First Trip Above the Border for LAFC

Friday night lights for Los Angeles Football Club tonight April 13 as LAFC travel to BC Place in Vancouver, Canada to face the Vancouver Whitecaps at 7 p.m.

Whitecaps manager Carl Robinson spoke to the media on Wednesday at BC Place and the Welsh-born manager mentioned his team could be more clinical in the box. Last week in a 1-2 loss to Real Salt Lake, two frivolous goals at the end of each half exposed Vancouver and left them feeling paralyzed.

The Whitecaps manager also praised LAFC coach Bob Bradley and mentioned the game against the Southern California club will be a difficult one. LAFC has lost the last two matches, but started off winning it’s first two. One of which was a 5-1 thumping of Real Salt Lake.

“Bob is good at what he does so it’s going to be a very difficult game for us without a doubt,” said Robinson, “You don’t get too carried away when they win the first two games and they won’t get beaten up when they lose the next two games.”

The Whitecaps have played six games and have earned 10 points, beating Columbus Crew SC, Houston Dynamo, and Montreal Impact while losing to Atlanta United and tying the Los Angeles Galaxy. Midfielder Brek Shea and striker Kei Kamara are leading the Vancouver squad with three goals each.

Coach Bradley’s blueprint for practice this week was improving from the 5-0 loss to Atlanta where he said lots of learning came from the defeat.

“We’ve had a very good week of training. Of course, when you lose 5-0, there’s a hard look at many different things,” Bradley told reporters Thursday, “There were positives, so we understood that. But we also realized that, especially late in the game, we just lost our way. And that has to be something we take personally, and to ensure that is not going to be the way we go about things.”

Dealing with Kamara and Shea will be a different task for LAFC captain and center back Laurent Ciman this time. After having to deal with Atlanta’s fast-pace style last week, Ciman and his back-line will face a more direct and physical attack from Vancouver.

The Black and Gold travel to Canada without left back Joao Moutinho whose two yellow cards against Atlanta United meant he would be suspended from this match, more than likely making way for veteran defender Jordan Harvey to make his first LAFC start.

Before moving to LAFC this winter, Harvey spent six seasons in Vancouver. The left back will be making his return to BC Place for the first time since joining LAFC and exuded all business to the press Wednesday, telling the media that the team’s character is significant and that it’s time to show it out on the pitch.

Harvey told “That’s what we’re going to bring into this game. That character and never-say-die attitude. Really focus on our foundation, the style of play that we want to put on the pitch and do that for 90 minutes.”

Dejan Jakovic is the only possibility to make his way back into the lineup after being left out of the starting 11 for the first time this season against Atlanta. Walker Zimmerman began the season on the injured list but will more than likely be chosen ahead of Jakovic again – possibly because coach Bradley prefers Zimmerman’s passing out of the back to Jakovic’s much slower touch.

Vancouver chooses to defend deep and move forward on the counter attack so Zimmerman’s passing will be crucial in the way LAFC attempt to cut through the Whitecaps back-line.