Chivas USA take on the LA Galaxy for a "road" game on Sunday in the second meeting of the Clasico Angelino (5 pm PT, Univision Deportes). Both teams will be looking to enter the break in league play for the World Cup on a high note. For the Galaxy, a win will ensure they win the season series between the rivals for yet another year, while for Chivas, a win would bring some dignity and presumably a huge boost to the club. Which side takes it? We'll find out very soon.
If you missed them, be sure to check out the Three Questions feature with Josie Becker from Friday (we did a fun one, looking off the field this time), as well as my attempt to look at the bright side ahead of the game from Saturday morning.
On to the preview...
Tale of the Tape:
Chivas USA: 10 points (2-7-4), 9th in Western Conference, 19th place overall; Goal Difference: -12 (13/25); Last five matches: L-L-D-W-L
LA Galaxy: 16 points (4-3-4), 6th in Western Conference, 12th place overall; Goal Difference: 5 (15/10); Last five matches: D-W-W-L-D
Can Chivas provide any kind of surprise in this game? The Goats have only beaten the Galaxy once since 2007. I'm getting the feeling this rivalry game is the least anticipated yet among CUSA fans, and I understand why. Nobody wants to see yet another loss -- or worse yet -- another blowout. And while Chivas have entered this match plenty of times in the past with expectations that they may be able to take the Galaxy on this time, I'd say that's not the sentiment surrounding this particular encounter, especially because of the horrible performances put up last week by the team.
So, can Chivas rope-a-dope all of MLS and its own fanbase by coming out strong and actually getting a result? It's going to be a tough test, no doubt, as the Galaxy may be missing a couple key players but have an especially motivated Landon Donovan looking to extend his scoring run. Chivas still haven't figured things out on either end of the field, and that's why spirits are so low. But again, this is MLS, and maybe, just maybe, the Goats can enter the league break on a very high note.
Why Chivas will win this game: Probabilities being what they are, Chivas are bound to win this tie at some point, right? Right?? I'm really down on this team right now, truth be told. Are they capable of playing well at times? Yes, of course they are. Do they do that very often against the Galaxy? Nope. It's not impossible, it's not inconceivable. If they did win, it would be cherished for a long time, believe me. But realistically, the Goats are going to have to play very, very well and hope the Galaxy are mentally out of it, to grab three points.
Why the Galaxy will win this game: They are overwhelming favorites, based on their current form and past form against Chivas. A win of any kind by them will be expected, which is unfortunate for the Goats, but until they get some results, that's how it's going to shake out. And with Chivas' penchant of getting red cards, warranted or not, it's certainly a possibility they'll grab one in this game, too, and that would likely set them back even further. A win looks like a formality, unfortunately.
Why this game will end in a draw: Of course, a draw would be better than a loss for Chivas. Of course. But I'm getting tired of moral victories, even in the face of a series record like this one. Could this end in a draw? Yes, definitely. Would it be progress? Sure, points are better than no points. But a draw going into the break would be a mixed result, frankly. Still, beggars can't be choosers at this point.
Chivas: Marvin Chavez (international duty), Oswaldo Minda (suspended), Thomas McNamara (knee), Andrew Jean-Baptiste (sports hernia), Carlos Bocanegra (hamstring - listed as questionable)
Galaxy: Omar Gonzalez (international duty), Robbie Keane (international duty), James Riley (knee), Todd Dunivant (abdominal strain), Marcelo Sarvas (knee - listed as questionable)