Preview: LA, Chivas USA line up for latest SuperClásico
LA GALAXY vs CHIVAS USA
THE HOME DEPOT CENTER, Carson, Calif.
6 p.m. PT (ESPN / Deportes / TSN2)
October 16, 2011 (WEEK 31; MLS Game 297)
It's the final SuperClásico of the 2011 season as the LA Galaxy meet fellow Home Depot Center denizens Chivas USA on Sunday evening. The Galaxy have already secured both the Supporters' Shield and the top seed in the MLS Cup Playoffs, despite a 2-0 loss at the New York Red Bulls last time out. Chivas USA saw their bid for a playoff place come to an end after their 1-1 draw with Philadelphia Union in their last contest.
REFEREE: Jair Marrufo. SAR (bench): Corey Rockwell; JAR (opposite): Frank Anderson; 4th: Jasen Anno
MLS Career: 124 games; FC/gm: 24.5; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 29; pens: 41
INJURY REPORT: LA GALAXY - OUT: DF Sean Alvarado (R knee surgery); DF Sean Franklin (R knee inflammation); DF Leonardo (R knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: MF David Beckham (back spasms); DF Gregg Berhalter (R foot sprain); FW Landon Donovan (R quadriceps strain); FW Robbie Keane (L adductor strain); FW Mike Magee (R hamstring strain); GK Donovan Ricketts (R quad tightness) ... CHIVAS USA - OUT: MF Paulo Nagamura (R foot); DF Michael UmaÒa (L knee); DOUBTFUL: DF Heath Pearce (hamstring); PROBABLE: MF Ben Zemanski (L ankle); FW Justin Braun (R calf)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: LA: Frankie Hejduk (caution accumulation; through Oct. 16)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: LA: David Beckham, Omar Gonzalez ... CHV: Zarek Valentin
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: LA: Chris Birchall, A.J. DeLaGarza, Landon Donovan, Juninho, Michael Stephens ... CHV: Justin Braun, Simon Elliott, Nick LaBrocca, Michael Lahoud, Heath Pearce
- ALL-TIME (21 meetings): Galaxy 13 wins, 33 goals ... Chivas USA 3 wins, 18 goals ... Ties 5
- AS GALAXY HOME GAME (11 meetings): Galaxy 7 wins, 21 goals ... Chivas USA 2 wins, 10 goals ... Ties 2
- In the first SuperClásico this season, Chad Barrett's goal in the 26nd minute was the only marker of the game in a Galaxy victory on May 21.
- Chivas USA haven't defeated the Galaxy since the 2007 season, winning six of the nine league meetings since (with three draws), and also had a win and a draw when the clubs met in the 2009 MLS Cup Playoffs.
- Chivas have scored just one goal in the last six regular season games vs. LA. Alan Gordon's goal in the second meeting last season put an end to Chivas USA's scoreless streak vs. LA at 450 minutes, dating back to Aug. 14, 2008.
- Gordon is one of nine players who have played on both sides of the rivalry, a list expanded this year by the moves of Tristan Bowen and Juan Pablo Ángel across The Home Depot Center: Juan Pablo Ángel (LA 2011; CHV 2011); Tristan Bowen (LA 2009-10; CHV 2011); Alecko Eskandarian (CHV 2008-09; LA 2009); Alan Gordon (LA 2004-10; CHV 2010-11); Ante Jazic (LA 2006-08; CHV 2009-11); Mike Munoz (CHV 2005; LA 2008); Paulo Nagamura (LA 2005-06; CHV 2007-11); Marcelo Saragosa (LA 2004-06; CHV 2009-10); Michael Umana (LA 2005; CHV 2010)
- Landon Donovan has nine goals and eight assists in 18 games all-time (league and MLS Cup) vs. Chivas USA.
- Coaches' records: Bruce Arena vs. CHV: P8 W5 L2 D1 ... Robin Fraser v LA: P1 W0 L1 D0
LAST MEETING (MLS)
- 5/21: CHV 0, LA 1 (Barrett 26)
- The game's lone goal came in the 26th minute. A foul on the left set up a David Beckham free kick, and Chad Barrett was completely unmarked in the box, flicking a header inside Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy's left-hand post.
- CHIVAS USA (4-1-3-2): Dan Kennedy - Zarek Valentin, Heath Pearce, Andrew Boyens, Ante Jazic - Simon Elliott - Ben Zemanski, Nick LaBrocca, Jorge Flores (Francisco Mendoza 58) - Justin Braun (Chris Cortez 66), Alejandro Moreno.
- LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Donovan Ricketts - Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Landon Donovan, Juninho, David Beckham (Michael Stephens 89), Mike Magee (Chris Birchall 64) - Juan Pablo Angel, Chad Barrett (Miguel Lopez 71).
The LA Galaxy saw their winning streak come to an end at four games, falling 2-0 to the New York Red Bulls on Tuesday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Galaxy have 64 points from 32 games on the season, leading the Western Conference and the MLS overall table.
- The Red Bulls took the lead in the 32nd minute. Jan Gunnar Solli rose above Galaxy defender Frankie Hejduk on Joel Lindpere's corner kick and snapped a header off the gloves of Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, and Luke Rodgers promptly finished off the rebound.
- Thierry Henry then sealed the match on the hour mark, finishing off a breakaway with a shot that gently caromed off the back post and into the goal after Ricketts couldn't close off the angle.
- Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made four changes to the team that came back for a 2-1 win against Real Salt Lake at The Home Depot Center. Donovan Ricketts returned between the posts in place of Josh Saunders, Frankie Hejduk came in at right back for Bryan Jordan, Michael Stephens started in the midfield for Landon Donovan, and Miguel Lopez replaced Robbie Keane at striker.
- LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Donovan Ricketts - Frankie Hejduk (Bryan Jordan 45), Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Paolo Cardozo, Juninho (Adam Cristman 71), David Beckham, Michael Stephens - Chad Barrett, Miguel Lopez (Hector Jimenez 65).
- It was just the second loss in league play for the Galaxy over the last 23 games, and the first time they'd been shut out since the only other loss, a 3-0 reversal at Portland on Aug. 3.
- "It wasn't our best night. I think we looked like a tired team. Tonight is a culmination of a lot of games over a short period of time, and it showed," said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. " ... That game was a game that possibly could have gone a little longer even. The goal they got off the corner kick, we made a few mistakes, but we didn't get a whole lot right."
- While the Galaxy's league winning streak came to an end, they still claimed the Supporters' Shield for a second consecutive season and the fourth time in club history after Seattle's weekend loss.
- "It's the hardest thing to do in this league," defender Todd Dunivant said. "You get all the credit for winning MLS Cups, but winning the Shield is the hardest thing to do in this league. It's nothing to scoff at. We wanted to have a nice night to celebrate it."
- It was the first loss of the season for the Galaxy to an Eastern Conference club, now 8-1-8 against the other division.
- "We knew, obviously the position they were in, they needed to win the game. We knew that they were going to battle tonight, and they did," said David Beckham. "At the end of the day they out-battled us. I think they sat back a lot, but like I said they have quick players that can hit you on the break and they did that."
- The Chivas game will be the final home game of the season for the Galaxy, who are aiming to become just the third team in MLS history to go undefeated for the season on their home ground, along with Real Salt Lake last year (11-0-4) and the San Jose Earthquakes in 2005 (9-0-7).
- The Galaxy were without Chris Birchall and Robbie Keane, due to national team duty with Trinidad & Tobago and Ireland, respectively.
- "We created some good chances. I think that we definitely missed getting a lot of times where we could have cut the ball back on the left side, and that's where you miss Mike Magee and Landon Donovan swinging the ball in right-footed and stuff like that," said Chad Barrett.
- The international duty could also have delivered the Galaxy a big blow. Keane complained of pain in his adductor after Ireland's 2-0 win over Andorra and was held out of Tuesday's home match against Armenia. According to reports, he could be out up to four weeks.
- "We'll know more when he gets back here," Arena said. "Can't tell until he gets back here and we have our people look at him."
Chivas USA inched their modest unbeaten streak to three games, coming back for a late 1-1 draw against Philadelphia Union on Oct. 2 at The Home Depot Center. Chivas USA have 36 points from 32 games on the season, in seventh place in the Western Conference.
- The Union broke the stalemate in the 59th minute. Picking up a ball tackled away by Freddy Adu, Justin Mapp was able to stroll forward before letting fly from beyond the restraining arc, hitting a dipping shot that sailed into the lower right corner past a diving Dan Kennedy.
- But Chivas USA hit for a dramatic equalizer. Released down the right side, Michael Lahoud chipped in a cross to the far stick where Juan Pablo Angel rose up to head it off the inside of the post and into the net.
- Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser made one change to the team that rolled to a 3-0 victory against Toronto FC at The Home Depot Center. Simon Elliott returned to the midfield in place of Ben Zemanski.
- CHIVAS USA (4-2-1-3): Dan Kennedy - Michael Umana, David Junior Lopes, Andrew Boyens (Michael Lahoud 74), Ante Jazic - Simon Elliott (Blair Gavin 46), Nick LaBrocca - Alejandro Moreno - Justin Braun, Juan Pablo Angel, Laurent Courtois (Marcos Mondaini 58)
- With the New York Red Bulls' victory two nights later, Chivas USA were officially eliminated from playoff contention this year, a second consecutive season out of the postseason.
- "Where we go from here is that we continue to build, we have no excuses and we are where we are because we haven't executed well enough at various points of the season. So for us, it's time to focus on getting better and better," said Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser.
- Over their last nine games, Chivas USA have won just once. After their win at New England on Aug. 6, Chivas held down 10th place overall and the final wild card spot.
- "We didn't start with the right amount of urgency and not until we gave up the goal that we saw the right amount of urgency, then you're fighting an uphill battle. We didn't put our best foot forward; we didn't put a good enough foot forward until it was very late," said Fraser. "As we've seen many times throughout the year, if we wait until we're down a goal and we play with a ton of urgency then, sometimes we don't get it done.
- Juan Pablo Ángel has scored six goals in the last four games for Chivas USA, giving him 10 for the season. He has now scored in double-digits in goals in each of his five seasons in MLS.
- "We've seen him score goals, and those are huge for us, but there is a side of him that has elevated the professionalism in the locker room and in trainings and I think that's immeasurable," said Fraser. "If you can come in and be a leader and demand of yourself and demand of others and actually go out and produce on the field, what an ideal situation for a team."
- While the Galaxy will be the home team for the second SuperClásico of the season, Chivas USA can still end the year with a winning record at The Home Depot Center. In home games, the Rojiblancos are 5-6-5; away from home, they are 3-6-7. They conclude the season with a home game against Seattle.
- "Since day one it's been a competition," said midfielder Justin Braun. "We share the same stadium, so each team wants to prove their dominance. And I know our fans want to win these games too. They have the same desire as we do: they want to be on top [of the rivalry] as well."