The LA Galaxy square off Friday night against the San Jose Earthquakes in this season's third edition of the Cali Clasico (8 PM PT, 11 PM ET, UniMas, Deportes.Univision.com).
It's shaping up to be perhaps this year's most fiery edition yet, as both sides are looking for control over the season series having traded wins in the previous two.
San Jose are suddenly one of the hottest teams in Major League Soccer, having put together a run of three shutout wins in the span of a week, including a 5-0 romp over Sporting Kansas City and a 2-0 victory over Supporters Shield candidates DC United.
Chris Wondolowski has put together a great run of form, passing the ten-goal threshold in MLS play for a historic sixth-straight year. Forward Quincy Amarikwa, who San Jose acquired via a trade with the Chicago Fire earlier in the season, has also hit his stride at the right time for the playoff hopefuls, turning in big performances and setting up goals.
The LA Galaxy will be looking to turn their run of four straight wins into five after continuing their spectacular home form with a 5-1 demolition of New York City FC last weekend.
Robbie Keane has scored twelve goals in his last seven league games, and if he continues on that current form tomorrow night we could see back-to-back Cali Clasico hat tricks from the Irishman.
With a full roster for perhaps the last time for a few weeks due to upcoming international friendlies, the Galaxy need a complete performance from their big players to lock down a win and continue to make progress towards the Supporters Shield. They currently sit atop the league on points, but the Vancouver Whitecaps are hot on the chase and have a game in hand, so every match counts from here on out.
It will also be interesting to see if any sort of complacency seeps into the ranks following an incredible run of form which has seen the Galaxy consistently put up four and five goal performances since the beginning of August. Knowing Bruce Arena and the way in which the LA Galaxy operate, the smart money is on them staying locked in and focused on beating their Cali Clasico rivals.
Even though San Jose is on a run of three straight shutout victories, expect this match to feature goals galore. Both teams feature marquee forwards in peak form and a collection of dangerous midfielders. For the Quakes, Sanna Nyassi could pop up with another big performance, and LA's Sebastian Lletget will be hoping he stands out enough for US Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann to take notice ahead of the USA's upcoming fixtures.
The final regular season Cali Clasico of 2015 is shaping up to be the most competitive yet, and it's a prime time, nationally televised match-up. Grab your popcorn, folks.