LA Galaxy vs. Whitecaps  2 - 1

Article

Beckham: Magee starred in playoff win

2 November 2012 19:26

David Beckham has praised Mike Magee's efforts in the LA Galaxy's 2-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS playoffs.

Magee equalised in the 69th minute when the striker volleyed a cross from Juninho into the top corner after Vancouver had taken the lead after four minutes when Matt Watson's strike went in off the post.

The win advances the Galaxy to the Western Conference semi-final where they will meet the San Jose Earthquakes.

Two minutes after Magee's strike Vancouver's Martin Bonjour conceded a penalty which Landon Donovan converted.

"It is what Mike (Magee) does, he gets in positions and he is a clever player - a really intelligent player," Beckham said.

"We were putting a lot of balls into their six-yard box and then I saw Juninho for the short corner and he obviously put it in position on the penalty spot and Mike was there.

"We were 1-0 down and we were pushing to get the goal - that is where their other chance came from.

"I think we were always going to get a chance, and once we got that first goal the momentum would have taken us and we got a second goal."

Los Angeles held 73 percent of possession in the first half and in that time had 13 shots to Vancouver's three - Donovan said the side's patience was the key to their win.

"It was certainly not the way we wanted to start the game," Donovan said.

"One play broke us down and we were behind, but our determination was good and we kept putting them (Whitecaps) under pressure.

"In the second half they started opening up a little and couldn't keep defending like they did in the first half."

Vancouver had won just one game in 10 before the playoffs but Robbie Keane said it was important not to underestimate their opponents.

"They (Whitecaps) are a good team and we knew they were going to come here and sit back, especially when they got the first goal in the first three minutes," Keane said.

"Full credit to the lads, we showed a lot of patience and we didn't change the way we played, we kept the ball moving and played it quickly.

"At times it was tough but we didn't give up and we never looked like we were running out of ideas so full credit to us. We showed a lot of character and we're through to the next round."

Article

MLS: Los Angeles 2 Vancouver Whitecaps 1

2 November 2012 06:22

The LA Galaxy recovered from an early deficit with two goals in four minutes against the Vancouver Whitecaps to advance in the MLS playoffs.

It took some 70 minutes, but eventually the Galaxy found a way to break the Whitecaps' defensive block at the Home Depot Center with Mike Magee and Landon Donovan scoring after Darren Mattocks' opener in a 2-1 win.

The reigning MLS Cup champions now advance to the Western Conference semi-final to play California rivals the San Jose Earthquakes.

Vancouver had won only one game in 10 heading into the playoffs but looked like pulling off an upset against the Galaxy.

In only the fourth minute, Matt Watson exploited Sean Franklin's absence due to injury down the flank before centreing for Mattocks, who opened up his body to prod the ball in off the post.

From then on it was all Galaxy. Los Angeles finished with 73 percent of the possession in the first half and registered 13 shots to Vancouver's three in that time.

Right after Vancouver nearly caught LA on the break, David Beckham laid off a short corner to Juninho, who in turn found Magee to volley expertly into the top corner for the equaliser on 69 minutes.

Two minutes later, Martin Bonjour, having spent only seconds on the field as a substitute, shoved Donovan over in the box.

The referee awarded the penalty and Donovan duly stepped up to make the Galaxy's dominance pay from the spot.

Article

Galaxy unfazed by favourites tag

1 November 2012 07:40

The Los Angeles Galaxy have downplayed their status as favourites for their knockout play-off clash with Vancouver on Thursday.

The Galaxy, defending champions in the MLS, had a tough regular season that saw them finish fourth in the Western Conference.

That has not stopped them from being installed as warm favourites for Thursday's match at the Home Depot Center, but coach Bruce Arena was keen to shrug off that tag.

"You can call us whatever you'd like," Arena said. "We've been called every name this year, so whatever one you want to choose for this game is fine.

"I don't know how you define any of that stuff.

"In soccer it's a little different than other sports. Since it's low scoring, this is the sport there's most upsets in, probably. Favourite labels or underdog labels don't mean a whole lot in this sport."

Arena said outside perception would not affect his squad's motivation.

"We have no problem having our team ready to play this game - they're ready to play," he said.

Galaxy star David Beckham echoed his coach's sentiments.

"There are no underdogs in a one-off game, in my eyes," Beckham said.

"We believe that we are good enough but at some points this season we haven't been good enough so hopefully they are out the way and we can push through and win the game on Thursday and move on."

The Whitecaps have conceded just one goal in their last four games, and Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan knows his team will need to take their time in order to break down their opponents.

"We've stressed patience this week," Donovan said. "We have to assume the way they've spoken and the way they played last week in Salt Lake (a 0-0 draw) is indicative of how they're going to come here and play.

"If that's the case, two things need to happen: We need to be very patient and we need to be very alert and aware when the ball turns over and they counter.

"For us it's simple: We need to play well and we need to do the things we're good at.

"When we do that, more often than not we're successful."

Vancouver defender Jay DeMerit, meanwhile, believes his team will benefit from entering the game as underdogs.

"Any advantage you can get as you prepare is something you want to use and being the underdog has its advantages because when the pressure is off us a little bit we have the chance to concentrate on doing what we have to do and getting a solid game plan," he said.

"I think that is what the last couple of days is about.

"Now it is about lighting the fire and making sure we are ready to play and do what we have prepared for."

MLS table

# Team MP D P
1 34 +15 64
2 34 +32 61
3 34 +15 56
4 34 +10 54
5 34 +2 50

MLS table

# Team MP D P
3 34 +15 56
4 34 +10 54
5 34 +2 50
6 34 +9 49
7 34 -32 33