CARSON, Calif. – A first glance at the latest edition of the SuperClasico pitting the LA Galaxy (3-5-2, 11 points) and Chivas USA (3-6-1, 10 points) may indicate there is nothing potentially classic about the battle between co-tenants of The Home Depot Center.
But that’s hardly the case for Saturday’s game (7:30 p.m., ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, lagalaxy.com/gamedaylive). Yes, the teams are struggling, but there’s plenty of pride at stake and there always are fireworks on the field.
“I don’t think the records have ever played a part in the importance of this game and the intensity of it,” the Galaxy’s Mike Magee said.
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“After this game, we won’t be talking about who has more points, we’ll be talking about who got the best of who in this particular game.”
How special is it? Galaxy defender, A.J. DeLaGarza has a former college teammate on Chivas in Casey Townsend, and he doesn’t even talk to him anymore.
“He lives a mile from me and I don’t go see him. That’s how it is,” DeLaGarza added with a grin.
Saturday’s matchup – the Galaxy leads the series 14-3-5, including 6-0-1 in the first leg of each year – took on new meaning with this week’s trades in which Chivas USA acquired striker Juan Agudelo from New York for defender Heath Pearce and veteran defender Danny Califf from Philadelphia for midfielder Mike Lahoud. Both players are expected to be available Saturday.
“I like the trades a lot for them,” Magee said of Chivas’ acquisitions.
Magee is a veteran of these intra-stadium wars and said the thrill has never diminished.
“Of course,” he said. “You know damn well they’re going to bring it as well. You know no matter what lineups are out there and what side stories there are, this game can swing a season, it can swing momentum in our way for the season.
“This win would definitely feel sweeter than beating any other team in the league.”
One member of the Galaxy who is new to the series is goalkeeper Brian Perk, who is expected to see action in the SuperClasico for the first time. Perk just recently returned to action after missing several weeks because of sports hernia surgery. He played in a reserve match on May 8 against San Jose and manned the nets for the Galaxy’s 1-1 draw in Montreal last week.
Perk said he can definitely feel a little extra importance surrounding the game.
“We see these guys every day,” he said. “It’s going to be fun, but it’s just like any other game once it starts. We want to win, they want to win, there’s that. But I think more importantly it’s three points; I think that’s what we’re focused on.
“Three points is the key, whether it’s 1-0, three, four, whatever it is. We need three points.”