San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy | MLS Match Preview

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES vs LA GALAXY
STANFORD STADIUM, Palo Alto, Calif.
June 28, 2014 (WEEK 16, MLS Game #146) 7:30 p.m. PT (NBCSN, live stream on NBCSports.com)

The California Clasico kicks off for the first time this season when longtime rivals San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy meet again on Saturday evening at Stanford Stadium in front of an NBC Sports Network audience. Both teams find themselves outside the playoff places after the World Cup break, separated by a single point in the Western Conference. The Quakes are coming off a 1-0 loss at Toronto FC, while the Galaxy stretched their current unbeaten run to four games despite a 1-1 draw with Chivas USA.

REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. AR1 (bench): Corey Rockwell; AR2 (opposite): Frank Anderson; 4th: Juan Guzman
MLS Career: 173 games; FC/gm: 25.3; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 61; pens: 65

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SJ: Steven Lenhart, Sam Cronin
DISABLED LIST: SJ: Tommy Muller
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: SJ: Chris Wondolowski (USA); Victor Bernardez (HON) … LA: Omar Gonzalez (USA)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (54 meetings): Earthquakes 18 wins (1 shootout), 72 goals … Galaxy 26 wins (4 shootout), 85 goals … Ties 10
AT SAN JOSE (28 meetings): Earthquakes 13 wins (1 shootout), 42 goals … Galaxy 9 wins (2 shootout), 37 goals … Ties 6
FUTURE MATCHES: 8/8: LA Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 7:30 p.m. PT; 9/14: San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy, 12 noon PT

LAST YEAR (MLS)
6/29: SJ 3, LA 2 (Gordon 68, 93+; Salinas 92+ -- Sarvas 20; Jimenez 65)
8/31: LA 3, SJ 0 (Donovan 26; Keane 43, 67)
10/20: LA 0, SJ 0

  • The Earthquakes have an eight-game league unbeaten streak alive at home against the Galaxy, now across three stadiums. The streak started Aug. 3, 2008, at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
  • In a touch of irony, Landon Donovan is almost the leader for each club against the other. Donovan leads the Galaxy with 8 goals and 7 assists in 15 games for LA vs. the Quakes. In 12 career games for San Jose vs. the Galaxy, Donovan had 4 goals -- one behind Ronald Cerritos, whose five leads all Quakes in California Clasicos.
  • The teams have met on five occasions in the MLS Cup Playoffs, last in the Western Conference Semifinals in 2012. The Quakes won the first leg 1-0 in Carson, but the Galaxy claimed the series with a 3-1 win at Buck Shaw Stadium, the club’s first win in northern California since 2008.
  • Coaches record: Mark Watson vs. LA: P3 W1 L1 D1 … Bruce Arena v SJ: P21 W8 L8 D5

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes saw their two-game winning run come to an end, falling 1-0 to Toronto FC on June 7 at BMO Field. The Quakes are in eighth place in the Western Conference with 16 points from 13 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's only goal came in the 25th minute. TFC's Nick Hagglund was pushed down in the box by Quakes striker Alan Gordon, and referee Fotis Bazakos pointed to the spot. Jermain Defoe stepped up to the spot and drove his shot into the left side of the goal, beating goalkeeper Jon Busch, who dove the other way.
  • Quakes boss Mark Watson made four changes to the team that came back for a 2-1 win against FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium. Brandon Barklage came into the back four for Shaun Francis, Cordell Cato and Sam Cronin started in midfield in place of Atiba Harris and Khari Stephenson, and Alan Gordon entered the attack in place of Yannick Djalo.
  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Brandon Barklage, Ty Harden, Clarence Goodson, Jordan Stewart - Cordell Cato, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, Sam Cronin (JJ Koval 69), Shea Salinas (Tommy Thompson 89) - Steven Lenhart, Alan Gordon (Billy Schuler 70).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Quakes saw their brief two-game winning streak put to an end in the loss at Toronto FC, their only consecutive wins of the season.
  • “I didn’t think we were that dangerous going forward. We had a few balls in the box but other than that we were not overly creative,” said Quakes head coach Mark Watson. “A little bit disappointing on that, that is something we need to work on but at the end of the game we went forward and got a lot of balls forward and had a couple of half chances. Disappointing overall but it’s always nice when your guys respond and make a game of it.”
  • The Quakes were forced into a lineup change before the game even started, after Yannick Djalo was held out of the side with a strained right groin.
  • Alan Gordon made his first start since May 10 vs. FC Dallas, playing 70 minutes alongside Steven Lenhart in the strike partnership.
  • “We all know Gordo, and he’ll always give you everything he’s got,” Watson said. “When we couldn’t put out a similar team as possible that played so well in the first half against Dallas, [it was] disappointing. But we’ve been dealing with things all year, and injuries, having to change things around and putting things together at the last minute. You just do what you’ve got to do. Yannick’s a big player for us, he gives us a real dynamic presence. So it’s tough to have him not be available for the game.”
  • The other changes in the San Jose side were also injury-forced: Khari Stephenson was knocked out by a sprained left ankle suffered in the win at Dallas, and Atiba Harris suffered a right hamstring strain in training during the week.
  • Sam Cronin also returned to the starting lineup following a two-match absence, as did winger Cordell Cato.
  • “We still should have done better in the game, but whenever you have uncertainty in the lineup, it’s not preferable,” Cronin said. “Improving a little bit in the second half was good, but it was still a disappointing result. On the stat sheet, we don’t get anything for this game.”
  • Following the league match, the Quakes advanced in the U.S. Open Cup following a 2-1 fourth-round victory against the NASL Sacramento Republic FC on June 11 at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco. Cordell Cato scored the game-winner in the 73th minute after Khari Stephenson leveled terms with a first-half penalty.
  • Here’s the San Jose team: David Bingham, Ty Harden, Jason Hernandez, Clarence Goodson, Shaun Francis, Atiba Harris, JJ Koval (Jean Baptiste Pierazzi 68), Khari Stephenson, Cordell Cato, Mike Fucito (Billy Schuler 85), Steven Lenhart
  • But the Quakes were dumped out of the competition in a fifth-round loss on penalty kicks to Seattle Sounders FC on June 24, following a 1-1 draw through 120 minutes. Steven Lenhart scored the San Jose goal midway through the first half.
  • Here’s the Earthquakes team: Jon Busch; Brandon Barklage, Ty Harden, Clarence Goodson, Shaun Francis; Atiba Harris (Billy Schuler 94), Sam Cronin, JJ Kovall, Mike Fucito (Cordell Cato 83); Khari Stephenson, Steven Lenhart (Alan Gordon 62).

