CARSON, Calif. – The California Clásico is always a physical battle with plenty of knocks and bumps on both sides and in the closing stages of Saturday’s 3-0 LA Galaxy victory over the San Jose Earthquakes, defender A.J. DeLaGarza felt the brunt of that physical play.
In the 82nd minute, Earthquakes forward Steven Lenhart crashed into DeLaGarza on a set piece opportunity that left the defender on the ground. A minute later, DeLaGarza was removed from the match in favor of Michael Stephens as the effects of the injury still lingered.
Following the match, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said that DeLaGarza simply suffered a knock that was not serious and the defender echoed those statements.
“I’ll be fine. I’m sure that it’ll be a nice Charlie horse in the morning. He got me in my thigh and he clearly went out of his way to do that,” said DeLaGarza. “They’ll look at it and he’s obviously a repeat offender and whatever happens, happens.”
Although he literally “took one for the team,” DeLaGarza was simply pleased to get a result that sealed LA’s fourth straight win and third straight shutout.
“It’s big and the confidence is definitely rising. To get a shutout in Vancouver and two at home is positive,” said DeLaGarza. “We're all making those plays now that we weren't making earlier in the year.
“We got three points and a shutout where they didn't have many chances on goal so it’s a real positive.”