By MARK EDWARD HORNISH
CARSON, Calif. — The Vancouver Whitecaps do not love LA. In three years in MLS, and four visits to the Stub Hub Center, the men from British Columbia have never won or tied. They’ve only found the back of the net once, while conceding 10 goals all time in Los Angeles. Last year, the Whitecaps managed to record their first win against the Galaxy, but that was in Canada.
California proved once again to be a tougher nut to crack.
The Galaxy knocked off the Vancouver Whitecaps, 1-0, on a chilly night in Southern California. Robbie Keane tallied his third goal of the season when he ran onto the end of a curling Stefan Ishizaki cross in the 48th minute.
It was a frustrating result for the Whitecaps. While the Galaxy enjoyed greater possession, and put more shots on frame, it was the Whitecaps who posed a significant threat for extended stretches of the match.
The speed of Vancouver’s strike tandem of Darren Mattocks and Kekuta Manneh played havoc with the Galaxy back line repeatedly throughout the first half. Mattocks showed off the blazing speed and exceptional athleticism that has earned him extended playing time this season for new head coach Carl Robinson.
But it was Manneh, earning his first start of the season, who shook loose twice behind the Galaxy defense to fire off hard and low shots that forced a pair of impressive diving reaction saves from Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.
Landon Donovan will have to wait another week to attempt to surpass Jeff Cunningham for the MLS all-time goal-scoring record. He remains parked on 134 career goals in regular season play.
The Whitecaps, however, won’t have to wait long to attempt to exact some measure of retribution against their Western Conference rivals. The two teams will meet again in one week at BC Place in Vancouver.