MLS Snapshot: Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 LA Galaxy

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The game in 100 words (or less): This is your weekly reminder that the Vancouver Whitecaps are really, finally, definitely for real this year. The LA Galaxy are struggling to find their identity at the moment, but the Whitecaps just ran circles around them — literally, in some instances — and comfortably put a game to bed for the first time all season, against the defending champs. Pedro Morales, Kekuta Manneh, Octavio Rivero — take your pick at the most outstanding performer, because they were all magnificent.

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This pretty well sums up the Galaxy’s night:

Three moments that mattered

56′ — Manneh’s first of the season opens the scoring — Manneh is figuring “it” out a little bit more every week, and that’s a scary thought for all MLS defenders. Morales provided the through ball — duh — and Manneh’s first move was to run directly at Tommy Meyer, a significantly bigger, slower human being. Manneh spun Meyer like a top and finished low, incredibly well.

66′ — Rivero’s fourth of the season makes it 2-0 — Octavio Rivero is, just maybe, going to win the 2015 MLS Golden Boot. Four goals in five games, and he’s nowhere near finishing at the rate he should be, yet. Nicolas Mezquida did a great deal of the work down the left, linking with Rivero in the process, and once Omar Gonzalez switched his brain off, Rivero pounced on a sitting duck at the top of the six-yard-box with Jaime Penedo lying on the ground.

84′ — Buddle’s header flashes over the bar — Edson Buddle came on with eight minutes of regular time to play, and very nearly cut the ‘Caps lead in half 90 seconds later. Stefan Ishizaki’s right-sided cross found Buddle nearly the penalty spot and the veteran forward made solid contact with his head, but the shot sailed just high.

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Man of the match: Kendall Waston — 10 clearances, 9 interceptions, 2 tackles won, 2 shots blocked — is that good? I’m pretty sure that’s really good, and a huge part of why the Galaxy mustered just six shots all night. It was always a one-goal-wins-it kind of game for the ‘Caps.

LINEUPS

Vancouver Whitecaps: Ousted, Beitashour, Waston, Kah, Adekugbe, Laba, Teibert, Mezquida (Flores 82′), Morales, Manneh (Mattocks 78′), Rivero (Hurtado 86′)

Goals: Manneh (56′), Rivero (66′)

LA Galaxy: Penedo; DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Meyer (Gordon 78′), Dunivant (Buddle 64′), Ishizaki Juninho, Vayrynen (Rogers 40′), Husidic, Keane, Zardes