend, but are swiftly back in action with a midweek trip to Utah, where Vancouver are based for the season.
Three wins and two defeats from their last five matches have seen Galaxy drop off the pace in the Western Conference, though they are eight points ahead of 12th-placed Vancouver.
However, they managed just two shots against Seattle, and Vanney conceded his forwards must improve in their link-up play.
“The coordination of the running of Javy and Kevin were not necessarily in sync,” Vanney said.
“Their runs were necessarily one-in, one-out and they weren’t connected to each other. Which I think was a little bit of the frustration that they were having, is just getting the timing of their runs and the connection of their runs on the right page.
“They haven’t spent a lot of time together, they had some very good moments in training leading up to this game, but we just didn’t find the right rhythm.”
Vancouver’s Andy Rose, meanwhile, enjoyed settling into life in Utah during the international break.
“We haven’t had a ton of time off, but we had a few days to get away and we went down to Sundance, Park City, Silver Lake,” Rose said.
“It’s absolutely stunning around here. In a lot of ways, there’s some similarities to Vancouver in that you can get outside and enjoy the outdoors, lots of things to see. We’ve enjoyed going downtown, finding little coffee shops, and trying to learn to just live life as much as normal as possible. We’ve really enjoyed it.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Vancouver Whitecaps – Maxime Crepeau
Galaxy’s attack might not have clicked against Seattle but there is plenty of talent at Vanney’s disposal and, having only kept two clean sheets this season, Maxime Crepeau may have his work cut out in goal.
LA Galaxy – Sacha Kljestan
Hernandez has scored seven of Galaxy’s 10 goals this season, and Sacha Kljestan has scored another two, including a penalty in the defeat to Seattle. The 35-year-old has played in every game so far this term.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Beginning in 2017, the Whitecaps have won five of nine meetings with the Galaxy (D1 L3), including two of three last season (L1). Prior to 2017, Vancouver had recorded just three wins in 17 games against LA (D4 L10, including playoffs).
– Vancouver has lost four straight games after losing just one of its first four this season (W2 D1). The Whitecaps are one defeat away from equaling the longest losing streak in their MLS history (5 straight – June-July 2019 and August-September 2012).
– The Galaxy have lost seven of their last eight away matches (W1), conceding multiple goals in each of those matches. The eight straight road games the Galaxy have allowed multiple goals in equals the longest such streak in franchise history, also done in 1996 and 2008.
– Vancouver has both scored and conceded five set piece goals this season. Only New York City (eight) has scored more while only Portland Timbers (eight) and FC Cincinnati (seven) have allowed more.
– All 25 goals scored in Galaxy games this season (12 for, 13 against) have been scored inside the box. In fact, the last 41 goals scored and conceded in Galaxy games have been scored inside the box dating back to a Danny Musovski goal for LAFC on October 25, 2020.