Competition: Major League Soccer – San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy
Venue: Stanford Stadium – Saturday, July 1 – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST)
Match Odds: SJ Earthquakes 5/6 – Draw 12/5 – LA Galaxy 3/1
San Jose Earthquakes do battle with local rivals LA Galaxy at Stanford Stadium for the second Californian Clasico of the season on Saturday night, with the two rivals separated by just a point coming into Week 18.
San Jose are one point ahead of LA, having played one game more, and know they need to get revenge for their 4-2 home defeat to their West-coast rivals just over a month ago.
The Earthquakes are now preparing for their first MLS game since sacking Dominic Kinnear earlier this week in a move that took many people by surprise, particularly off the back of last Saturday’s 2-1 win over RSL.Embed from Getty Images
The Quakes advanced past Seattle 2-1 on Wednesday night in the US Open Cup in Chris Leitch’s first outing as head coach. But he knows that Saturday’s Clasico will offer a much tougher test. The home fans will expect a win, but they’ve only managed one in their last seven clashes against the Galaxy.
The visitors arrive having eased past Sacramento Republic in Wednesday’s Open Cup clash, but they will still feel disappointed at losing their first MLS outing in nine last weekend, as Sporting KC emerged victorious from StubHub Center last Saturday.Embed from Getty Images
Curt Onalfo has got his side looking more solid than they did through the first six weeks of the season but they still have a big job at hand if they are to seal a place in the playoffs, let alone challenge for a sixth MLS Cup title.
The boost for LA is that they’ve already beaten San Jose this season in that 4-2 win a few weeks back. That was one of the Galaxy’s four away wins from their last five road games, with the only other result in that stretch a 0-0 draw at DC United, so they should arrive at Stanford Stadium in high spirits.
San Jose will be without Nick Lima after he was sent off in last weekend’s clash with Real Salt Lake. The Quakes also have six players sidelined through injury, with Quincy Amarikwa, Marvell Wynne, Marc Pelosi, Harold Cummings, Florian Jungwirth and Fatai Alashe all out.
LA Galaxy are definitely without four players as Robbie Rogers, Sebastian Lletget, Baggio Husidic and Brian Rowe are injured, while doubts are hanging over Daniel Steres, Jermaine Jones, Raul Mendiola and Bradley Diallo. Gyasi Zardes won’t be available as he is part of the USA’s Gold Cup squad that play Ghana on Saturday. Giovani Dos Santos will also miss out as a result of his participation at the Confederations Cup with Mexico.
SJ Earthquakes’ form: W/L/L/D/W
LA Galaxy’s form: W/D/D/W/L
Key Stat: San Jose Earthquakes have only lost one of their last 11 home games in MLS, but that was to LA Galaxy back in May.
Key Player: Chris Wondolowski – The San Jose veteran knows what it takes to win a Californian Clasico, given the fact this will be his 17th derby clash against LA. He has scored five in his last seven games against the Galaxy and will look to hurt them again here.Embed from Getty Images
SJ Earthquakes 1-1 LA Galaxy – It’s tough to separate the rivals coming into this weekend’s clash. Both had midweek cup successes and that might take its toll on a few members of each squad but a game of this magnitude requires full concentration from start to finish. Both will expect to score but ultimately, we see this one ending all square.