It doesn't have the prestige of Tottenham vs. Arsenal, or the passion of Guadalajara vs. America. Ever since los rojiblancos founded Chivas USA, the LA Galaxy have had a derby rival by default. When the Galaxy kick off against their HDC roommates on Sunday evening, only pride will be on the line. The Galaxy have already secured both the Supporter's Shield and the top seed in the MLS Cup playoffs. This despite a 2-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls last time out. As a side effect of that result, Chivas USA saw their playoff hopes mathematically ended.
LA have a whole host of players dinged up. Mike Magee and Donovan Ricketts are both listed as questionable with leg issues, but both appeared in the reserve match earlier in the week. Mike Magee had to leave the match early, but hopefully the reserve appearances are a good sign. Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan are more doubtful, with Keane kept out of Ireland's last match, now being evaluated by Galaxy doctors, and Donovan missing both US matches over the international weekend.
In the first match between these two clubs this season, Chad Barrett's goal in the 26' was the only sign of life. Chivas haven't defeated LA since 2007, who have six wins and three draws over that stretch. Chivas have scored just one goal in their last six regular season games against the Galaxy. Alan Gordon's goal in the second meeting last year broke a 450 minute scoreless streak dating back to August of 2008.
In that meeting between Chivas and LA earlier in the year, Chad Barrett didn't score all by himself. A foul set up a David Beckham free kick, and Barrett found himself completely unmarked in the box. His flicked header give David Beckham one of his league leading 15 assists.
In their last MLS match, the Galaxy saw their four game winning streak snapped by the Red Bulls. New York's winning goal was scored in the 32'. Jan Gunnar Solli rose above Galaxy defender Frankie Hejduk on Joel Lindpere's corner kick and snapped a header at Donovan Ricketts. Ricketts was able to make the save, but Luke Rodgers smashed in the rebound. Hejduk picked up a yellow card in the match, and will be suspended tonight on yellow card accumulation. Still, the Galaxy have 64 points from 32 matches this season, and have the MLS point record within their sights.