LA Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes | MLS Match Preview

LA GALAXY vs SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
STUBHUB CENTER, Carson, Calif.
Aug. 8, 2014 (WEEK 22, MLS Game #202)
7:30 p.m. PT (NBCSN, 
free stream on NBCSports.com; TSN2)

It’s the second California Clasico of the season as the LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes meet in a vital Western Conference match on Friday night at StubHub Center. The Galaxy extended their home undefeated streak last weekend with a 3-1 win against the Portland Timbers, while the Quakes have also gone three games in a row without defeat after opening Levi’s Stadium with a 1-0 win against the conference-leading Seattle Sounders. The Galaxy won 1-0 on June 28 at Stanford Stadium in the first league meeting between the teams.

REFEREE: Alan Kelly. AR1 (bench): C.J. Morgante; AR2 (opposite): Eric Weisbrod; 4th: Juan Guzman
Kelly MLS Career: 9 games; FC/gm: 28.4; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 4; pens: 3

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: LA: Dan Gargan … SJ: Steven Lenhart, Jordan Stewart
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: LA: Landon Donovan … SJ: Sam Cronin, Alan Gordon, Victor Bernardez
DISABLED LIST: SJ: Tommy Muller
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (55 meetings): Galaxy 27 wins (4 shootout), 86 goals…Earthquakes 18 wins (1 shootout), 72 goals…Ties 10
AT LA (26 meetings): Galaxy 17 wins (2 shootout), 48 goals … Earthquakes 5 wins (0 shootout), 30 goals … Ties 4
FUTURE MATCH: 9/14: San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy, 12 noon PT

2014 (MLS)
6/28: SJ 0, LA 1 (Zardes 61)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Gyasi Zardes scored the game’s lone goal to give the Galaxy a 1-0 win on June 28 at Stanford Stadium.
  • The Galaxy win in the first meeting ended an Earthquakes eight-game league unbeaten streak at home in the series, 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' records: Mark Watson vs. LA: P4 W1 L2 D1 … Bruce Arena v SJ: P22 W9 L8 D5

LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • The game’s lone goal came just after the hour mark. From a ball played into the Quakes penalty area, Marcelo Sarvas teed up Gyasi Zardes at the penalty spot and he banged in the goal with a thumping strike.
  • Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo was called upon to make just one save -- the Quakes nearly matching their usual California Clasico late dramatics from a free kick, but Penedo parried Steven Lenhart's header over the crossbar.
  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-1-1): Jon Busch - Brandon Barklage (Mike Fucito 73), Jason Hernandez, Ty Harden, Jordan Stewart - Cordell Cato, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, Khari Stephenson, Sam Cronin (JJ Koval 90) - Yannick Djalo (Alan Gordon 73) - Steven Lenhart.
  • LA GALAXY (4-3-1-2): Jaime Penedo - Dan Gargan, Kofi Opare, Tommy Meyer, Robbie Rogers - Stefan Ishizaki, Baggio Husidic, Marcelo Sarvas (Juninho 85) - Landon Donovan - Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes (Rob Friend 81).

LA GALAXY

The LA Galaxy won their second game on the trot, coming back for a 3-1 victory against the Portland Timbers on Saturday afternoon at StubHub Center. The Galaxy sit in a tie for third place in the Western Conference with 33 points from 19 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The Timbers took the lead after 14 minutes. After Gaston Fernandez was brought down outside the Galaxy box, Diego Valeri hit a beautiful free kick from about 26 yards, a shot that glanced off the head of a Galaxy player in the wall and flew into the top-right corner of the net.
  • The Galaxy pulled even three minutes into stoppage time. Finishing off a flowing move, Robbie Keane sent the ball wide for Robbie Rogers, whose bullet cross found Gyasi Zardes just inside the six-yard box, and Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts had no chance of stopping his point-blank header.
  • The Galaxy took the lead in the 73rd minute, completing a sequence that began in LA's defensive end. Landon Donovan took a pass on the left flank, brought it toward the net, then chipped toward the far post. Keane worked his way to get on the end of the ball, going to the ground to get his head on the ball near the goal line.
  • Keane tallied again in the 85th minute, converting from the penalty spot after Diego Chara tripped Juninho at the top of the box.
  • Galaxy coach Bruce Arena made no changes to the team that rolled to a 3-1 win against the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field
  • LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Jaime Penedo - Dan Gargan, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Robbie Rogers - Stefan Ishizaki (Baggio Husidic 60), Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho (Chandler Hoffman 86), Landon Donovan - Gyasi Zardes, Robbie Keane.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Galaxy extended their undefeated streak at StubHub Center to eight games, since losing their season opener to Real Salt Lake. They have won back-to-back games for a fourth time this season; they have yet to win three games in a row.
  • “I think we can be a better team that we were last year,” Landon Donovan said. “I think we're a lot more experienced in a lot of different positions. I think we're a lot better position-for-position when we're on the field. We struggled getting results early on, but now the results are coming and if we keep doing this, we're going to keep moving up the table.”
  • Gyasi Zardes scored his fifth goal over the last five games, since July 12, and now has eight goals for the season. Seven of his eight goals have come in the last eight games; all of his league goals this season have come since May 21.
  • “He’s doing well. Big goal obviously. A lot of little things, he’s getting better. He’s running off the ball better. He’s holding the ball better. He’s passing better,” said Arena. “Everything’s improved and I think playing next to Robbie [Keane] is important. Robbie’s doing a good job helping him move along.”
  • Said Donovan: “He has worked at it. Success is not an accident. He came in last year and he was still raw. There were number of chances that he didn’t score. Every day after the training, he is working with the coaches, just finishing. Simple finishing; getting in front of the goal and hitting the target.  So, even this year, when he doesn’t score, he is hitting the target consistently and giving himself a chance to score. It was good to see that work pay off.”
  • Robbie Keane scored a pair of goals, the 11th multiple-goal game of Keane’s MLS career, in 73 total appearances. Keane has scored five goals over the last four league games.
  • “I think if you look at it from start to finish, we dominated the game, there’s no question. I think they only had one shot on target. Apart from that, we dominated from start to finish,” Keane said. “I think it was only right that we got that goal in the first half and from then, we came in at halftime and we knew that if we continued to play the same way we would get opportunities, and we did.”
  • Keane scored from a penalty kick, the first of four penalties converted by the Galaxy this season. “Robbie [Keane] takes our penalties. And, that’s the first one we’ve made this year. We were the only team in the league which hadn’t converted a penalty this year. It’s nice to get that monkey off our backs,” Arena said.
  • Landon Donovan recorded an assist, his third in the last two games and his seventh of the season. He now has 124 assists, now 11 behind Steve Ralston as the all-time MLS league leader.
  • There was an unchanged back four for the Galaxy, with Robbie Rogers slotting in at left back and Dan Gargan starting again at right back.
  • “Sometimes in life, people find a position. I think certainly, this is Robbie [Rogers’] best position,” said Keane. “The good thing about where he plays is that he has so much energy and so much quality that he can almost do both. Because he has so much energy, he can get back and defend and he’s very hard to beat. When he gets into the attacking half, he can cross a ball, which we’ve seen in Gyasi [Zardes’] goal, so I think he’s found a spot there.”