LA GALAXY
The LA Galaxy stretched their undefeated streak to four games, playing to a 1-1 draw with Chivas USA on June 8 at StubHub Center. The Galaxy sit in seventh place in the Western Conference with 17 points from 12 games.

LAST MATCH

  • Chivas USA took the lead in the 20th minute. Martin Rivero split two defenders with a pass from the right that found Erick Torres, and he cut back inside a defender and placed the ball inside the left post.
  • But the Galaxy pulled level a quarter-hour later. Marcelo Sarvas took a pass at the top of the box and gently arced the ball toward Gyasi Zardes near the 6-yard box, and between defenders he jumped to redirect the ball off goalkeeper Dan Kennedy's hand and into the net.
  • Galaxy coach Bruce Arena made four changes to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. Robbie Rogers, Marcelo Sarvas, Samuel and Gyasi Zardes all came into the team, in place of Tommy Meyer, Kenney Walker, Baggio Husidic and Robbie Keane.
  • LA GALAXY (4-3-1-2): Jaime Penedo - Dan Gargan, Leonardo, A.J. DeLaGarza, Robbie Rogers - Stefan Ishizaki (Baggio Husidic 84), Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas (Chandler Hoffman 78) - Landon Donovan - Samuel (Rob Friend 69), Gyasi Zardes.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Galaxy extended their undefeated run to four games in the draw with Chivas USA in the second SuperClásico of the year.
  • For a seventh consecutive league game, the Galaxy allowed just a single goal. Their last shutout at the defensive end came on April 12, the second of back-to-back shutouts of Chivas USA and Vancouver.
  • “We squandered a few chances. Obviously, conceding a goal isn’t the smartest way to play this game,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. “There were chances for us to get a few more goals. At the end of the day, that’s the game. We didn’t connect, but give them credit. They played very hard. They had good concentration for 90 plus minutes. I think our team didn’t come out and play well the first 15 minutes or so.”
  • Making his first start of the year as an out-and-out striker, Gyasi Zardes scored his second goal of the season, both in the last four matches.
  • A.J. DeLaGarza also shifted inside to play central defense alongside Leonardo. “He plays all different spots in the back. We are just prepared for that. Obviously, we’ve had a few injuries and missing a few players. He’s always an option for us,” Arena said.
  • Said DeLaGarza: “It has been a while. At this point I don't have a preference between center or left back, I have played both quite a bit, I am comfortable at both. Going back and forth is a little difficult, but I have been there, this is my sixth year.”
  • Robbie Rogers made his first start of the season and his first league start at fullback. “He played pretty well. Defensively he didn’t have to do a whole lot. I think got forward in the attack. He got used to playing the position. It’s hard to mimic a real game in training. This is his first real game at 90 minutes at that position. I think overall he did well,” said Arena.
  • Chandler Hoffman also made his league debut, coming on as a late substitute, after spending the entire season with LA Galaxy II of USL PRO.
  • “He got a good opportunity at the end of the game. And, that’s a real positive. That’s the job of a forward coming in at the end of the game to try and get a chance, and hopefully, get a goal and position the team to get the win,” Arena said.
  • Following the league match, the Galaxy began their U.S. Open Cup campaign with a 2-1 win against USL PRO Arizona United SC. Gyasi Zardes scored both Galaxy goals.
  • Here’s the Galaxy team: Jaime Penedo; Dan Gargan, Tommy Meyer, AJ DeLaGarza, Robbie Rogers; Stefan Ishizaki, Juninho, Baggio Husidic; Chandler Hoffman (Samuel 78’), Rob Friend (Kenney Walker 69’), Gyasi Zardes (Marcelo Sarvas 83’)
  • But the Galaxy were dumped out in the fifth round, falling 1-0 to the Carolina RailHawks of the NASL on June 24 at Cary Stadium.
  • Here’s the LA side: Jaime Penedo; A.J. DeLaGarza, Kofi Opare, Leonardo, Robbie Rogers; Stefan Ishizaki (Baggio Husidic 77’), Kenney Walker (Landon Donovan 64’), Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas; Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes (Samuel 105’)