Carson City, California- The StubHub! Center, July 20, 2013 (Photos: Victor Posadas)
The Los Angeles Galaxy knew that they game versus the Vancouver Whitecaps was a very important game. The Whitecaps were two points in front of the LA Galaxy in the Western Conference standings and LA knew that if they wanted to advance further up the standings they would have to beat teams in front of them.
The game started with both teams attacking from the get-go. Most games, the teams start a little tentative because they are studying each other’s game plan. They normally poke and prod looking for a weak spot in the opponents’ defense without committing many men to the attack. In this game, both the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Vancouver Whitecaps came out committing men to the attack looking for the early lead. Galaxy was about to take the lead in the tenth minute when Hector Jimenez shot from distance but the ball hit the crossbar and bounced out. Galaxy’s attack was looking promising and it looked like they were going to take the early lead any minute.
Then something happen to the Galaxy that for this season, it seems like it’s the norm. Galaxy knew that they had all the momentum but then in Vancouver’s first scoring opportunity, they capitalized and scored the first goal of the game. Vancouver had the ball on the right flank. There they tried to pass it to Russell Teibert but the pass was behind him. He lifted he foot back and was able to expertly pass it to Camilo who was running on the left flank. Camilo received the ball and he ran straight towards Carlos Cudicini. Cudicini came out of his line to try to cut any shooting angle that Camilo could have but he shot before Cudicini got there. He shot it low and to Cudicini’s left but Cudicini couldn’t react fast enough to block the shot. Vancouver stunned the Galaxy in the 19th minute with the first goal of the game.
Galaxy tried to answer Vancouver’s goal quickly but Vancouver began playing better defense. Galaxy wasn’t able to reach Vancouver’s goal as often as they did before Vancouver scored their goal. Then the Galaxy were able to earn a free kick in a dangerous area. Juninho was the one who was in charge of taking the free kicks. He crossed the ball to the far post where Omar Gonzalez headed the ball back into the box. Jose Villarreal was able to get to the ball before anyone else and just tapped the ball into the net to score Galaxy’s first goal of the game and tie the match. LA was about to start celebrating when it seemed that the referee was about to call off the goal presumable because of an offside call. The Galaxy couldn’t believe their luck. They had just tied the game but their goal was nullified because of a nonexistent offside call. The referee went to confirm the call with his second assistant and after a short conference the referee decided that there was no offside and allowed the goal. LA was able to tie the game with Villarreal’s goal.
Galaxy came out in the second half looking to take the lead. They weren’t getting as clear opportunities as they did in the first half but they were still trying. They were attacking with crosses and long shots but none found their mark in the back of the net. Then Gyasi Zardes was able to break the one-one dreadlock in the 58th minute of the game. He received a long pass from Todd Dunivant but Zardes was only able to control the ball close to the touch line. There he was able to cut back into the field, dodge the defender and shoot on goal. His shot was low and hard. Brad Knighton tried to react fast enough to block the shot but he couldn’t stop the shot. Galaxy was leading the game two-one.
After that goal, the LA Galaxy began playing less aggressive. When they attacked it was more of a methodical attack. They would use short passes to advance the ball forward and of they saw that they weren’t able to advance the ball, they would pass the ball back and start the attack all over. By playing like that, Galaxy was able to secure this much needed win at home. With the win, they are now in third place in the Western Conference standings and only four points behind first place Real Salt Lake.
Their next game will be versus the Colorado Rapids at Colorado on July 27.