Will the Galaxy break their unbeaten streak versus the San Jose Earthquakes? Or will the Quakes' new reinforcements strike back at their California rivals in their final meeting of the regular season? Predictions before kickoff, please.
The Telefutura announcers rightly note that records don't matter in a clasico. Also, that the Galaxy need to win to get back in the playoff picture.
Galaxy Startin IV
* 1 - Steve Cronin (GK)
* 3 - Greg Vanney
* 4 - Ante Jazic
* 7 - Chris Klein
* 8 - Peter Vagenas
* 10 - Landon Donovan
* 14 - Edson Buddle
* 21 - Alan Gordon
* 23 - David Beckham
* 26 - Ely Allen
* 28 - Sean Franklin
* 1 - Joe Cannon (GK)
* 2 - Eric Denton
* 3 - Nick Garcia
* 5 - Ryan Cochrane
* 6 - Darren Huckerby
* 7 - Ronnie O'Brien
* 10 - Francisco Lima
* 12 - Ramiro Corrales
* 17 - Arturo Alvarez
* 21 - Jason Hernandez
* 33 - Scott Sealy
So after his rather nightmare debut. Eduardo Dominguez is not starting, but he is on the bench.
1 - SJ defense cuts off the first Galacy foray into Quakeland.
2 - The Telefutura graphics are annoying, they cut right into the main picture. Someday someone is going to score right in the opening seconds and the viewers are going to get cheated because of the display.
5 - If Alvarez is part of a Quake defeat of the Galaxy today, he'll have beaten LA twice in a row with different teams.
6 - Sealy gets away with a foul on the attacking end. No surprise, since Abbe Olkulaja is the ref. Then Sealy is surrounded on another attack and gets a shot off that goes over the bar and hits the Galaxy net on the outside.
7 - Another SJ attack leads to a corner, but Okylaja blows the whislte on this one and the ball goes for a GK.
8 - GOAL! AA! The early pressure by the Quakes pays off! Sealy and Alvarez work a nice interplay which leaves the D in the box outnumbered and Alvarez slots it low past Cronin, who was coming out to try to pressure the ball. 1-0 Quakes.
9 - B uddle over the bar on a counter.
11 - Donovan on the attack, but his shot is deflected and Cannon picks the ball up.
12 - Buddle whistled for offside on an attack. He looks very unhappy at the call, but no replay to show validity or not.
13 - Ronnie O'Brien offside.
14 - Cronin out for a low cross - barely beats AA to it. The ball bounces away from Cronin, but Franklin clears it to safety.
16 - "Si se pudo" now the announcers discuss the SuperLiga and MLS success in ousting the Mexican teams. They don't mention the crappy reffing.
17 - San Jose looking more dangerous, while the little spurt by the Galaxy passed rather quickly.
18 - "Miserable" the announcers call the pass from Beckham, and it was, just after LD sprung Becks on a great pass of his own, threading three defenders. Becks was trying to reach Gordo, but the pass wasn't close.
19 - Cannon snatches as ball out of the air, despite the best efforts of Alan Gordon to get a head on it.
20 - No goal. It looked like an offside, but Ramiro Corrales looked for a flag and not getting one, went in alone against Cronin and shot past him - into the outside of the side netting. That could easily have been the second.
24 - Ely goes down in the box, where Buddle fed him a great pass. Hard to see if there was a foul, but he's certainly not getting a call from Okulaja.
25 - CK for the Galaxy, but Becks shoots over everyone in the box and the opportunity is lost.
27 - Now the Galaxy are getting a bit of purchase in the midfield, but the Quakes are fighting them every inch of the way, tooth and nail to hang on to their lead by denying the Galaxy even a sniff of the goal.
29 - Save! O'Brien crosses to AA, who sends a solid header on goal, but Cronin stops it.
31 - The midfield for the Quakes is strong and had moved the squad out of the defensive shell they've occupied most of the year.
33 - Ely give up a FK - dangerous, though a bit far. O'Brien slams it into outer space. Far, far over the goal.
34 - Quake counter messed up by a poor O'Brien cross.
35 - LD fouled by Hernandez. The FK reaches Gordon, but he can't get a good header off.
39 - Jazic gets off a good cross and Gordon heads it down in front of goal, but no one from the Galaxy can get anything on the ball to dink it inside before it goes out over the line.
40 - GOAL! Huckerby beats Klein on the wing, or Klein slips, and Huckerby charges in on goal alone, Vanney gets out to gut part of the angle, but Huckerby shoots straight at Cronin, who can't deflect it to safety, only to the far post, where it slips in. 2-0 Quakes.
42 - GOAL! Twice Becks tees up a cross for LD, who gets off a header that Cannon saves, but the rebound gets out to Becks again and his second cross again finds LD, who this time, pops the ball into the corner away from Cannon's save. 2-1 Quakes still lead.
45 - O'Brien nearly takes on four Galaxy players, but then loses the ball over the line.
Halftime - Well, the newbies on the Quakes are certainly making themselves welcome, scoring goals to give the team the lead. The new- look Quakes are playing all-around better, though, and could make a final run in what's left of the season.
As for the Galaxy - their now-usual mix of good and bad. Franklin is doing well on his return. Ely looks intimidated in front of goal and Beckham can follow a poor cross with the loveliest one. LD, meanwhile, pads his Golden Boot lead just a bit.
With the way the Galaxy can play, a second goal is very possible, if not even more, but whether it's the shaky defense that gives before the offense strikes is an open question.
In the pre-recorded interview played at halftime, LD is asked if he sees his team in the MLS final. He answers, basically. "No. Our team doesn't seem complete yet. Teams who advance in the playoffs have a good defense and we don't have that right now. We need to improve. With me, Edson and Carlos, we're going to score goals, so if our defense improves, we could do well."
46 - Heh, as the announcers complain about the amateur nature of Mike Randolph entering late as a sub, holding up the match slightly, they repeatedly call him Troy Roberts. So, professional indeed, not knowing the actual players on the team.
47 - Randolph (they finally get his name right) is in for Ely Allen.
48 - Cochrane picks up a yellow.
49 - CK for the Quakes as Cronin fumbles with the ball, and Klein is forced to kick it away to safety.
50 - CK again, but the Galaxy finally get the ball again.
51 - Huckerby is playing well, which probably pisses off John Carver, but Huckerby didn't like the Toronto turf.
52 - Another Ck for the Quakes, but the Galaxy clear.
54 - Beckham down in the box, no call, Gordon attempts a shot, Cannon catches and starts a counter that ends with a Sealy shot that barely misses high.
56 - Lima is also improving SJ a lot. He's in the mix of everything, denying the Galaxy a lot of passes and chances.
57 - A poor Cronin clear leads to an SJ corner, but Cronin redeems himself a bit by catching the service.
58 - huh, one of the announcers thinks the McBride deal was a bad one for the Fire. Doesn't think a young player should be traded. Ok.
61 - The Galaxy with a slightly better of a run of play for a bit, but no real chances yet.
62 - "Arturito!" but his shot is stopped by Cronin. AA seems thrilled to be back in San Jose. He's playing great.
63 - Long pass by Becks to Gordo leads to a FK chance, but the D of SJ rejects the service from Beckham. Becks is playing far, far back this half.
66 - Abbe won't stop play for a fallen and apparently injured Corrales, but LD finally does. There's no foul, because Franklin got to the ball first. Corrales limps for a bit, but seems to be walking it off.
68 - Sure enough, there is Corrales running on the field again.
70 - Buddle shot after fighting through the defense of SJ, but Cannon dives down for the ball.
72 - LD fights through about four SJ defenders in the box, but is cross gets cut off.
73 - O'Brien shoots just wide on an SJ counter attack.
74 - LD gets a yellow for a hand on Huckerby's back. That gives the home crowd reason to cheer.
75 - Buddle with a shot that goes high. Ruiz enters for Chris Klein. So the Galaxy are going with a defensive line of three players. Wow.
76 - GOAL! Buddle! Funny, because the announcers have been harshing on him all game. Cochrane helped inadvertently by falling over Nick Garcia and Buddle rocketed through the glimmer of daylight that remained.
78 - SJ looking to strike back - have a corner. Cronin catches.
79 - Randolph in the box, but the ball is out for a corner.
82 - The Galaxy are looking for the win - not protecting the road draw. It could pay off, or it could be fatal.
83 - Ryan Johnson in for O'Brien.
85 - Back and forth, but no solid chances for either side yet.
87 - Nick and Carlos get into it. Abbe comes over as the Ruiz taps Garcia on either side of the face.
88 - SJ corner. Galaxy clear, but the ball goes out for a deep throw.
89 - GOAL! Another SJ attack and Cronin saves one attempt, but the Galaxy fail to clear and the ball slips out to Cochrane, who drills it near post. 3-2 SJ. Announcers discuss how another ref might have red-carded Cochrane, who went on to change the game for SJ.
90 - Alan Gordon heads the ball over the goal.
90+ The Galaxy with a chance in the box, but can't put the ball on frame.
The Quakes take away a victory, an especially sweet one given how they got the win in late in the game.