Pregame Notes: LA Galaxy vs Chivas USA

Galaxy host Chivas USA in the first leg of the SuperClasico on Sunday

LA GALAXY vs. CHIVAS USA
THE HOME DEPOT CENTER, Carson, California
March 17, 2013 (WEEK 3, MLS Game #26)
5 p.m. ET/ 2 p.m. PT (TWC SportsNet, UniMas, AM 1150, 1330 AM, LIVE CHAT)

MLS Rivalry Week concludes with one of the bigger derby matches in the league – the SuperClásico between The Home Depot Center denizens LA Galaxy and Chivas USA. The defending champion Galaxy return to league play after reaching the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals, their only MLS game a dominant win against the Chicago Fire. Chivas USA rebounded from an opening week with a 3-1 come-from-behind win against FC Dallas last weekend.

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REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar. SAR (bench): Ian Anderson; JAR (opposite): Mike Kampmeinert; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 161 games; FC/gm: 26.9; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 46; pens: 58

DISABLED LIST: none

SUSPENDED: none

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD

ALL-TIME (25 meetings): Galaxy 16 wins, 41 goals … Chivas USA 4 wins, 20 goals … Ties 5

AS GALAXY HOME GAME (13 meetings): Galaxy 9 wins, 25 goals … Chivas USA 2 wins, 11 goals … Ties 2

RETURN MATCHES: 6/23: Chivas USA vs. LA Galaxy, 8 p.m. PT (UniMas); LA Galaxy vs. Chivas USA, 2 p.m. PT
(UniMas)

LAST YEAR (MLS): 5/19: CHV 1, LA 0 (Correa 72); 7/21: LA 3, CHV 1 (Keane 14; Donovan 48, 78 – Cardozo 52); 8/12: CHV 0, LA 4 (Keane 27; Juninho 64, 74; Gonzalez 83)

  • The Galaxy won the final two meetings last year by heavy margins (3-0 and 4-0), and they’ve now won eight of the last nine league meetings dating back to 2009.
  • Chivas won 1-0 last May 19 to snap a six-game Galaxy winning streak in the series and a Chivas 11-game winless run in SuperClásicos, their first victory against the Galaxy since Aug. 23, 2007.
  • Coaches record: Bruce Arena vs. CHV: P12 W8 L3 D1 … José Luis Sánchez Solá vs. LA: first game

LA GALAXY

The LA Galaxy return to league play after a weekend off, opening the 2013 season with a 4-0 win against the Chicago
Fire at The Home Depot Center on March 3.

LAST MATCH

  • The Galaxy and Magee scored their first in the 38th minute. An attempted pass by Todd Dunivant was deflected by a Fire defender Steven Kinney -- but landed right at the feet of Magee, who volleyed inside the right post from about 12 yards.
  • The Galaxy and Magee doubled their count in the 68th minute. Again, Robbie Keane played instigator, splitting two defenders with a pass after he couldn't find an open shot at the top of the box, Magee firing home with his left foot.
  • It was 3-0 for both the defending champions and Magee six minutes later. Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson stopped Keane at the right post, but Magee took the rebound off his chest on the bounce, then turned and volleyed home.
  • The rout was completed 10 minutes from time following a corner kick, when Keane prodded the ball from close range after Omar Gonzalez headed down a cross from Michael Stephens.
  • Mike Magee was given the start partnering Robbie Keane in attack, with Colin Clark inserted wide on the left of midfield. Carlo Cudicini made his MLS debut in goal.
  • LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Carlo Cudicini - A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo, Todd Dunivant - Sean Franklin, Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas (Rafael Garcia 82), Colin Clark (Michael Stephens 67) - Robbie Keane, Mike Magee (Jack McBean 82).

WATCH: LA Galaxy Cruise Past Chicago Fire on Magee's hat trick

TEAM NEWS

  • Mike Magee scored the first hat trick of his MLS career in leading the Galaxy to the opening day victory.
  • I think he finished well. I don’t think his first 30 minutes were as good as I’d like to see, but I don’t want to get on the wrong side of Magee. He could get me fired, I guess, at this point,” said Bruce Arena. “His second half was real good. He and Robbie [Keane] did a real good job, got a number of chances.”

