If we go back and look at the history of El Clasico Angelino, it isn't pretty for Chivas USA. They've won the season series just once, and have only won one game in the last six seasons. Ok, so it's downright ugly.
Here's the bright side, of sorts: Chivas have gotten a result against the LA Galaxy in their first meeting the last two seasons. In 2012, they finally broke the duck, and beat the Galaxy 1-0. Then last year, after going down a man through a sham red card, they battled back for a late equalizer to draw 1-1.
One of the reasons the LA rivalry hasn't been featured as one of the best in MLS in recent years is because of how lopsided it's been. While individual games have been as fiery and topsy-turvy as you would expect from a derby clash, there have been too many blowouts by the Galaxy, and not enough wider passion concerning the Clasico to really capture imaginations away from Southern California.
But if there's something to really inspire Goats' fans, it's that Chivas have entered the Clasico the last two years with hope they can match their stadium mates, and the ability to actually do so. It seems early on, there's been enough hope and decent play to grab points, and the conditions for doing that once again on Sunday are certainly there. This season, with another new coach and largely new players, the weight of the past isn't weighing the team down, and they are playing well to start the season. It's hard to expect much more walking into this game.
The problem, at least the last two years, is that the team has either had their backs broken by the Galaxy in the second meeting of the season (2012), or already been DOA when playing them in subsequent meetings (2013). Of course, we hope those matches go differently this year, but the teams can only play the schedule that's laid out in front of them.
Still, there's time for Chivas to end the Chivas era of El Clasico Angelino with a series win. They'll need to start that quest with a result on Sunday, and there's every reason to believe they can.
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