SuperClasico Labor Day Weekend Rewind: Game over for rivalry as LA Galaxy beat Chivas USA (yet again)


Since losing to Sporting Kansas City July 19, the Galaxy have reeled off six wins, dropping just five points in the eight games and ending with a 13-goal spree over four games in 11 days. Impressive.

No wonder coach Bruce Arena lost track of how many games they have played where. Next up: Colorado Friday in Carson.

Mercifully, this rivalry series is finished.

And no column from me today because of the holiday weekend.

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SuperClasico Shootout: LA Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes V. Chivas USA’s Cubo Torres

It’s a match made for MLS: the prolific American starring for his local MLS club that plays in Carson a short South Bay skip from his Hawthorne hometown verses the all-time top Mexican scorer in MLS facing off in one of the biggest soccer markets in the country.

The face-off isn’t perfect.

Both players have cooled off of late.

And Torres, who should be pulling in capacity crowds, plays for a uniquely unpopular club fumbling toward oblivion and is virtually unknown compared to revered Mexican stars he has surpassed such as Carlos Hermosillo, Luis Hernandez and Cuauhtémoc Blanco.

Yet players like these represent the future of MLS.

Beat writer Phil Collin sat down with both of them ahead of Sunday’s last-ever SuperClasico.

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LA Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza and family in fight for life of newborn son today, putting latest win over D.C. United in perspective

The Galaxy’s game Wednesday night in Carson was all but over by half time as a dominant Los Angeles took a 3-0 lead during the opening 45 minutes of a game against Eastern Conference leaders D.C. United they would go on to win 4-1 ahead of Sunday’s final SuperClasico over Chivas USA.

Defender A.J.DeLaGarza started for the Galaxy in their latest victory, but the real fight for his family begins today with the birth of his first-born son who has a life-threatening congenital heart condition.

“I was very happy to get my first MLS goal with my feet instead of my head,” DeLaGarza’s fellow central defender, Maryland graduate and good friend Omar Gonzalez said. “I was pretty surprised that it went in and I just ran over to A.J. to lift my shirt with “Luca Knows Heart.” Tomorrow’s a very important day for him and we’re all going to be here for him. I’m happy to get the win for him tonight so he can focus on what he has to focus on tomorrow.”

Finally, it was a good night for returning striker Alan Gordon, too:

Update

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Major League Soccer Preview: LA Galaxy hosts D.C. United in Carson at 7:30 p.m. at StubHub Center

There’s a doubleheader of sorts today:

*MLS beat writer Phil Collin has the capsule preview.
*Here’s the (Landon Donovan perspective) from The Washington Post
*In case you missed it, my weekly soccer column is here.

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Weekly Soccer Column: With SuperClasico looming at weekend, U.S. Soccer announces LA Galaxy playmaker Landon Donovan to make final national team bow Oct. 10

The game in Hartford, Conn., is a friendly against Ecuador and will air live on ESPN.

“For 15 years, Landon has thrilled us with his amazing abilities on the field and impressed us with his gracious approach off the field,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “We are looking forward to celebrating his legacy during our next home National Team match and allowing fans the opportunity to thank him for all the memories he’s provided over the years.”

There was no quote from Jurgen Klinsmann in the press release, BTW.

Oh, and for the actual column on the upcoming SuperClasico, click here.

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Major League Soccer Sunday: LA Galaxy win over Whitecaps in Carson, Chivas USA lose again

This was a more comfortable victory for the Galaxy than the 2-0 scoreline reflected over a Vancouver team seemingly without the self-belief to try for a win in Southern California where the visitors have traditionally performed poorly. Reporter Phil Collin filed the game story.

The result has the Galaxy lurking menacingly just two points behind the trio of Western Conference leaders and putting a seven-point cushion on the fifth-place Whitecaps.

Meanwhile, Chivas USA lost yet again, this time in Boston to the New England Revolution and haven’t scored in five consecutive games.

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Major League Soccer Saturday: LA Galaxy host Vancouver Whitecaps tonight at StubHub Center in Carson

The Galaxy are leaking goals all of a sudden, while Vancouver is having trouble scoring. The Whitecaps have switched out Torrance for Long Beach in an attempt to change their fortunes in Southern California.

Phil Collin has the game basics.

Last place Chivas USA are in Boston.

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Watch: Landon Donovan hits winner as LA Galaxy come back from 3-1 deficit to beat the Rapids in Denver

Landon Donovan is going out in a blaze of glory, much-derided Alan Gordon scores and a Bruce Arena half time verbal blast gets the Galaxy back on track for a 4-3 road win over the Colorado Rapids after he labeled the defense an “embarrassment” as the Galaxy trailed by two goals in the first 45 minutes.

Quotable:

“There were some choice words (from Arena at halftime) that we absolutely deserved to hear,” Donovan said. “After what happened Saturday, and what happened in the first half, giving up seven goals in a game and a half is unacceptable for this team. The first order of business was defensively to do the job. We were embarrassing defensively, all of us, from front to back. We know we’re good enough to always get chances in games. We wanted to get the second goal. We thought if the second goal came, we could keep pushing. I was really proud of us at 3-3, after that first half a lot of teams would have closed up shop and tried to get a point. That wasn’t enough for us, we wanted to win the game. We needed these three points.”

“Landon dug deep,” Arena said. “I haven’t seen that kind of passion out of Landon in a game in a long time. He wanted to win and be an important part of our team to try to win this game. Landon did a terrific job.”

Check out a photo gallery from the game.

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LA Galaxy to face Colorado Rapids at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday live on Time Warner Cable SportsNet

The Rapids learned Monday they have lost captain Drew Moor to injury for the rest of the year, ghastly timing for such horrible news ahead of a game that could see the Rapids move within a point of the Galaxy and into the Western Conference playoff slots with a win.

More stats for the match-up can be found here.

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