Galaxy sends Whitecaps to Fourth Straight Loss

Posted on 02 September 2012 by iyeo

One team is heading in one direction while another team appears to be clinging onto its postseason life.
The Galaxy entered Saturday’s matchup against the Vancouver Whitecaps looking to continue its climb up the Western Conference standings while the Whitecaps came in mired in a three-match losing streak. When 90 minutes were up at the Home Depot Center on Saturday night, it was mission accomplished for LA, as they sent Vancouver to its fourth straight loss courtesy of a 2-0 win.

“We needed it to be a good performance,” Galaxy midfielder David Beckham said. “”We’re happy with the win, at times we could’ve played better, but overall, we’re happy with tonight.”

Beckham Juninho were the goal scorers, and both goals came in vintage fashion for the two, as Juninho blasted a trademark long-range volley just before halftime while Beckham’s goal came on a trademark free kick late in the second half. The Galaxy at the moment sit in third place in the conference pending the outcome of the Seattle Sounders matchup against FC Dallas on Sunday.

The Galaxy broke through in the 41st minute when Hector Jimenez crossed a ball to Robbie Keane, who then quickly touched it to a charging Juninho, and the midfielder’s volley from about 30 yards out beat keeper Brandon Knighton right post to put the Galaxy ahead. Los Angeles continued to maintain possession throughout the second half while holding down Vancouver on the other side of the field, and the Galaxy got a chance to put the game away in the 78th minute when Keane was fouled by Martin Bonjour 25 yards away from goal, giving Beckham a set piece opportunity. The Whitecaps’ John Thorrington initially covered the left post area, but with Keane making his way into the penalty area, Thorrington was caught in the middle of trying to keep the left post guarded and marking Keane in the box. Beckham then sent the free kick over Thorrington and the Vancouver wall into that left post area to give the Galaxy the two-goal cushion they rode all the way to victory.

“The Juninho goal was huge, and in the second half, I thought the energy Vancouver put into the first half fatigued them,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said.

In addition to moving up the conference standings, the Galaxy are just seven points back of the San Jose Earthquakes in the Supporters Shield race, though that point differential could change when San Jose hosts Chivas USA, also on Sunday. The Whitecaps remain in the fifth spot and still five points back of FC Dallas.

“It’s something we’re going to have to fight through,” Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie said. “We’re still in a good position, but we must find our form and now’s the time to find it.”

The Galaxy will be off next week due to the international break, as will most MLS teams. Los Angeles returns to the pitch on Friday, September 14 when they host the Colorado Rapids. The Whitecaps meanwhile brace for perhaps its biggest match of the season a day later on the 15th, as they go on the road to face FC Dallas.

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