CARSON, Calif. -- The cross-hall rivalry with the LA Galaxy has not been kind to Chivas USA. They are winless in the last seven matchups and have beaten their rivals only four times in 30 all-time meetings.
But before they undergo an expected brand overhaul this upcoming offseason, they recognize that what is being billed as the final SuperClasico on Sunday against the LA Galaxy (8 pm ET, Univision Deportes) presents an opportunity to go out in style.
“This carries a special attraction and a bit of nostalgia, in a sense,” head coach Wilmer Cabrera told reporters. “Hopefully we can say that we won the final SuperClasico. We know it’s a very important game. We’ve got some reinforcements and new faces, and we hope that improves our level of play and find those results.”
The newly acquired Nigel Reo-Coker and Ecuadorian forward Luis Bolaños are eligible for selection Sunday, and Chivas USA could use an offensive spark as they look to end a 456-minute scoring drought.
“It’s a very difficult and complicated game,” forward Erick “Cubo” Torres said. “We know the quality that is the Galaxy and the quality players they have. You play it differently on the pitch, and we’ve got to hope to do it well.”
The second-place Galaxy lead MLS with an average of 1.88 goals per game, and have scored 10 times over their last three games, including four earlier this week in a 4-1 win over D.C. United.
But the Rojiblancos have defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado eligible for selection for the first time since his acquisition from the Chicago Fire on Aug. 22. They figure to need him at center back with Carlos Bocanegra (concussion) set to miss his sixth consecutive game and Tony Lochhead suspended due to yellow card accumulation. Veteran defender Bobby Burling hasn’t appeared in a game since July 5.
“[The Galaxy] are going very well and had an excellent showing [Wednesday],” Cabrera said. “That’s a great motivation for us. They’re on a good streak of positive results, so that generates some confidence for them. More than thinking about the rivalry, we have to think about ourselves and what we’re doing and need to do.”
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Still, the historical significance of the finale won’t be overlooked.
“I’ll probably reflect back on this once the season is done,” goalkeeper Dan Kennedy told reporters. “I’ve always relished this game and opportunity to play against the Galaxy. Our fans feel the same way. So it would be important for (the team) to get a result, but I know the fans would really celebrate a good performance and result.”