When the LA Galaxy meet the San Jose Earthquakes at the StubHub Center, taking on their oldest rival, three points will essentially be the only acceptable result. Not only are the Quakes down three players as a result of action in their previous match, but LA will lose four players to the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers next weekend. The full strength version of LA needs to keep pace with Real Salt Lake who soundly defeated Portland Timbers last night.
San Jose will be without the services of Victor Bernardez, Justin Morrow, and Rafael Baca due to cards handed out in the last match. Bernardez is the most significant loss, as the Quakes' best defender. The center back on average is good for about fourteen clearances, blocks, and interceptions a match. Of course, the Quakes have also improved their back line recently, bringing in national team defender Clarence Goodson.
For LA, Robbie Rogers is the significant absence, meaning we'll likely see Gyasi Zardes and Hector Jimenez on the wings again with Landon Donovan up top. This combination has led to plenty of goals in the past few weeks so no real argument against it.
The Galaxy are on a four match home winning streak, scoring at least two goals in each of them. Meanwhile San Jose have failed to win in twelve of their last thirteen road fixtures. They have also conceded at least two goals in their last four road matches.
The squad San Jose brings into the StubHub Center looks to give up a handful of goals, but even in a down year the Goonies mentality doesn't seem to want to go away. Chris Wondolowski is still a threat to score at any time, and there's always the Alan Gordon factor. Cautious optimism in this one.
In case you need more to get you pumped for this one, here's Steven "bites your shoulder" Lenhart and Alan "pushed A.J. DeLaGarza" Gordon on MLS Insider last night: