Russell Teibert scored his first two professional goals thirteen minutes apart to help the Vancouver Whitecaps to their first-ever win over the LA Galaxy this weekend.
Coming off the bench in the 14th minute in injury relief of Daigo Kobayashi, Teibert showed great speed and good chemistry with Nigel Reo-Coker. More important for the Caps, he showed solid finish, something Vancouver has been sorely lacking over the past eight weeks of Major League Soccer action.
Much of the first 60 minutes of this game was uneventful. Sure, there were a few chances, but a lot of the action took place in the midfield, with both teams showing little creativity or desire. Teibert took a Reo-Coker pass on the right flank in the 63rd minute, however, and injected some flair into the match. He cut into the middle of the field just shy of the 18-yard box, then using a trio of Galaxy defenders as a screen, Teibert launched a left-footed strike past Galaxy keeper Carlo Cudicini. It was the first pro goal for the player born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and represents a massive boon for the Whitecaps FC Residency program, which Teibert joined in 2008.
His second goal came in the 76th minute, off of a gorgeous give-and-go with Gershon Koffie. This time, Teibert didn’t need to dribble his way into the danger area. He fed Koffie a pass down low, then finished off with a one-timer from 12 yards out.
After having his strongest game in a month, Darren Mattocks capped off the scoring in injury time with a bit of a lucky one from inside the six-yard box. Despite having numerous chances in close each game, the speedy Jamaican had failed to score since March 23 in Houston. Caps fans will no doubt hope this gimme will open the floodgates for Mattocks, who scored seven times last year and predicted a 20-goal campaign for 2013.
As for the Galaxy, they had the majority of ball possession, and forced Joe Cannon to make a couple of tough saves in close. The Caps, however, managed to keep LA’s most dangerous weapons out of the mix. Well, okay, I suppose you can’t credit Vancouver for silencing Robbie Keane — he’s out of the lineup with an injury at the moment. But Johnny Leveron and Andy O’Brien frustrated the likes of Landon Donovan, Jose Villareal and leading scorer Mike Magee. It seemed that O’Brien’s sole instruction this match was, “Put your hand in Donovan’s pocket, and keep it there until you hear the final whistle.” He effectively stymied the US legend, who looked uncharacteristically harried every time he touched the ball. You wouldn’t think a team coming off back-to-back championships would miss the injured Robbie Keane quite this much, but there it was on the pitch for all to see, and the Galaxy lost their second match in a row.
The Whitecaps won for the first time in eight MLS games — they won consecutive games against the NASL FC Edmonton, but hadn’t won an MLS match since the first week of March. They next face the red-hot Montreal Impact in the Canadian Championship final on Wednesday, May 15. The next home game is three days later: on May 18 the Caps host the Portland Timbers.
You want your highlights? You got ’em, my brothers and sisters.