Welcome from Home Depot Center where the opening home game of the season features a team without a defense of note (the Galaxy) against an expansion team (the Earthquakes) sans much of any respectable attack.
Still, the field is immaculate, a sense of anticipation (or is that foreboding?) is in the air and the stands are um, half full (they’re supposed to fill up).
Galaxy Coach Ruud Gullit has made four changes from the team that got murdered 4-0 in Colorado last weekend.
Cal State Northridge defender Sean Franklin makes his home debut in central defense, while Mike Randolph returns to the starting line-up as left back for the suspended Abel Xavier and the dropped Michael Gavin, who is on the bench.
Brandon McDonald comes in for Peter Vagenas (also on the bench) in midfield, while Alan Gordon replaces the injured Carlos Ruiz and partners Landon Donovan in attack.
Steve Cronin is in goal, with Chris Klein and Greg Vanney retaining their spots in the back four.
Also in midfield, it’s captain David Beckham, Brazilian Alvaro Pires and Ely Allen.
For the Earthquakes: former Galaxy goalkeeper Joe Cannon is in the net and former Chivas USA defender Jason Hernandez, Ryan Cochrane, Nick Garcia and James Riley are arrayed across the back.
The four man midfield consists of recent acquisition from Toronto FC Ronnie O’Brien, (out to prove his injury woes are behind him), former ‘Quake Ramiro Corrales, ex-Galaxy player Ned Grabavoy and Ivan Guerrero.
Up front: Lawndale’s Kei Kamara and draft pick Shea Salinas.
Ex-Chivas USA men Preston Burpo and John Cunliffe are on the bench for the Earthquakes as is former Galaxy super sub Gavin Glinton.
Incidentally, the Chicago Fire walloped the New England Revolution 4-0 earlier this evening, with UCLA product Chad Barrett getting a goal and an assist on a Cuatuhtemoc Blanco strike.