LA Galaxy players reflect on rivalry with Chivas USA ahead of final home SuperClasico

A.J. DeLaGarza and Juninho look back on their years of playing against Chivas USA

CARSON, Calif. – Sunday marks the end of era for the LA Galaxy and their supporters.

On Sunday, the LA Galaxy will host Chivas USA (5 p.m., Time Warner Cable SportsNet, Univision Deportes) for a final time at StubHub Center before the club’s anticipated rebrand—and potential move away from Carson—before the 2015 MLS regular season. The two clubs, whose locker rooms are separated by mere feet, will play just one more SuperClasico in August that will be hosted by the Rojiblancos before this chapter in the rivalry closes.

When you ask Galaxy veteran defender A.J. DeLaGarza his most favorite memory, the outside back’s answer is telling of the series’ one-sidedness to date.

“My first assist came against Chivas USA back in 2009 on an Edson Buddle goal, but then again, we also beat them in the playoffs that year, and we earned a lot of victories,” said DeLaGarza. “I guess that you could say that I have a lot of good memories against them.

“And we want to keep it that way. We don’t ever want to give them something to build upon or walk around like the stadium like they’ve gotten the best of us.”

DeLaGarza’s answer is not surprising seeing as the Galaxy hold a 10-2-4 record at home against Chivas USA as well as a 19-4-6 record overall in regular season competition. In fact, since the Galaxy’s last loss to Chivas USA on May 19, 2012, which was LA’s first in five years, the Galaxy have gone 5-0-1 their last six games against the Rojiblancos with a combined score of 17-2.

This season, Chivas USA have struggled out of the gate yet again, as they have slumped to a 1-5-2 record since the Galaxy defeated the Rojiblancos 3-0 on April 6. Despite Chivas’ poor form of late, the Galaxy understand that they must be mindful of the challenge that their intra-stadium rivals will pose.

“We know that they’re going to bring one of their better lineups this year with guys coming back from injuries and suspensions. We’re expecting a physical and compact team,” said DeLaGarza. “We don’t want to look back on the past results. It’s just important that we take care of business.”

But if Chivas leave StubHub Center, will that take any luster off the rivalry?

“No,” asserted DeLaGarza. “If they’re anywhere in this area, they’re going to be a rival of ours and someone that we want to beat every single time that we step out on the field.”

While Sunday’s match has symbolic importance, the Galaxy insist that it is simply the three points that are important, not the team that they may come up against.

“I have been here five seasons, but I’ve never met this situation before in the lower end of the table,” said Galaxy midfielder Juninho. “It is very sad, but I hope we can win against Chivas and move up the table.”

Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com