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11/23 FINAL
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11/30 9:20pm
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Eastern Conference Championship

Another 'Clásico' match in L.A.

Paulo Nagamura and L.A. face Chivas USA.

Photo Credit: 
Essy Ghavameddini/MLS/WireImage.com

CHIVAS USA (MLS) v LOS ANGELES GALAXY (MLS)

Home Depot Center Track & Field Stadium, Carson, Calif.; 7:30 p.m. PT

Four "Super Clásicos" aren't enough for the two Home Depot Center rivals - now a fourth-round contest Wednesday night in the U.S. Open Cup awaits. Chivas USA survived a tricky test in their first-ever game in the competition, defeating USL Second Division Charlotte Eagles in extra time in the third round. The Los Angeles Galaxy are trying to regain the magic that saw them progress far in the competition every year until last, when they were dumped out at the first hurdle by a lower-division team.

CHIVAS USA
IN THE OPEN CUP: Chivas players have some previous history in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Ezra Hendrickson did win the 2001 Open Cup with the Los Angeles Galaxy, scoring the 70th-minute equalizer in the Galaxy's 2-1 victory against the New England Revolution on a Danny Califf golden goal. Francisco Gomez and Orlando Perez were on opposite sides of last year's final, playing for the Kansas City Wizards and Chicago Fire respectively. Gomez came off for Igor Simutenkov - who scored the game-winner in extra-time. Perez won the Open Cup in 2003 with the Fire. Chivas USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan was part of the Chicago Fire Reserves team a year ago that made it to the third round before losing to the Rochester Raging Rhinos, a team which featured a number of MLS rookies this season, including Real Salt Lake's Cameron Knowles and Luke Kreamalmeyer, San Jose's Julian Nash, Drew Moor of FC Dallas and the Fire's Chris Rolfe.

THIS YEAR: Chivas USA left it late, but survived their first-ever U.S. Open Cup test, coming from behind to claim a 3-2 victory against USL Second Division (third tier) Charlotte Eagles in a third-round match at Davidson College. Esteban Arias scored in the third minute, but Charlotte took the lead with 10 minutes left. But Thiago Martins hit for the equalizer three minutes later, then seconds before the game would have been decided by a penalty shootout, Isaac Romo scored the match-winner. ... Here's Westerhof's team: Brad Guzan - Ezra Hendrickson, Francisco Gómez (Jesús Ochoa 100), Armando Begines, Esteban Arias (Arturo Torres 69) - Ramón Ramírez, Héctor Cuadros (Thiago Martins 30), Francisco Mendoza - Matt Taylor, Antonio Martínez, Isaac Romo

LOS ANGELES GALAXY
IN THE OPEN CUP: For the first time in club history, the Galaxy were dumped out of the U.S. Open Cup in their opening match a year ago, losing 1-0 to the Minnesota Thunder (A-League) in the fourth round. It snapped a run of five consecutive appearances where they reached at least the semifinals, winning the 2001 Final against the New England Revolution but losing to the Columbus Crew the following year. ... The Galaxy have lost just five times in 19 Open Cup matches - two of those coming against Columbus Crew, once in the quarterfinals in 1999, and once in the 2002 final. The other two losses both came to the Fire, in the semifinals in both 2000 and 2003. Until last year, they of course had never lost to a lower-division side. ... Before '04, the Galaxy's shortest run in the Open Cup came in 1999, when a quarterfinal loss to the Columbus Crew followed a win against the San Diego Flash (A-League).

LAST YEAR: The Galaxy lost at the first time of asking for the first time ever in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, falling 1-0 to the Minnesota Thunder on July 20 in the round-of-16, the Thunder's first-ever win against an MLS side. The only goal of the game came in the 21st minute from former MLS performers, when Jeff Matteo swung in a free kick from the right, finding Chris Brunt who headed home.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.


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