Three weeks after the Vancouver Whitecaps earned a 2-1 home victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy on Cristian Dajome’s late game-winning goal, the teams will meet again Sunday in Carson, Calif., this time with much more talent available.
Because of Gold Cup duty, the Galaxy were without midfielders Sebastian Lletget (USA), as well as Jonathan dos Santos and Efrain Alvarez (Mexico). The Whitecaps were without a pair of Canada national team members in forward Lucas Cavallini and goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau.
Alvarez was back in a starting role for the Galaxy’s 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, while Lletget came off the bench to help seal the three points. The Galaxy (10-6-1, 31 points) gave dos Santos more time away after the recent death of his father, but he will be available Sunday.
“The group is coming together now, and it’s the first game of many that are in front of us where hopefully we have a larger selection of the guys we think are going to play the majority of minutes,” Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney said.
Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez will not play for LA on Sunday as he continues to recover from a calf injury. He has not played since a 3-1 win at the San Jose Earthquakes on June 27.
The Whitecaps (3-7-6, 15 points) enter in last place in the Western Conference but are unbeaten in their past four games, in a run that started with the victory over the Galaxy.
They are coming off three consecutive ties, including a late rally for a 2-2 result Saturday against another surging team in the Minnesota United. Dajome’s goal from the penalty spot in the fourth minute of extra time sealed the point in the standings.
While Vancouver has lent forward Theo Bair to Norwegian team Hamarkameratene, the club signed attacking midfielder Ryan Gauld, who was with SC Farense in Portugal. The Whitecaps also added defender Florian Jungwirth in a trade with the San Jose Earthquakes.
Cavallini and Crepeau are fresh off a run with Canada to the Gold Cup semifinals where they were defeated by the Mexican side of dos Santos and Alvarez.
After more than a year away from Canada because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Whitecaps are back to training in Vancouver but won’t play their first game there until Aug. 21.
“It’s incredible. It’s been such a long time, more than 530-something days that we have been at home,” Whitecaps head coach Marc Dos Santos told SportsNet 650 in Vancouver. “It’s just great to be back at our training facility and find a little bit of a normal life with the team again.”
–Field Level Media
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