MLS GAME INFORMATION

  • With Landon Donovan still out on a leave of absence, Magee was moved forward to partner Robbie Keane in attack. “He’s a different class. All three of my goals somehow, somewhere started with him. Not that Robbie needed any more goals, but I was happy to see him get one,” said Magee.
  • Leonardo made his first league appearance since April 17, 2011, when he suffered torn ligaments in his right knee in a game against Chicago.
  • “I’m very happy to see Leonardo coming back. In a game where they needed to play against two strong forwards they were pretty solid. They held up very well. Just a very good performance by those two, as it was for a number of our players,” said Arena. “ … I think even as late as last November, we weren’t sure how he was going to show up in January. He’s put in a lot of time into getting himself back. He got a lot of great attention by our physical therapist and trainers and medical staff here. He’s been very determined and has worked very hard to get to this moment.”
  • Goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini recorded a clean sheet in his MLS debut. “Very good result. It’s very important to start off on the right foot. Great three points. I think the team was quite compact. We didn’t concede any chances to Chicago, which is important,” Cudicini said. “… It gives a boost for confidence. At the end of the day, I didn’t have to do much, which is always good. So, hopefully we can have another good performance next game.”
  • Following the league opener, the Galaxy traveled to Costa Rica for the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal, reaching a scoreless draw with CS Herediano.
  • Here’s the Galaxy team: Carlo Cudicini - Sean Franklin, Omar González, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant; Michael Stephens, Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas (Rafael Garcia 81), Héctor Jiménez (Leonardo 60); Robbie Keane, Mike Magee (Jack McBean 86)
  • Then on Wednesday, the Galaxy advanced to the semifinals with a 4-1 win against Herediano at The Home Depot Center. Omar Gonzalez sent the Galaxy on their way with a first-half goal, then Jose Villarreal, Robbie Keane and Jack McBean all hit the back of the net to seal the tie.
  • Here’s the Galaxy team: Carlo Cudicini; A.J. DeLaGarza, Leonardo, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant; Sean Franklin, Juninho (Rafael Garcia 80), Marcelo Sarvas, Mike Magee (Jack McBean 86); Jose Villarreal (Michael Stephens 75), Robbie Keane.
  • The Galaxy will now face CF Monterrey in the semifinals, after that club defeated Guatemalan side Xelajú 4-2 on aggregate.

CHIVAS USA

Chivas USA looked as if they could be on their way to a second consecutive defeat before storming back for a 3-1 win
against FC Dallas on Sunday afternoon at The Home Depot Center.

LAST MATCH

  • FC Dallas took the lead in the 57th minute. David Ferreira capped a mazy dribbling run down the left flank and through a few Chivas defenders with a stunning right-footed shot from a difficult angle, past goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
  • But Chivas scored their first goal of the season 11 minutes later when Juan Agudelo latched onto a pass, worked his way past defender Matt Hedges in the box and unleashed a left-footed strike that found the back of the net.
  • Chivas hit for a second in the 76th minute. FCD defender George John couldn’t control a pass deep in his own zone and Oswaldo Minda cleaned up the turnover, buried the go-ahead goal with a right-footed shot past FC Dallas goalkeeper Raúl Fernández.
  • Chivas USA capped the first victory for new manager José Luis Sánchez Solá when Giovani Casillas cashed in on a breakaway 3-on-1 opportunity in stoppage time, beating Fernández with a calm shot to the near post.
  • Jose Luis Sánchez Sola made four changes to the team that fell 3-0 to the Columbus Crew at The Home Depot Center. Bobby Burling came into a back four, Miller Bolanos and Oswaldo Minda started in midfield and Juan Agudelo came in up top, in place of Marvin Iraheta, Julio Morales, Giovani Casillas and Eric Avila.
  • CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - Mario de Luna, Joaquin Velazquez, Bobby Burling, Walter Vilchez - Miller Bolanos (Giovani Casillas 64), Edgar Mejia, Oswaldo Minda, Laurent Courtois (Eric Avila 57) - Juan Agudelo, Tristan Bowen (Jose Correa 46).

WATCH: Chivas USA complete comeback to earn first home win

TEAM NEWS

  • Coming off a season-opening home loss to Columbus, Chivas USA were still without a goal on the new season before exploding for three games late to defeat FC Dallas.
  • “We scored the first and second goals with a lot of quality. I believe that’s the difference between last week and today,” said Sánchez Solá. “We, as a group, are fighting and giving all on the field, that’s what we are obligated to do. … We still can improve in many aspects, especially individually. Today, we missed a lot of passes and we should have been close to score more.”
  • A year ago, Chivas USA won just one match after allowing the first goal, something they did 21 times over the course of the season (1-16-4).

MLS GAME INFORMATION

  • “We are still like a new-born in this league … We have a lot of faults, but the only one I don’t allow is for us to stop fighting. We can’t hang our heads for anything. It was another demonstration, with us down a goal on our own pitch and the time constricted, we raised our heads from the dead,” said Sánchez Solá.
  • Juan Agudelo did not start in the match vs. Columbus but was in the first team against FC Dallas, and netted the first goal of the season for Chivas.
  • “It was huge,” Agudelo said. “A lot of people underestimate our ability. We understand that and we know what we have to do. We just have to play and do what we’ve been doing our whole lives. We have to play soccer. It says a lot about our heart and how we work as a team. The biggest thing now is that we are capable of doing those things in games we are capable or working harder in the future.”
  • Bobby Burling made the start in central defense as Chivas USA moved to a back four, after playing with three defenders in the opening day loss.
  • Another change to the team from the opening match, Oswaldo Minda, scored the second Chivas goal, while substitute Giovani Casillas finished off the victory with a late strike.
  • “Obviously you make substitutions looking to improve your team’s performance, but please do not give me credit for the win. The players won today, not me,” said Sánchez Solá. “Every one of my players wants to go in. If I could, I would make seven substitutions, but I can’t. This win is a credit to all my players.”
  • “It is always difficult for newly-formed teams at the beginning,” said Minda. “The team has suffered throughout the week because of last week’s result, but today’s results came from the hard work and dedication we have put in during training sessions day in and day out.”
  • Chivas USA were hit with an injury blow when it was revealed defender Walter Vilchez will be out 4-6 weeks with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee.