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LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, 2016 MLS: Match Preview

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Alas a win for the LA Galaxy. On Wednesday, Bruce Arena's side sealed a place in the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup by beating the Portland Timbers 1-0. Now the Galaxy will look repeat the feat as they host the Vancouver Whitecaps at StubHub Center on Monday.

There is little sense in dressing things up. The fact of the matter is the LA Galaxy are winless in their last seven league games. Despite having looked fluid at times, a lack of incisiveness has been an issue for Bruce Arena's squad. As such, it was no longer a surprise to see the Galaxy concede a late goal against the San Jose Earthquakes, dropping points on the road for a fourth consecutive game.

In that regard, the returns of Gyasi Zardes and Robbie Keane from international duty will be welcomed boosts for Bruce Arena. The pair of forwards have been sorely missed, and in the span of five games the Galaxy were without the duo, the team as a whole only managed to score three times.

That said, with nearly half the season gone, the Galaxy are still in one of many playoff positions available. What happens in the next two months, however, will be telling about the real potential of this team. The bottom line is the Galaxy need to start winning games, and the Vancouver Whitecaps provide LA with a viable gateway to victory. That's because the Whitecaps arrive to this game on the back of a heartbreaking defeat in the 2016 Canadian Championship final. With just seconds remaining in the match, Toronto FC's Will Johnson scored the game-defining away goal that denied the Whitecaps the trophy.

Given that, the Galaxy can't afford to delve on their negative league run any longer. They have spurned good chances at earning key points in the past, and they need to start finding ways to turn their fluidity into wins.

LAST MEETING

Vancouver Whitecaps 0-0 LA Galaxy - April 2, 2016 - MLS

The LA Galaxy failed to take advantage of a Matias Laba red card in the first half as they were held to a goalless draw at BC Place.

LIKELY LINE-UPS

LA Galaxy (4-4-2): Rowe; DeLaGarza, Steres, Van Damme, Romney; Dos Santos, De Jong, Gerrard, Magee; Zardes, Keane

Vancouver Whitecaps (4-2-3-1): Ousted; Smith, Parker, Jacobson, Smith; Morales, Laba; Manneh, Mezquida, Bolanos; Hurtado