CARSON, Calif. – The California Clásico always produces an incredible atmosphere no matter where the match takes place, but Saturday’s clash at Stanford Stadium promises to be something special.
At least 40,000 fans will be in attendance at Stanford Stadium on Saturday evening just a year after the two clubs played in front of a sold-out crowd of 50,000. The match last season was an electric one both on and off the field as the Earthquakes defeated LA 5-3.
Thanks to the rivalry between the two teams, Stanford Stadium will represent a hostile environment for the Galaxy and captain Robbie Keane expects plenty of vitriol from the crowd.
“I expect what we’ll always get. They’ll give us a bit of stick because we’re the Galaxy and they’ll shout a lot of stuff,” said Keane. “As a player who has played in England for a long time, when you play away from home, I’m fairly used to that stuff. It’s quite good entertainment. I’m sure that it’ll be a hostile atmosphere and one that the players should relish
Although the chants and anti-Galaxy banners—or tifo—might be overwhelming for other players, the feisty Irish forward wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s funny. You give it back to them and it’s all done in a friendly way,” said Keane. “As long as people don’t go overboard, I give as good as I get.”
Joining Keane and the Galaxy at Stanford Stadium will be more than 300 Galaxy fans, who have made the trek north from Southern California. Team officials state that members of the LA Riot Squad, Angel City Brigade and Galaxians are expected to be in attendance.
“It’s always good. As we’re well aware in this country, it’s difficult for away fans to travel because it’s so far,” said Keane of the fans travel. “We’re playing a team that’s fairly close to us, so a lot of Galaxy fans will be there. It’s always nice to have them there.”
In this video by LAGalaxy.com videographer Paolo Ferrari, Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez, and Todd Dunivant preview the California Clasico.
Check it out below.
The LA Galaxy have arrived in the Bay Area ahead of Saturday's match against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Above is a shot that I snapped of the team arriving at the San Jose International Airport.
CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane has declared himself fit and ready to play in Saturday’s California Clásico against the San Jose Earthquakes.
A day after not being present for the LA Galaxy’s on-field training, Keane told reporters on Friday that he missed Thursday’s training session due to a nagging neck spasm.
“I had a spasm in my neck so I had to go to the doctor at the hospital to get some stuff done with it. It feels a lot better. I got a couple injections in it, so it feels a lot better today,” said Keane. “It was just a spasm. You literally can’t do anything about it, you just have to wait for it to get better, and it didn’t better. So we went to the hospital and got a couple of injections into it and it feels a lot better today.”
The LA captain has the green light from Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, who revealed that he expects Keane to be in the lineup on Saturday. The presence of Keane will be vital for LA as they take on the Earthquakes in what promises to be a heated match on Saturday at Stanford Stadium.
“It’s a rivalry isn’t it? They’re always tough games against them certainly since I’ve been here. It’s always good to go there because it’s a good atmosphere and we certainly look forward to it,” said Keane. “The history between both teams has been good. There have been a few tough games and heated games and it’s always good to play against them. We’re coming off a good win against another rival, so hopefully it can be the same outcome.”
CARSON, Calif. -- The San Jose Earthquakes may not be the barnstorming team that they were in 2012 when they won the Supporters' Shield, but San Jose will be at full strength for Saturday's match against the LA Galaxy.
San Jose will have reigning MLS MVP Chris Wondolowski, who missed last week's match against D.C. United with a leg contusion, available for the match, as well as forwards Alan Gordon and Steven Lenhart. Joining the attacking trio in the lineup will be Honduran defender Victor Bernardez, who is expected to start alongside Jason Hernandez in central defense.
The additions to the lineup isn't the only news in San Jose this week as the Earthquakes announced on Friday that they have signed defender Clarence Goodson. The U.S. international will join up with the Earthquakes following the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
CARSON, Calif. -- Joe Tutino and Cobi Jones analyze the LA Galaxy's California Clasico match against the San Jose Earthquakes below.
The U.S. Under-20's dream at the 2013 U-20 World Cup ended with a 4-1 defeat at Ghana, but LA Galaxy right back Oscar Sorto believes that he gained plenty from the experience.
