Chivas keen to snap three-plus years of futility vs. Galaxy
CARSON, Calif. — September 13, 2007. That’s the last time Chivas USA earned three points over their down-the-hall rivals, the LA Galaxy, with a 3-0 victory at the Home Depot Center.
Since then, the Goats have stumbled against their arch nemeses, going 0-6-4 in both regular-season and MLS Cup Playoffs action. To put it into perspective, by the time the 21st regular-season edition of the SuperClásico kicks off Saturday (10 pm ET, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes), it will have been 1,346 days since the last Chivas USA victory, spanning almost four years.
However, under new coach Robin Fraser, the Rojiblancos have purged many of the players that have been a part of the disappointing results of the past. Led by wily veterans and fleet-footed youngsters, Chivas USA are hoping to make a statement against their cross-hall rivals.
“This is a new group and a new administration as well. The important thing for us to remind ourselves is that if we want to make this a rivalry then we have to get results against the Galaxy with some consistency,” said Chivas USA forward Alejandro Moreno. “We have to start to bother them and not just be another tenant in their stadium.”
While the focus may be on the future, the Goats’ history against the Galaxy is glaring. Whether it was an Edson Buddle brace in 2010 or a David Beckham goal in the 80th minute in 2009, Chivas have been unable to score a victory against their archrivals during that span of futility.
One player who was on the field for several of those disappointing results has been Ante Jazic (pictured above), who has been a staple in the Chivas USA back line since being acquired from the Galaxy in 2009. The Canadian international will likely be manning the left side of the defense on Saturday and will be eager to bring a victory to the Red-and-white side of Los Angeles.
“In these games, the little details make the difference,” he said, “and in the past, maybe we weren’t as focused for 90 minutes and the Galaxy were able to get positive results. But it’s a new time for us and we’re getting better each week, so guys know what is expected of them.”
Although the rivalry has been a bit one-sided as of late, it remains a huge point for fans of both sides, who have even staged an annual match against supporters called the “Barra Clásico.”
While the SuperClásico remains a key point of contention for fans around the Los Angeles area, Moreno admits the Galaxy simply represent another hurdle for a Chivas USA team that has championship aspirations.
“For us, it’s important we do things that make us successful because we want to matter in this league,” he said, “and part of that is getting results against top teams, and one of those top teams is the Galaxy.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @adamserrano