Sun, 01 Aug 2021

Even in Utah, Whitecaps happy to play before fans vs. Galaxy

Field Level Media
23 Jun 2021, 10:40 GMT+10

At some point, hopefully soon for the Vancouver Whitecaps, the team will be able to return to Canada and resume the Major League Soccer season at home.

Until then -- and signs are positive it will happen by August -- the Whitecaps continue to play home matches at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, the home of MLS rival Real Salt Lake. That's the site of Wednesday night's game against the Los Angeles Galaxy, with Vancouver the home team and playing in front of fans for the first time this season.

Granted, those will be mainly locals from Utah, but a crowd will be a welcome sight.

"If we can build a little bit of excitement and make it feel like a home game for us against the Galaxy, that would be incredible," defender Andy Rose told the club website. "We'd love to have them come out."

Vancouver (2-5-1, 7 points) has lost four straight games, three of those away from Utah. Last Friday they fell 3-1 to Real Salt Lake in a game that was close most of the way.

The Galaxy (5-3-0, 15 points) are coming off a frustrating 2-1 loss to the top team in the Western Conference, the Seattle Sounders, at home. Los Angeles took the lead on a penalty kick in the 21st minute, but conceded goals in each half and couldn't solve the Seattle defense.

The Galaxy had won three of their last four games before last Saturday's loss. Sacha Kljestan scored the only goal for the home team in front of the largest crowd in more than a year at Dignity Health Sports Park (23,165).

"So frustrating and disappointing to lose at home in front of the big crowd," Kljestan said. "That was so fun to play in front of them again."

The Galaxy open a stretch of four matches in 15 days on Wednesday against Vancouver. Wednesday's match is the 26th MLS regular-season meeting between the Galaxy and Whitecaps, with the Galaxy holding a 12-8-5 record head-to-head.

--Field Level Media

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