Playoff pressure adds heat to the SuperClásico

CARSON, Calif -- The SuperClásico is always a heated affair, but with LA Galaxy and Chivas USA fighting for a berth in the postseason, even more fuel has been added to the fire. 

Currently, the Galaxy are in fifth place in the Western Conference with a seven point lead on sixth-place Chivas, but the Rojiblancos hold four games in hand on LA.  With a victory on Sunday, the Galaxy could move ten points clear of their cross-hall rivals, but a defeat would push Chivas to within four points of the Galaxy with four fewer games played. 

Below are Landon Donovan's thoughts from Friday's press conference as well as a video preview of the SuperClásico...

(On what it would mean to win the SuperClásico...)

DONOVAN: "We take a lot of pride in this rivalry, but I think more importantly, probably for both teams at this point, is these could end up being the last two teams that fight for a playoff spot. So that's where our focus is, and we know three points on Sunday would put us a lot closer to that goal and, conversely, Chivas could close the gap with still a lot of games in hand, so it makes this game as important as any."

(On the importance of the rivalry to the city of Los Angeles...)

DONOVAN: "I grew up here so I’m familiar with all the sports rivalries and I know that Angelinos take these things very seriously. It’s important for the fans and myself being a fan of other sports in this area that I understand the passion that’s involved in this." 

(On whether or not the SuperClásico is just another game once the whistle blows...)

DONOVAN: “I think there is just probably a little more emotion involved, a little more passion involved. It doesn’t mean your going to be blatantly trying to kick someone or to hurt someone, but it has a little more meaning. In this game, there a lot of games, a lot of games in the summer months, where from time to time you get to a game and by the end of the game you think, ‘God I wasn’t fully into that game,’ because its been a long summer and this, that or the other, but in this game you know that everybody on both sides are going to come prepared and really fully alert and ready for it, and that’s where the difference is.”