The LA Galaxy have to travel up to Vancouver this weekend without Robbie Keane or Jack McBean and with a Wednesday tilt on the horizon. Luckily for LA, the Whitecaps have their own weekday tilt in the Canadian Championship against Montreal. Could we see Vancouver rest players against LA focusing fully on the Championship which could result in a CONCACAF Champions League berth? Those questions and more as we ask three questions of 86 Forever's Jonathan Szekeres. As always, to read my answers to his questions click here.
1) The easy answer is, get Darren Mattocks going. He had high expectations this season, telling reporters he could score 20 goals in a season; I highly doubt that is going to happen now. He is getting his opportunities, but his finish has been very poor aside from the one goal he has scored this season. Looking further down the roster, the mid has to be able to create more plays. Nigel Reo-Coker and Gershon Koffie have been very good this season, but Daigo Kobayashi has essentially disappeared after a strong start to the season. He was supposed to replace the creativity that was jettisoned from this team when Davide Chiumiento went back to Switzerland, and for the majority of his time here, that hasn't happened. A lot of people are blaming Head Coach Martin Rennie for the scoring woes, but the players simply need to be better.
2) You knew the defense would struggle a bit without Jay Demerit patrolling the backline, and they've been relatively solid this year, but nothing like they were in the early stages of 2012. They're more prone to defensive lapses this year, and I honestly don't know why. YP Lee and Alain Rochat haven't been as good as last year, and once again, I have no idea why, because, along with Demerit, they were arguably the backbone of this club a year ago. One thing I can tell you is the Whitecaps have historically been bad at defending set pieces, and they haven't improved that aspect of their game, so, there are plenty of holes on this club.
3) Head Coach Martin Rennie actually rested his players against FC Dallas before the first leg against FC Edmonton, and he was nearly crucified for it. Many (including myself) thought it was a ridiculous notion that his club would need to be rested to be ready for Edmonton, but it happened. Given the amount of negative coverage he received, I can't see him doing it again. However, he may look at the history of these clubs and see how LA has owned Vancouver, and rest his players because it's not likely they'll win. That's essentially what he did against Dallas, so it's not entirely out of the realm of possibility.
4) 2-0 LA.