Hostilities resume today between intra-stadium rivals Chivas USA and the Galaxy, although that term may be a tad extreme in a city that barely notices the rivalry.
Galaxy Coach Ruud Gullit, who during his career as a player, coach and match commentator with the likes of Newcastle, Sunderland, Chelsea, Arsenal, AC Milan, Spurs, et al has really experienced some intense derbies, tried to be diplomatic this morning about the still-budding contest.
“The big difference (compared to) other places like Milan, is the city is not as involved,” said Gullit, the Galaxy’s coach. “You don’t know about it so much, like in Milan or any other city. It’s a little bit odd, I must say. You don’t have that same feeling. For us, of course, it’s important.”
A game preview is here.
Just to set the stage further: Chivas USA trails in the 12-game series overall with a 3-7-2 record, although the club won the last two games by 3-0 margins including a Sept. 13 contest that (among other things) cruelly exposed the shortcomings of aging Galaxy defender Abel Xavier.
Highlights (lowlights?) of that encounter below.
The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on Fox Soccer Channel. A sellout is expected, although tickets were still available this morning.
In related news, defender Dan Gargan, who played in last week’s Chivas USA reserve game, has signed with the club. From the Chivas USA press release:
A three-year veteran of Major League Soccer and native of Philadelphia, Pa., Gargan, 25, made 49 appearances for the Colorado Rapids from 2005-2007 (31 starts), mainly as right-sided defender, following a standout four-year career at Georgetown University. Gargan joins Chivas USA as a disabled list replacement for defender Alex Zotinca, who was placed on Chivas USAs disabled list prior to the season after undergoing ACL reconstruction on his right knee.
Dan is both young and has good experience in the league, and will bring depth to our squad, particularly on the right side, said Chivas USA Head Coach Preki. Hes got a good mind for the game and were happy to bring him into the team.
Originally selected in the third round of the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft, Dan Gargan recorded three assists in his 49 games with the Rapids, and also appeared in a number of Reserve Team matches for the two-time defending Reserve Division champions. Prior to joining MLS, Gargan played at Georgetown , where he was a starter all four years for the Hoyas and served as the teams captain in his senior year. Though primarily used as a defender or defensive midfielder, Gargan scored a total of 11 goals and added 18 assists in his collegiate career.
In addition to his experience in MLS, Gargan spent two weeks training with Pachuca of the Mexican First Division in January of 2007. He was awarded the Rapids Most Improved Player award after a breakout season in 2006 in which he started 18 of the teams final 20 matches of the season.
Also, Chivas USA defender-midfielder Jorge Flores has been called into the U.S. Under-20 National Team for three friendlies against the Bolton Wanderers, Manchester United and Liverpool reserve teams.
Finally, Chivas USA will hold a “Practice in the Community” at 10 a.m. Sunday at Rio de Los Angeles State Park.
The squad will sign autographs until about noon afterward.
Rio de Los Angeles State Park is at 1900 San Fernando Road, Los Angeles, just off the Golden State (I-5) and Glendale (SR-2) Freeways.
I’ll blog from the game as usual.