CARSON, CA - MAY 23: David Beckham #23 of the Los Angeles Galaxy turns on the ball as Sam Cronin #4 of the San Jose Earthquakes pursues the play in the first half of the MLS match at The Home Depot Center on May 23, 2012 in Carson, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
There are several ways to approach tomorrow's California Clasico. Now that Alan Gordon is on the Quakes, and has scored a game winning goal over the Galaxy in the Clasico, the shared history between the two clubs has been pointed out. Landon Donovan, Todd Dunivant, and Josh Saunders all began their MLS careers in San Jose though Saunders never made an appearance for them.
They were all there in 2003 when the Quakes won a championship under current Quakes manager Frank Yallop. Saunders, Donovan and Dunivant were all on the 2005 LA Galaxy championship team, which Alan Gordon was on. The next year, Frank Yallop took the Galaxy head coach gig after Steve Sampson was fired midseason.
Of course, the franchise that won a championship in 2003 as the San Jose Earthquakes began as the San Jose Clash in 1996. That franchise moved to Houston in 2005. So it all gets a bit confusing.
What's clear is the San Jose Earthquakes are playing out of their mind right now. Since returning from hiatus, the Galaxy have won the Claisco three of the four years. However, this year the Quakes have started out on top with a 3-2 victory at The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy were up 2-0, before the Quakes scored three unanswered after the 70th minute. Alan Gordon scored the match winner.
The last time the Earthquakes scored a league goal before the 70th minute was on May 5th, a span of six MLS matches. That match was a 2-1 loss for San Jose to Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Twelve of the Quakes goals this season have been in the 75th minute or later and four of those have been stoppage time winners.
This has led to a never say die persona for the Quakes. They've been promoting themselves with the Goonies quote "Goonies never say die". However, this time around they're running into a red hot Galaxy squad. 9 points in three matches over a seven day period has gotten the fan base excited. Landon Donovan was key over the last week, with three goals and two assists. Historically, Donovan has played great against his former club.
Donovan was on loan during his three years with the Quakes, his contract belonging to Bayer Leverkusen. The Galaxy were able to trade up to get him through allocation order in 2005. Since then, Donovan has recorded either a goal (6) or an assist (5) when facing his former NorCal side.