Tommy Thompson - San Jose Earthquakes - Joao Pedro - LA Galaxy
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Discuss: Which California Clasico team is more likely to turn it around?

The first California Clasico of the 2018 season is here, as the LA Galaxy host the San Jose Earthquakes on Friday night (11 pm ET | UniMás, Twitter - Full TV & Streaming Info).

While both of these teams have trophy cabinets full of silverware, they're both off to a rocky start this year, with the Galaxy just below the playoff line and the Quakes currently in 10th place in the Western Conference. So this won't just be a grudge match, it will also give the teams a chance to pick up vital points against an interconference opponent.

We asked Senior Editors Ben Couch and Nick Rosano, National Writer Sam Stejskal, and contributors Alicia Rodriguez and Charles Boehm their thoughts on this question:

Which California Clasico participant has a better chance of turning their season around and making the playoffs?

COUCH: It's the Galaxy. LA is a mess, but they're a loaded mess that's one good stretch (… or three [shrug emoji]) away from scaring the stuffing out of anyone lining up across the pitch with a Knockout Round elimination in the balance. San Jose doesn't even seem competitive, which … ugh. They have all these players and elements that I think individually are promising/useful/intriguing at the very least and when combined just form a big pile of soccer sadness. #FreeTomThom

ROSANO: From what we have seen this season, and on paper, the Galaxy would seem to have the better chance. The Quakes, though, have the room to add some difference makers in the summer transfer window with one DP slot open and the possibility of buying down Chris Wondolowski’s budget charge to open up another. Which is to say, we’ll probably have a clearer answer to this question once the summer transfer window gets into full swing – provided these teams aren’t out of the hunt by then.

STEJSKAL: LA, and it's not close. The Galaxy have issues, but they've got plenty of talent, too. San Jose, on the other hand, look dead in the water even in a weak West.

RODRIGUEZ: I was optimistic the Quakes were going to embark on an improved phase in their history this season, but it hasn't shown signs of actually happening so far. So I have to go with the Galaxy, who even with an imbalanced roster have far, far more talent top to bottom than the Quakes.

BOEHM: Given the general state of chaos in Galaxyland, there may be more room for improvement in NorCal this year -- especially when it comes to summer transfer shopping. But I've been pretty underwhelmed by San Jose's fighting spirit and general sense of resolve so far. With the lead dogs in that LA locker room, I think they can pull themselves together. It'll probably take a high-profile departure or two for any sort of sustained revival to really kick in, though.