Preview: California Clásico opens new chapter at Buck Shaw

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Photo Credit: 
Getty Images/MLSsoccer.com

The original California Clasico is renewed at Buck Shaw Stadium when the San Jose Earthquakes play host to the LA Galaxy. The Earthquakes saw their six-game unbeaten streak come to an end in their last outing, a 1-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City, but they have won three in a row at home. The Galaxy are riding an MLS season-high nine-game unbeaten run, after a 3-1 win at the Colorado Rapids last weekend.

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REFEREE: Juan Guzman. SAR (bench): Fabio Tovar; JAR (opposite): Kevin Duliba; 4th: Baldomero Toledo
MLS Career: 4 games; FC/gm: 31.5; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 1; pens: 2

INJURY REPORT: SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES – OUT: MF Andre Luiz (L knee injury); DF Ike Opara (L foot injury) …

LA GALAXY – OUT: DF Sean Alvarado (R knee surgery); DF Leonardo (R knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: MF David Beckham (back spasms)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: SJ: Chris Wondolowski (USA) … LA: Landon Donovan (USA); Donovan Ricketts (Jamaica); Jack McBean (U.S. U-17)
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: LA: David Beckham
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SJ: Sam Cronin … LA: Juninho

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (46 meetings): Earthquakes 15 wins (1 shootout), 60 goals… Galaxy 24 wins (4 shootout), 71 goals … Ties 7
AT SAN JOSE (22 meetings): Earthquakes 11 wins (1 shootout), 33 goals … Galaxy 9 wins (2 shootout), 30 goals … Ties 4
RETURN MATCH: 8/20: LA Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 7:30 p.m. PT

LAST YEAR
7/22: LA 2, SJ 2 (Buddle 59; Donovan 90 – Convey 2; McDonald 72)
8/21: SJ 1, LA 0 (Wondolowski 4)
•    The Earthquakes have won both meetings all-time at Buck Shaw Stadium, and have a four-game unbeaten streak alive at home against the Galaxy. The streak started Aug. 3, 2008, the second of three consecutive meetings at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
•    Since winning the final meeting in Carson before their hiatus, the Earthquakes haven’t come away from The Home Depot Center with a win against the Galaxy. LA has won twice, with one draw.
•    The original California Clasico, the teams had a pitched battle over the first 10 years of the league, meeting in the MLS Cup Playoffs on four occasions, including MLS Cup 2001.
•    Coaches record: Frank Yallop vs. LA: P18 W7 L7 D4 … Bruce Arena vs. SJ: P13 W6 L5 D2

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes saw their undefeated streak come to an after six games, falling 1-0 to Sporting Kansas City on Friday evening at Livestrong Sporting Park. The Quakes have 19 points from 14 games on the season, sitting in sixth place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH
•    The game-winning goal and first goal in KC's new home came in the 31st minute following a foul on Davy Arnaud on the right flank. Graham Zusi curled in the service to the front post, where C.J. Sapong fought off a challenge and managed to extend his left foot to apply the finish past San Jose ‘keeper Jon Busch.
•    Earthquakes boss Frank Yallop kept his team the same for a third consecutive game, maintaining the group that defeated D.C. United 4-2 at RFK Stadium.
•    SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-1-1): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Bobby Burling, Bobby Convey -  Anthony Ampaipitakwong (Ellis McLoughlin 46 / Scott Sealy 89), Sam Cronin (Simon Dawkins 46), Brad Ring, Ramiro Corrales - Khari Stephenson - Steven Lenhart.

