Ryan Suarez and the Galaxy defense will look to keep tabs on Landon Donovan.
John Todd/MLS/WireImage.com

Galaxy, Earthquakes set for Clásico

and scored his sixth goal in the last four games -- midway through the second half when he converted from the penalty spot after referee Mark Geiger ruled Galaxy striker Arturo Torres had handled a cross in the area.

  • Galaxy coach Steve Sampson made five changes to the team that played to a 1-1 draw at home with the Chicago Fire in his first game, on Aug. 21. Cobi Jones (USA), Tyrone Marshall (Jamaica) and Carlos Ruiz (Guatemala) were all away on international duty, while Marcelo Saragosa and Paul Broome were suspended.
  • That meant a start for Hong Myung-Bo in the center of the back three, while Danny Califf returned to the lineup for the first time since June 27 after knee surgery. Peter Vagenas also made a return after a lengthy absence due to groin surgery, his first start since the third game of the season (April 17). Chris Albright returned from suspension while Joseph Ngwenya was the choice to partner Jovan Kirovski in attack in place of Ruiz.
  • Here's Sampson's team (3-4-1-2): Kevin Hartman - Ryan Suarez, Hong Myung-Bo (Arturo Torres 42), Danny Califf - Chris Albright, Ned Grabavoy (Guillermo Gonzalez 58), Peter Vagenas, Sasha Victorine - Andreas Herzog (Josh Gardner 76) - Jovan Kirovski, Joseph Ngwenya.
  • For Josh Gardner, it was his MLS league debut, and now every player on the Galaxy books has seen time in league play this season for the club.
  • The Galaxy will acquire 6-foot-3 striker Alan Gordon on loan from the A-League Portland Timbers for the remainder of the season, with an option to buy out his contract from the second division side. Gordon could join the team in time for this weekend's match, after the Timbers were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the A-League playoffs last weekend by the Seattle Sounders. Gordon scored 17 goals in 27 matches this year in his rookie campaign.

    The San Jose Earthquakes lost for the first time in five games, but it was a disheartening defeat, falling 1-0 to the Columbus Crew on a late goal at home on Wednesday night. It left the Earthquakes in fourth place in the Western Conference, with 34 points from 24 matches, still a point behind the Galaxy, two ahead of the last-place Dallas Burn - and just four points out of first place.

  • Tony Sanneh hit for his first goal in Major League Soccer in nearly six years, hitting in the first minute of stoppage time to give the Crew the victory, the first goal allowed by the Earthquakes in more than 7 ½ hours.
  • Despite the home side dominating much of the match, just when it seemed the match would dwindle to a draw, a Simon Elliott free kick lofted from the right found Sanneh, and he hit for his first MLS goal since the 1998 season, when he was with D.C. United.
  • "This one hurts," said Earthquakes head coach Dominic Kinnear. "We should have been two or three goals up before the foul, but it seemed like every shot we had tonight was right at the keeper. We're playing well enough, but we're not winning games."
  • With four regulars still away on international duty - the first-choice strike partnership of Landon Donovan and Brian Ching with the USA, and goalkeeper Pat Onstad and striker Dwayne DeRosario with Canada, Kinnear made no changes to the team that defeated the New England Revolution 1-0 at Gillette Stadium the previous weekend.
  • Here's Kinnear's team (4-4-2): Jon Conway - Craig Waibel, Jeff Agoos, Troy Dayak, Todd Dunivant - Ian Russell (Wes Hart 87), Ronnie Ekelund, Richard Mulrooney, Ramiro Corrales - Brian Mullan (Tighe Dombrowski 89), Chris Brown (Jamil Walker 82).
  • "They stole another game from us," said Agoos. "They did the same thing to us back there and tonight they didn't create a whole lot of chances, but they got the one that counts."
  • Sanneh's goal was the first allowed by the Earthquakes after four consecutive shutouts, snapping a 459-minute shutout streak, the longest in the league this year.
  • "There were a host of mistakes on our part," said Agoos. "We didn't do a good job of standing guys up and we didn't track back with runners. To be able to play the ball with your feet in the box - it's just a bad job on our part. One mistake cost us."