CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy’s Steven Gerrard was introduced to Major League Soccer just over a month ago when the defending MLS Cup champions faced the San Jose Earthquakes in this season’s second edition of the California Clasico.


It was Gerrard’s first MLS game after more than 500 career appearances with his former club, Liverpool, and the Galaxy rallied from an early 2-0 deficit for a 5-2 victory in front of a sold-out crowd of 27,000 at StubHub Center.


The fierce Western Conference rivals meet again Friday, but this time in hostile territory at San Jose’s sold-out Avaya Stadium (8 p.m., UniMas). Gerrard said he expects the match intensity to be amped up considerably, but it’s nothing he isn’t used to at this point in his storied career.
“I’ve played away in many derby games and you expect it to be fierce and competitive,” he said, referring to showdowns involving Liverpool in the English Premier League. “All the supporters are going to be against us, but I think this is a good test for the team.
“This separates the boys from the men. We’ve got to be prepared to fight, get hit and do the dirty work and stick together. It’s not going to be a comfortable 90 minutes … there’s going to be times when we have to stick together and hold on. We’ve got to expect that.
“If we’re prepared to do it I’m sure we can get the result we want.”
The Galaxy (13-7-7, 46 points, first in the West) and Earthquakes (10-10-5, 35 points, tied for sixth in the West) enter the match in good form. The Galaxy have won four of their last five MLS games and also have won two in a row on the road after not winning away from StubHub Center in more than a year. The Earthquakes return home also after winning consecutive games on the road – at D.C. United and at Sporting Kansas City – and have won three games in a row without conceding a goal.

San Jose has lost just once in the last 11 meetings with the Galaxy in Northern California. That lone setback occurred June 28, 2014 at Stanford Stadium, where the Galaxy earned a 1-0 victory.


But a Galaxy attack that has totaled an impressive 18 goals in the last five MLS games leaves players feeling optimistic about their chances Friday.


“Both teams certainly are on a good run at the moment,” said the Galaxy’s Robbie Keane, who has 13 goals, including six in his last four league matches. “We’re in a good spot at the moment where we can continue to do well, really dominating teams. But we know it’s going to be tough.
“Going there is always a different game, but we’re fairly confident we’re quite capable the way we’re going at the moment that we can go there and get something.”
The Earthquakes have been getting a big year out of Chris Wondolowski, who has three goals in his last two matches and 12 on the season, and Quincy Amarikwa is next with four goals and three assists.
“It will be a big game,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “Obviously the rivalry is a big one. San Jose is on a roll as of late, so is the Galaxy.

“It should make for a great game.”




SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES vs. LA GALAXY
AVAYA STADIUM, San Jose, Calif.

August 28, 2015 (WEEK 26, MLS Game #258)
8 p.m. PT (UniMás)


The third edition of the California Clasico in Major League Soccer play kicks off Heineken Rivalry Week when the San Jose Earthquakes play host to the LA Galaxy on Viernes de Fútbol at Avaya Stadium. It’s a meeting of two of the hottest teams in MLS. The Quakes return home after extending their winning streak to three games with a 2-0 victory over then-Supporters’ Shield leaders D.C. United last weekend. The Galaxy are on the road after winning their fourth consecutive game, taking over the lead in the MLS overall table with yet another five-goal outing at StubHub Center in a 5-1 triumph over New York City FC last Sunday afternoon.


  • The Quakes won their third consecutive game in a week’s span – their longest winning streak since 2013 – recording a third consecutive shutout in a 2-0 victory at D.C. United on Saturday night.
  • The Galaxy continued their remarkable home form, defeating New York City FC 5-1 on Sunday afternoon. The Galaxy scored five goals in a game for the sixth time in their last eight games in all competitions at StubHub Center; Robbie Keane scored two goals, his fourth multiple-goal game in the last seven MLS contests. Keane has scored 12 goals in the last seven league games.
  • The teams have split their two matches this season. Matias Perez García set up goals by Chris Wondolowski and Clarence Goodson as the Quakes won 3-1 on June 27 at Stanford Stadium. Robbie Keane scored a hat trick and Steven Gerrard scored a goal and added an assist on his MLS debut, leading the Galaxy to a 5-2 win June 17 at StubHub Center – the most goals scored in a league game in the 20 seasons of the rivalry.
  • The Galaxy have won just once in the last 11 regular season meetings in northern California, across three stadiums – a 1-0 victory last June 28 at Stanford Stadium. The Quakes finished undefeated against the Galaxy in league play at their former Buck Shaw Stadium home, with two wins and three draws in five matches there.


DOWNLOAD FULL GAME GUIDE (PDF)

REFEREE: Jose Carlos Rivero
MLS Career: 53 games; FC/gm: 26.8; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 14; pens: 26
AR1 (bench): Jeff Hosking; AR2 (opposite): Mark Cahen; 4th: Ismail Elfath


SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SJ: Fatai Alashe … LA: Baggio Husidic
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SJ: Victor Bernardez, Clarence Goodson, David Bingham, Shaun Francis, Sanna Nyassi, Jordan Stewart … LA: Juninho, Mika Vayrynen, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Gyasi Zardes
DISABLED LIST: SJ: Steven Lenhart … LA: Brian Perk (season-ending injury)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none


HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (59 meetings) : Earthquakes 19 wins (1 shootout), 80 goals…Galaxy 28 wins (4 shootout), 95 goals…Ties 12
AT SAN JOSE (31 meetings): Earthquakes 14 wins (1 shootout), 46 goals … Galaxy 10 wins (2 shootout), 40 goals … Ties 7


Related Content:

Quakes, Galaxy walk drastically different paths after fateful 2012 playoff clash
Dunivant in "good place" after injuries force retirement at season's end
Dos Santos sits down with Calen Carr - Part 2 | MLS Now
CHECK OUT THE INJURY REPORT HEADING INTO THE MATCH
CHECK OUT THE DISCIPLINARY REPORT HEADING INTO THE MATCH