Preview: Galaxy vs Earthquakes

In-state rivals meet in year's first California Clasico


Photo Credit: 
Robert Mora / Getty Images

The basics

(12-2-3, 1st place in Western Conference) vs. San
Jose Earthquakes
(6-4-4, 5th place in West)

Galaxy lead the all-time series at 24-14-6

Broadcast info

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes

Radio/Audio: ESPN Deportes 1330AM (Los Angeles area), (English)

What's at stake?

The first blow in the 2010 California Clasico. The two teams will
meet again in San Jose on Aug. 21, but these longtime rivals will want
to draw first blood in this match. For San Jose, the game also
represents a chance to move up in the Western Conference table as the Quakes
are within three points of third-place Dallas.

Last meeting

The Galaxy were in a logjam near the top of the Western Conference
table when lowly San Jose visited The Home Depot Center to close out the
2009 MLS regular season. Bobby Burling didn’t help San Jose’s cause
with an own-goal in the 24th minute, and Landon Donovan closed out
the Quakes with a 77th-minute goal as the Galaxy won 2-0 and also laid
claim to the regular-season conference title.

Heroes & Villains

Bobby Convey vs. Sean Franklin: The Galaxy’s Franklin
had perhaps his strongest performance of the season in a 2-1 win over
D.C United last weekend. The 2008 Rookie of the Year was responsible for
creating both tallies, though Edson Buddle and Donovan got the goals. Convey
has also enjoyed a fine campaign and has been whipping balls into his
teammates from the left flank. It’s likely neither player will be able
to completely shut down the other, so whoever takes advantage of their
chances better will help his club.

Chris Wondolowski vs. Gregg Berhalter:
Few probably had pegged Buddle as the league’s scoring leader through
the first half of the season, but fewer likely had Wondolowski leading
the Quakes in goals through the midpoint of the season. “Wondo” has a
team-high six goals, though he has’t scored in the last four games and
trying to get past Berhalter and central defense partner Omar Gonzalez will be a tough task.
Wondolowski is a shifty forward with a knack of being in the right place
at the right time and could break his scoreless drought if Berhalter
& Co. aren’t careful.

Stat that makes you go "Hmm..."

In 21 all-time trips the Earthquakes have taken to Pasadena/Carson,
the Northern Californians have only notched four victories, and only one
since 2001.

He said it

“All these games are going to be tough. They’re going to be coming at
us fast and we just have to be as ready as we can be.” – Buddle on the
Galaxy’s upcoming calendar which, starting Thursday, features five games
in 17 days.