TEAM NEWS
•    The Earthquakes lost for the first time since April 30, a 1-0 loss at Philadelphia Union, ending a six-game undefeated streak in league play and eight games in all competitions.
•    “We’ve lost one game in seven, so that’s a good stat,” Quakes coach Frank Yallop said. “We don’t want to lose any more in a row, obviously, but you’re going to lose games. That’s why we play. We’ve just got to bounce back and make sure we put this behind us and look at the performance as an individual thing.”
•    That loss was the last time the Earthquakes were shut out, having scored 14 goals in the six-game unbeaten run. They are second in MLS with 1.43 goals per game, behind the New York Red Bulls (1.60), and tied for third in overall goals scored with 20.
•    "We had some chances to score," said Yallop. "We had been putting in those chances lately, but it just didn't happen (against KC)."
•    In the previous two games, with Chris Wondolowski away with the U.S. national team on CONCACAF Gold Cup duty, Steven Lenhart had scored four goals.
•    “If you watch the game before, where Lenny got a hat trick and an assist, you’re not going to say, ‘Leave him alone when he’s around the goal,’” Yallop said. “You’ve got to be sure you’re going to be on him, and I thought they did that.”
•    Simon Dawkins had also scored goals in back-to-back games before the shutout. He has made three consecutive substitute appearances after missing five matches to injury.
•    “Simon could have scored two goals,” Yallop said. “If he scores those two, we’re having a different conversation right now.”
•    The Earthquakes return home for the original California Clasico riding a three-game home winning streak at Buck Shaw Stadium, coming off successive victories against Houston, New England and Columbus.
•    “We can look at the work we’ve done over the last several weeks and be proud of [creating] a foundation of what we’re trying to do and how we’re trying to play,” Quakes defender Jason Hernandez said. “We weren’t going to win every game for the rest of the season, so it’s important that we really lick our wounds and really understand some things that we could have done better, get back to work and hopefully start another streak next week.”

LA GALAXY
The LA Galaxy stretched their undefeated streak to nine games, rolling to a 3-1 win against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Galaxy have 34 points from 18 games on the season, leading the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH
•    The Galaxy took the lead in the 25th minute. Miguel López placed a deft ball behind the Rapids defense for Chris Birchall, who was able to cross into Drew Moor’s path and he turned it into his own net from close range.
•    In the 42nd minute, it was 2-0. Galaxy midfielder Juninho picked the ball up and placed a right-footed cracker from 25 yards out into the corner of Matt Pickens’ net.
•    The old combination of Omar Cummings and Conor Casey proved fruitful in the 64th minute as the Jamaican dribbled into the penalty area and hit a low, right-footed shot against the post. The ball rebounded into Casey’s path and he tapped into the empty net.
•    The Rapids, however, were reduced to 10 men in the 74th minute when Caleb Folan was sent off for a harsh challenge on Juninho. The Galaxy capitalized in the 81st minute as second-half substitute Chad Barrett latched onto a cross from Todd Dunivant, who was set free on the left by Juninho, and Barrett finished inside the penalty area to seal the game.
•    Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made two changes to the team that played to a 2-2 draw with Toronto FC at The Home Depot Center. Juninho and Mike Magee came into the team for David Beckham and Chad Barrett.
•    LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Josh Saunders - Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza (Gregg Berhalter 83), Todd Dunivant - Chris Birchall, Juninho (Jovan Kirovski 81), Michael Stephens, Mike Magee - Juan Pablo Angel, Miguel Lopez (Chad Barrett 61).

TEAM NEWS
•    The Galaxy extended their unbeaten streak to nine games (5-0-4), matching the longest in MLS this season. Colorado had also gone nine games without defeat – before losing to the Galaxy.
•    Already missing Landon Donovan and Donovan Ricketts to CONCACAF Gold Cup duty, the Galaxy were without David Beckham, who remained in Los Angeles suffering from back spasms. He was kept out of training for the second half of the week heading into the Colorado match.
•    “It is a team game. If you are missing players, you are missing players -- it is all a part of it ...,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “We were not shorthanded today. If we would have lost today, our excuse could not have been that we were missing players. They were missing some players as well, but I think that our team played well. It is a team game, and we don’t put our heads down when we are missing someone.”
•    Arena said Beckham is unlikely to play in the San Jose match as well. Beckham has missed four matches in all this season – one to suspension, one while in England for the Gary Neville testimonial, one while being rested and then the Colorado game.
•    “That will continue to be our strategy, to bring him back when he’s ready to play. If that takes another week, it takes another week,” Arena said. “We have a lot of games ahead so we’re not going to push anything with anybody.”
•    Juninho, who had missed the home match with Toronto FC because he returned to his homeland of Brazil to get married, returned to the lineup and scored his third goal of the season.
•    It was the first goal for Juninho since scoring in the first two games of the season (March 15 at Seattle, March 20 vs. New England); all three of his goals have come on long-range strikes.
•    “Juninho’s strike was a special one. A two-goal cushion going to the second half, and Colorado certainly came out hard. They got their goal, and we hung on. The red card certainly helped us as well,” Arena said. “It was a good, intelligent performance on our part.”
•    Veteran center back Gregg Berhalter made his 2011 debut, coming on for the final seven minutes. He had been an unused substitute for the previous seven league matches, while getting a regular game with the Galaxy reserves.