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

The San Jose Earthquakes recorded their second win in a row, defeating the Seattle Sounders 1-0 on Saturday evening at Levi’s Stadium. The Quakes are in a tie for eighth place in the Western Conference with 23 points from 19 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's lone goal came in the 42nd minute. A nifty first-time ball from Shea Salinas on the left wing found Chris Wondolowski near the halfway line, and his cultured lead pass put Yannick Djaló in alone behind the Sounders back line. With Stefan Frei caught in no-man’s-land, Djaló used the outside of his right foot to knock his initial touch past the Seattle goalkeeper and inside the far post.
  • Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch was credited with eight saves in keeping the clean sheet, and was helped in the 85th minute when Wondolowski headed a clear header from Chad Barrett back off the line.
  • Quakes head coach Mark Watson made no changes to the team that rolled to a 5-1 win against the Chicago Fire at Buck Shaw Stadium.
  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-1-1): Jon Busch - Shaun Francis, Jason Hernandez, Victor Bernardez, Jordan Stewart - Atiba Harris, Sam Cronin, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, Shea Salinas (Cordell Cato 87) - Yannick Djalo (Khari Stephenson 65) - Chris Wondolowski.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Quakes have won back-to-back games for the second time this season, extending their undefeated run to three games, matching their longest of the season.
  • “It’s a fantastic win for us,” San Jose coach Mark Watson said. “I think there’s still been games prior to our last three where we have shown improvement and maybe were unlucky not to get points. I think the play’s been better and improved for a little while, and I think we’re starting to get some rewards for it.”
  • Said goalkeeper Jon Busch: “It’s too early to say it’s a turning point. We’re playing better, and we’re getting results, but we still have a lot of work to do ahead of us. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover to get back in the playoff hunt. It’s a big win against a very good team. ... But again, we’ve got to keep it in perspective. Next week’s game is just as important as this game. We’ve got to start putting them together.”
  • Yannick Djaló scored for a second consecutive game, and now has three league goals in his first MLS season. Djaló has two goals and two assists in his last two games.
  • But there was an injury blow as Djaló was forced to come off just after the hour with a right quadriceps strain, and is expected to miss 1-4 weeks.
  • “They’re still in the evaluation process. It’s still settling down from the weekend. He’s very optimistic,” Watson said of Djalo. “He feels he’s improved a lot just in the past couple of days. But we’re still working off that timeframe. It’s kind of monitoring it day to day.”
  • It was the Quakes’ first shutout since May 25, their fifth of the league season. “We were strong defensively. On my end, I go out there just trying to make saves to keep my team in it. Today, I had a couple more than usual and was lucky to clear it from the crossbar a couple of times,” Busch said. “It was a fun game to play. Hats off to the boys in front me. They were blocking shots and heading balls away. It wasn’t pretty at the end, but we got the three points and that’s all that matters.”
  • Chris Wondolowski recorded his second assist of the season, both coming in the last two games, both while playing as the only one-and-out striker with Djaló playing in the underneath role.
  • “He’s in great form right now. He’s a game-changer. He can provide a spark that we need. ... I think we’re at our deepest point right now, team-wise. I feel we have a lot of guys that can step up and play well,” said Wondolowski of Djaló.
  • There was a further injury blow in the days leading up to the match as Steven Lenhart underwent surgery on his right knee and will be out 4-6 weeks.