MLS Playoffs
San JoseSJ
Thu, Nov 8
12:00 AM ET
LA GalaxyLA

Preview: Quakes, Galaxy open latest chapter in rivalry

Wed., Nov. 7, Buck Shaw Stadium (8 p.m. PT; ESPN2/Deportes, TSN2, RDS2)


REFEREE: Kevin Stott.
AR1 (bench): Ian Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Brian Poeschel;
4th: Dave Gantar


SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES -- OUT: MF Mehdi Ballouchy (L knee ACL tear); MF Jacob Hustedt (L ankle surgery); DF Tim Ward (L non-specific soft tissue injury); QUESTIONABLE: FW Alan Gordon (R ankle sprain); PROBABLE: MF Cesar Diaz Pizarro (R groin strain); Simon Dawkins (R ankle sprain) ...

LA GALAXY -- OUT: DF A.J. DeLaGarza (L knee sprain); DF Leonardo (R knee inflammation); MF Kyle Nakazawa (back spasms); QUESTIONABLE: DF Sean Franklin (L hamstring tightness); DF David Junior Lopes (facial fracture); MF Christian Wilhelmsson (R quad tightness)

WARNINGS (suspended next yellow card): SJ: Marvin Chavez ... LA: Juninho; Marcelo Sarvas

SJ 17 wins (1 SO), 69 goals … LA 25 wins (4 SO), 80 goals … Ties 9

2012 HEAD-TO-HEAD: SJ 1 win, 9 GF; LA 0 wins, 7 GF; 2 ties

6/30: SJ 4, LA 3 (Lenhart 7; Bernardez 44; Cronin 47; Wondolowski 61 – Beckham 31; own goal 36; Donovan 41)
10/21: SJ 2, LA 2 (Chavez 61; Wondolowski 73 -- Keane 59; Buddle 69)

MLS CUP PLAYOFFS: SJ 4 wins, 11 GF; LA 4 wins, 13 GF; 1 tie

•    The San Jose Earthquakes did it yet again, grabbing the first leg of their Western Conference Semifinal Series with a game-winning stoppage-time goal from Victor Bernardez.
•    "If we just keep playing like that, what happens is what happens. We keep working hard. We’ve done it all year and, the goal is what the goal is," said forward Alan Gordon. It’s fortunate for us, but we don’t care how we get it."
•    During the regular season, the Quakes scored an MLS-record nine goals in stoppage time –- five of those to win games. San Jose scored 22 of their MLS-leading 72 goals after the 75th minute.
•    “I think it was a very mature away performance,” Quakes head coach Frank Yallop said. “We didn’t want to concede a goal. ... At this point, you’ve got to make sure you do that. We worked all week on defending.”
•    The Quakes held the Galaxy without a shot on goal until the three-quarter mark of the first leg. Goalkeeper Jon Busch ended the game with two saves.
•    “If you look at the team defending, I thought it was excellent,” Yallop said. “I thought our work rate was great. They pushed on in the second half, were a little bit unlucky not to score, but I think in general, to keep them off the shot chart for 60-odd minutes was pretty good.”
•    The Quakes posted a shutout for the first time since Sept. 15, and had just two over the final 14 games of the season.
•    “I thought our defense played well. I thought [Bernardez and Hernandez] were amazing back there," Chris Wondolowski said. "They kept us organized. They had a tough matchup. There’s so much interchanging and so much movement. It’s tough to stay with those guys. But they stood up to the challenge.”
•    The Earthquakes have never lost at home to the Galaxy in the MLS Cup Playoffs. After a win in 1996 in the first postseason game ever for both clubs, the Quakes also won in the dramatic 2003 Western Conference semifinal second leg. The teams played to a 1-1 draw in 2005 after the Galaxy won the first leg at home.
•    “We know we can beat them, but this next one is going to be the most important,” Justin Morrow said. “None of those other four matter if we don’t win this next one, get a result that we need. I think they’re thinking that, too. They only need one to win and then they ruin our season.”

•    For a second time this season at The Home Depot Center, the Quakes scored deep in added time to defeat the Galaxy.
•    “It was never a game you would think that we would lose, but it was kind of one fluke play, and we were a little unlucky,” Landon Donovan said. “We probably weren’t sharp enough in the offensive part of the field, but at worse we thought we’d go up there 0-0 and just have to get a goal. Now it looks like we’ve got to get two. But it’s not over. We’ve played well there twice this year.”
•    In all four meetings this season, the Quakes have scored the game-deciding goal in the final half-hour.
•    “The ball goes through the wall, deflects, takes a weird spin and you're trying to react based on what's happening in front of you," said LA goalkeeper Josh Saunders. "My play was not acceptable. I'll take the blame for covering the goal and, unfortunately, that's what happened.”
•    Only twice in their long postseason history have the Galaxy come back to win a postseason series after losing the first game. The first was in the very first playoff series -- defeating San Jose twice after losing the opener 1-0. The other came in 2004 vs. Colorado.
•    “First and foremost, we can’t concede,” Donovan said. “We’ve got to be smart with our defending, but we’re in a position now where we've got nothing to lose. So we’re going to go like we have always, we're going to go and try to win the game. There’s no reason why the guys in this room can’t go win a game in San Jose.”
•    After not starting in the Knockout Round victory vs. Vancouver, both Sean Franklin and Marcelo Sarvas returned to the Galaxy first team.
•    “It’s always disappointing, especially when you have that much possession and we had quite a few good chances as well and crosses. Especially in the second half we kind of pushed on to them and we were creating chance after chance," said David Beckham. "If you don’t put one of those away it can always kill you at the end  ... But we can take the positives from the chances we created and the possession that we had.”

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