CARSON, Calif. – The last edition of the Superclásico left a bitter taste in the LA Galaxy’s mouth as for the first time in 11 meetings, Galaxy fell to cross-hall rivals Chivas USA in a 1-0 defeat. But now with the Galaxy on the rise after a recent run of results, LA is determined not to suffer the same fate on Saturday.
Although dropping an important result to their archrivals could have sunk a Galaxy team that was mired in last place in the Western Conference at the time, it in fact did the opposite. Since the defeat to Chivas in May, the Galaxy have begun a steady ascent in the Western Conference standings by going 5-4-1 following the loss to the Rojiblancos.
Following training on Friday, Galaxy captain Landon Donovan admitted that the loss to the Rojiblancos was a wakeup call of sorts for an LA team that has begun a steady ascent in the standings.
“We certainly weren’t happy about [the result] and I think given the situation that we're in now, it becomes a lot more meaningful for us,” Donovan told reporters. “We have a chance to get to 30 points and five or six weeks ago, we were on 11 points. It’s a big deal for us and we don’t like losing to that team so it left a bad taste in our mouths.”
While the Superclásico is traditionally an emotionally charged affair, with the clubs in close proximity in the standings, the emotion levels are expected to rise even higher on Saturday. Currently, the Galaxy sit just one spot ahead of Chivas in the Western Conference standings in fifth place, but despite LA holding a four point advantage on their rivals, the Rojiblancos hold three games in hand. STANDINGS
With the two teams in the midst of a dogfight in the standings, Donovan admits that Saturday’s match could be a potential turning point for the Galaxy if they are to continue to climb up the table.
“We’ve done a decent job of getting back in the mix and now we have to start distancing ourselves from teams below us and start catching some teams ahead of us,” said Donovan. “We’re in a really interesting spot and if we take advantage of it then we can do some damage.”
Read Adam Serrano’s LA Galaxy Insider blog at lagalaxy.com/insider