Galaxy remind Chivas USA who owns LA

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Photo Credit: 
German Alegria

CARSON, Calif. — The Galaxy haven’t lost to Chivas
USA since 2007, and haven’t allowed a regular-season goal against their
Home Depot Center co-tenants since 2008.

To say the
SuperClásico series has gone the Galaxy’s way would be like saying
Landon Donovan had some good moments with Everton this winter.

After
LA’s latest victory over Chivas, a ho-hum 2-0 win on Thursday, Galaxy
players said their victory on the night was due to one major factor:
They worked harder for the win.

“Our competitiveness was very
good and in this game that has to be the starting point,” Donovan said
after the match. “Whether you play well in these games as a team, who
doesn’t really matter, you have to be able to compete and I think we
out-competed them. We outworked them, we outran them and that's why we
won.”

Edson Buddle scored both goals and now has accounted for
all three of the Galaxy’s goals on the year.

LA improved its
regular-season record over Chivas to 11-3-5 and picked up its fourth
consecutive regular-season shutout against its rivals. The Galaxy also
ensured they will go three calendar years without a league loss to
Chivas -- the clubs will next meet on Oct. 3 in the only other
SuperClásico on the schedule.

Chivas maintained possession for
much of the game but the Galaxy picked their spots well, scoring on
their only two shots on goal of the match. Buddle scored in the seventh
minute and added a second goal three minutes from time.

“We
were obviously opportunistic,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. “The
early goal again was an important goal in the game. They had no
chances really the entire game until [Jesús] Padilla had that
outstanding opportunity.”

Aside from Padilla’s 80th-minute
attempt, the Galaxy never felt threatened by Chivas; not that Galaxy
players were surprised by Chivas’ lack of punch.

“They had a lot
of the ball and they moved the ball well,” Donovan said. “Like always
with them, they weren’t overly dangerous. They had one good chance, but
aside from that, they weren't all that dangerous.”

About the
only thing that went wrong was Buddle’s teeth. The LA striker took an
elbow to the mouth in the season-opener and had a splint placed on his
teeth to keep them in place. Midway through the first half, he took
another shot to the teeth and bad memories flooded him.

“[Sacha
Kljestan] hit me with an elbow but it wasn't flush so I still have my
teeth,” Buddle said.

A week ago, New England’s Pat Phelan did the
damage. But Buddle didn’t have time to react to that shot, other than
to lay on the ground in pain. But Thursday, Buddle said he was
instantly irritated.

“He put his body in there but he came in
kind of high of his elbow,” Buddle said. “Just [had] a flashback with
all the teeth things going on, so I was just a little bit upset.”

Buddle
drew a yellow card for unsporting behavior but he insisted his chat
with Kljestan was about a possible outing with his rival.

“We see
each other so much here that we're having lunch this weekend,” Buddle
said. “He’s picking up the tab. We won so he has to pay.”

For the
second consecutive match, the Galaxy’s defense pitched a shutout.
While New England had a few opportunities in the season opener, Chivas
were limited to six shots with just two on frame.

The
Red-and-White whimpered out of the 19th regular-season SuperClásico but
will live to fight another day. Someday, the series won’t have the same
one-sidedness the Galaxy enjoy now. When that day will be remains to
be seen, but it will happen, someday.

“These things go in
cycles,” Arena said. “We’ve just been fortunate at this point in time.
Chivas will win their share of games in this rivalry. There is no
question about that. At this point in time, we've had the upper hand.”