Santa Clara, CA (Sports Network) - For the second time in the span of a week,
the Los Angeles Galaxy will clash with an in-state rival, this time meeting
the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday at Stanford Stadium.
After securing a 1-0 victory over Chivas USA in the SuperClasico last weekend
to snap a three-match winless streak, the Galaxy will take on another
struggling California side in the Earthquakes, who have claimed one win in
their last six games.
Saturday's contest will mark the first meeting of the teams since last
season's Western Conference semifinal matchup, which the Galaxy won 3-2 on
aggregate over two legs.
San Jose won the first leg, 1-0, but conceded three first-half goals in the
second leg on its way out of the playoffs.
After winning the Supporters' Shield last term, things have gone in the wrong
direction for the Earthquakes this year with head coach Frank Yallop losing
his job following a poor stretch of results.
In his place is interim head coach Mark Watson, who is well aware of the
intensity of this rivalry.
"I think it's the history. Any time you have a big rivalry there is a
geographical proximity," Watson said when asked what makes this such a
rivalry. "But I think this one has a lot of history behind it, the games have
been hotly contested over the years and it goes back to the first year of the
league. Since then there has been a lot that has fueled the fire. It's a big
game for both teams and it's big for our supporters as well as the sport."
San Jose sits second from the bottom in the West and is in need of a spark to
turn around its season, while the Galaxy is fourth in the table and only six
points from the top spot.
The Galaxy got off to a good start this season, but with just three wins from
their last nine games, there is plenty of room for improvement.
"We're six points out of first place in the league, so we know we can be a lot
better," Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan said. "We know we can look back at a
lot of games and say there's a lot of points we dropped.
"I think right now we're starting to figure out if we continue doing the right
things that we're going to start picking up points in a hurry and start moving
up the table, and that's the goal right now."
The goal for the Galaxy will be to end a seven-game winless streak in the
league at San Jose on Saturday, and in the process, begin a new run of success
that sees the team play three of its next four games at home.
The Sports Network