Whitecaps get a win at StubHub
L.A.’s 29-game home unbeaten streak ends as team deals with a rash of injuries.
There was a time when the Galaxy basically owned the Vancouver Whitecaps no matter the venue and when L.A. couldn’t seem to lose at home.
But all that was put to a stop when the Galaxy dropped a 1-0 match to the Whitecaps on Saturday night at StubHub Center, breaking several streaks for an L.A. team dealing with more than its share of adversity because of health issues and international play.
The Galaxy didn’t have a shot on goal, the first time that has happened at home during the regular season and the first time since April of 2012 at Kansas City.
“I don’t think it was for a lack of effort,” Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena said. “We should have shot a few more times, particularly in that second half.”
The lone goal of thegame was inthe first half by Kekuta Manneh — his second goal of the season — off an assist from Octavio Rivero on the fast break.
Before Saturday night’s match, the Galaxy had an 82-2 all-time record against the Whitecaps, going 6-0 at home while scoring 13 goals and allowing just one.
The Galaxy had been tough to beat at StubHub Center, producing a 29game unbeaten streak in all competitions here, including 23 consecutive home games during the Major League Soccer regular season (17-0-6).
But all that became a distant memory for the Galaxy.
They had entered the game having 14 players miss time to injury or illness. There were three others who missed starts because of suspension or international duty.
That meant the Galaxy was forced to start its 16th different starting lineup in 16 games, making it difficult to find consistency and continuity.
And just when the Galaxy got a healthy Robbie Keane (groin) back in his first start since April 4, the forward left the team for international duty.
Keane was called up to the Ireland national team and will play Sunday in Dublin before Ireland hosts Scotland in a UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying match. He departed after Saturday night’s game and won’t be available for the selection match at Columbus Crew SCon June13.
The Galaxy also lost forward Gyasi Zardes, who was called up to the U.S. national team last week to play in a friendly against the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Friday night and in a game Wednesday against World Cup champion Germany in Cologne.
But at some point this season, the Galaxy hopes to be whole, which then perhaps would allow L.A. to become the team it aspires to be.
“We’re doing the best we can,” Arena said. “It’s been a little bit of a patchwork job in the first half of the season. That’s unfortunate. That’s the way it goes. No excuses, but we’re a little bit shorthanded in a lot of spots on the field.”