CARSON, Calif. – The SuperClasico may not have the same shine in the eyes of LA Galaxy supporters, but make no mistake that only victory is expected when the two teams face off for a final time on Sunday at StubHub Center (5 p.m., Time Warner Cable SportsNet, Univision Deportes).
Throughout the series' tenure, the Galaxy have run roughshod over their cross-hall rivals with a stunning 19-4-7 record against the Rojiblancos in the regular season. The last of Chivas’ four wins came way back in 2012 when they managed a 1-0 victory over the Galaxy on May 19, 2012. This season has been no different than the rest as the Galaxy have managed a 1-0-1 record in the SuperClasico.
But despite all of the Galaxy's dominance, does the SuperClasico still hold a special place in the heart of LA supporters?
“Initially the SuperClasico was very important for the LA Riot Squad because we wanted to show that this is our city, our stadium and our town,” said LA Riot Squad member Scott Mackay. “There were some Clasicos in the first few years, but now it’s almost expected that we beat them.”
But for all of LA’s success in the past, Sunday’s match will mark the end of this chapter of the rivalry. Ahead of the 2015 MLS campaign, Chivas is expected to be rebranded as they look to leave the unfriendly confines of the StubHub Center in the coming years.
“To be honest, there’s not exactly a lot to be sentimental about,” said Angel City Brigade member Mike “El Pibe’ Grey.” It's really not much of a factor at all. Even most of the more, "hardcore" fans that I spoke with weren't all that enthusiastic. Some were even a little sad that Chivas was about to be rebranded.”
Gray’s sentiment is echoed by Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena who agrees that the fact that the match is the final meeting between the two teams means little to his squad.
“Respectfully, I don’t think we’ve thought about it a whole lot, to be honest with you,” said Arena. “How often does that happen in sport you’re celebrating or thinking that this is the last time that this team plays as that team? I don’t think it adds up to anything for us. Perhaps it does a little more to them.”
That added emotion could be a dangerous weapon for Wilmer Cabrera’s Chivas USA side that boasts recent Mexican national team call-up Erick “Cubo” Torres as well as recent additions Luis Borja and Nigel Reo-Coker.
“Cabrera has instilled the right mentality in the Chivas USA squad, and you have a few new faces that want to make a good impression but the Galaxy simply have far more to play for,” Grey said. “This team, right now, is galvanized which is scary for the rest of the league, considering one of the Galaxy's biggest flaws over the years has been keeping focus.”
However as much as the supporters might downplay the match, there’s no doubt that they expect the Galaxy to rack up three points against their cross-hall rivals on Sunday.
“We look forward to beating them on Sunday and send them off in true losing fashion,” said Mackay.