A right back for the Galaxy, Sorto started in right midfield for the U.S. against Turkey and earned an assist when his cross was finished by Shane O’Neill for the lone U.S. goal of the match. Sorto made two appearances for the U.S. during the tournament and drew positive reviews, but he was unable to help the Americans defeat the Black Satellites on Thursday.
“It was a game we had to win. Unfortunately we made some mistakes, and up top we didn’t take our chances. They countered us well," said Sorto to USSoccer.com. "It was a good team, as well, and I thought the mistakes killed us. It was a hard game, back and forth. They were quick, too.”
Although the U.S. was unable to get past the group stage, Sorto was pleased with the opportunity to represent his country in Turkey.
“For me especially, it was the biggest experience. Two months ago I didn’t know if I was going to come here because of my injury. I just want to thank Tab and all the coaches for giving me a second chance,” said Sorto. “And for the team, it was amazing. Everyone is a good player. No one gave up for 90 minutes. I have no words for this team – we were fighting. Unfortunately we couldn’t make it to the second round.”
CARSON, Calif. -- Omar Gonzalez was not on the 23-man U.S. roster for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, but that doesn’t mean that he won’t play for the U.S. during the continental championship
After being placed on the 35-man provisional roster for the Gold Cup, Gonzalez is eligible to be one of U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s four roster changes following the group stage after an agreement was reached between U.S. Soccer and MLS earlier in the year. Klinsmann will have 24 hours following the final group stage match to make changes to his team. The agreement allowed players called up for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers in June to be eligible for their club teams during the weekend of May 25 in exchange for availability during the knockout rounds of the Gold Cup.
If Klinsmann does call Gonzalez up after the group stage then the 24-year-old center back believes that he’ll be ready.
“That was always the plan. I know the guys will do great in the group stages and if he decides to call me up then great,” said Gonzalez. “I want to be with the team, so we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
And based on his comments during Thursday’s teleconference with reporters following the Gold Cup roster announcement, it seems probable that Klinsmann will make changes following the group stage—but it all depends on his squad’s performance.
“It’s very likely the case. Looking today, but maybe things go extremely well with all 23 now,” said Klinsmann.” No injuries, no issues, it’s down to the 23 players to make their mark and make their case and then we’ll see how we want to switch things around after the group stage.”
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan’s absence from the U.S. National Team is over and now the LA Galaxy forward is eager to lead the U.S. to victory at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
More from Donovan below…
(On how much he missed being a part of the U.S. squad…)
DONOVAN: “I think that once that I get back in then I’ll realize how much that I miss it. I’ve been here for a long time consistently so it goes to the back of your mind. Once I get back in then I’ll be excited and I’m excited to have the opportunity again.”
(On what it will be like with the U.S. team…)
DONOVAN: “Who knows? I’m just going to worry about going in and playing in and enjoying it. I’m at a point where I really want to enjoy each day. Whether it is here or with the U.S. team, we’ll let the chips fall where they may.”
(On the Gold Cup…)
DONOVAN: This tournament will be a little bit different because a lot teams that are in qualifying are going to send rosters that are a little bit different. I can’t imagine that Mexico will send a lot of the players that you’ve seen over the last two months in all these different competitions. Same with some other teams. For us, the goal is always the same. Get out of the group and try to win the tournament and it’s a tournament that we feel like we have a good chance to win so we always approach it that way.”
(On the importance of the Gold Cup with a spot in the playoff for a 2017 Confederations Cup berth on the line …)
DONOVAN: “There’s no question. For a lot of us that are using this as an opportunity, there’s a lot of meaning anyway. But the added meaning for U.S. Soccer as a whole is potentially very big. We’re going to take it very seriously.”
Robbie Keane "likely" to be available for Saturday's match against San Jose after training indoors on Thursday
CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane did not train with the LA Galaxy on Thursday as he was given the day off from on-the-field training according to head coach Bruce Arena.
Arena said that Keane is “fine” while noting that the Galaxy captain trained indoors on Thursday and will “likely” be available for Saturday’s match against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Keane played the full 90 minutes in LA’s 1-0 victory over Chivas USA last week.
Think Keane will see time on Sunday?
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