In the history of the rivalry between the teams that share the StubHub Center, the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA, the Galaxy have taken the season series all but one year. Chivas had a five year stretch without a victory over LA. Attendance for the Sunday afternoon match was well short of a sellout, it's worth asking the question: is there any rivalry left here?
"I'm just happy we won," said Dave Sarachan, "It didn't matter who we played today. It's a Clasico, and I know that you guys build that up as an emotional affair. I think that we are at a point in our franchise that it's not quite the emotional affair that you guys think it is."
The great LA rivalries have been built on postseason implications. The Dodgers - Giants rivalry has a long history of knocking each other out of playoff positions. The Lakers' biggest rival plays on the other side of the country, but LA met the Celtics in the finals too many times. For LA to go out and crush Chivas 5-0 in October, when points are so precious, and have it not be emotional says a lot about the series.
"It was just another game today," said Sarachan. "We respect them. I think their coach is a classy guy. I think their staff is trying to get that ship righted. We respect them. We look at this as we banged in some goals, which we were pleased about, and got three points. It happened to be against Chivas."
As much as Sarachan might have to say about respect, there's a difference between respecting an organization and respecting a team. The team is one of the worst in MLS, and the organization is in a shambles from Guadalajara to Los Angeles. To say you respect them is really just another way of saying you don't think about them.
"We'll take it with a grain of salt," said Landon Donovan. "Chivas USA has been the second worst team in the league this year, so we aren't exactly doing cartwheels all over the place saying how great we are."
How does it feel to beat Chivas USA 5-0 was the question asked of Donovan. That Donovan didn't even acknowledge a possible emotional side shows how little the close proximity weighs on their mind. The matches to come will carry more emotion than the warm-up under the sun at StubHub Center Sunday.
As the clock got closer to the ninetieth minute, the Angel City Brigade began to chant "re-lo-cation" at the Chivas fans, who had mostly sat in their corner. It was hard not to feel like the low point in a rivalry that has been on a steady decline.