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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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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Monday Morning Major League Soccer Wrap: Galaxy fall to worst defeat of season, Chivas USA-Vancouver scoreless at StubHub

Gyasi Zardes’ ninth goal in 10 games kept him on course for a call-up to the annual January USMNT camp, but he couldn’t prevent the Galaxy falling to their worst defeat of the season in Columbus against a Crew team LA made look better than they have most of the year.

The Galaxy also came up with a new excuse for losing — Landon Donovan’s farewell presentation by the Crew at the start of the game:

“It’s going to be happening every time,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “It certainly looked distracting tonight.”

Meanwhile, Real Salt Lake reclaimed the Western Conference lead Saturday with a win over the Sounders. Standings.

Lastly, here’s how the Chivas USA game broke down by the numbers:
chivascapsmatch

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Watch: English Premier League Season Preview

Recommended reading:
Wondering what channel your team is on? Find it here.
A look at NBC’s coverage plans is here.
A preview via England’s respected The Telegraph newspaper is here.
The comprehensive, interactive official preview is here.

Where will you watch the game?

Others?

Everton fans click here.

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