LA Galaxy won’t underestimate Chivas USA

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy take on Chivas USA in this season’s second edition of the SuperClasico on Sunday at StubHub Center (5 p.m., time Warner Cable SportsNet, Univision Deportes).

It’s supposed to be a rivalry, but something got lost in translation.

The Galaxy are 19-4-6 in the series all-time and have outscored their StubHub Center co-tenants 51-21, including 17-2 in the last six meetings. Chivas’ last win in the series was a 1-0 decision on May 19, 2012, which snapped an 11-game winless run in the SuperClasico.

The Galaxy (4-3-4, 16 points) clearly have had the upper hand, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be overlooking struggling Chivas USA (2-7-4, 10 points) on Sunday as the league heads into its World Cup break.

On the contrary, in fact.

“We think, and it’s been proven, that maybe with the exception of the last game we played we get their best game of the year,” the Galaxy’s Landon Donovan said. “We know they’ve struggled, we’re not living under a rock. They’ve also had some good performances along the way. They didn’t do it against Philly (a 3-0 loss to the Union last weekend) and the last time they played us, but they’re capable of it.”

Added defender A.J. DeLaGarza, “We can’t take anything for granted, definitely not against these guys. We can’t come out thinking we’re bigger or better or anything like that. We know they’re going to be a physical, organized group.”

DeLaGarza, asked why the Galaxy have made the series so one-sided, had a simple answer.

“For the fact we take it pretty seriously,” he said. ”We know every team we play is going to give us their best shot.”

Defender Leonardo, who said he remembers fighting with Chivas USA’s Maykel Galindo in his first SuperClasico, said he expects a difficult game this weekend.

“Nothing is easy,” he said.

The Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes, who figures to play up top with Robbie Keane off with the Irish National Team, said he always pointed to this game on his calendar. Zardes was a member of the Galaxy academy at the time and had several friends in the Chivas youth system.

“We always wanted to make a statement,” said Zardes, who missed the first meeting of the season because of an injury. “Who was better.”

Donovan didn’t know if such a statement was necessary Sunday, but the Galaxy would like to enter the break on a winning note, if for no other reason than to ease some season-long frustration.

“The only disappointing part is we haven’t had the results that we wanted,” he said. “We’ve played well in a number of games, but that doesn’t get you much. The playing well is always good but the thing that matters is the results. Conversely, the Chicago game was as ugly a game as you’re going to play in and see but we got a point out of it and can feel OK about it.

“We want to play well, we have a team that has good players. It’s enjoyable for us when we play well but at the end of the day this is a results business, and we have to get results.”