1pm PDT TV: Fox Sports West/Telefutura/Comcast SportsNet California
Santa Clara, CA -- After a 2 - 2 draw at Home Depot Center to kick off the California Clasico, the Galaxy travel up to the South San Francisco Bay for the return leg of a derby they've won every year since the Earthquakes returned from their hiatus.
In that last meeting, the Galaxy conceded an early goal as Bobby Convey picked up a rebound in the box. Edson Buddle brought the score level shortly after halftime, but San Jose managed a second goal on a Brandon McDonald header. Landon Donovan was the hero of the match, scoring the equalizer in the final minute of normal time.
Both teams have suffered through tough times as of late, with the Earthquakes losing two league matches 1 - 0, before besting Kansas City 1 - 0 at Buck Shaw last Saturday. Their lone goal came from Chris Wondolowski in the 35th minute. Wondolowski came over from Houston last year, and leads the Quakes with 7 goals in 16 games, tying him for fifth in the MLS goal leaders. The Quakes find themselves looking up at the Galaxy in the Western Conference table, currently in 6th place with 26 points.
The Galaxy also rebounded from a rough patch last weekend, escaping from New York with a 1 - 0 victory, the Galaxy's first league victory since July 18th. Edson Buddle scored the Galaxy's lone goal in the 10th minute, his 13th of the year. Buddle leads the MLS in goals, with Juan Pablo Angel of New York his closest competition with 11. The Galaxy made two changes to the team which lost 3-2 to Chicago, bringing in A.J. DeLaGarza for Todd Dunivant and Juninho for Johan Kirovski. Bruce Arena was not on the sideline for the New York match, after he was hospitalized with a viral illness, but will return this weekend.
The victory over New York was the Galaxy's first shutout since June 26th at Toronto, a welcome result for a club which had given up 9 goals in their last 5 matches.
"We’ve been a little bit inconsistent lately, so going on the road and getting three points was massive not only our league status but the mentality of the group," Galaxy assistant coach Dave Sarachan said. "We don’t have a midweek game for a while, so now we can regroup, take a little rest and get ready for the weekend."
Edson Buddle has wasted no time, scoring 4 goals since returning from World Cup duty. He and Landon Donovan have combined for 8 of the 10 goals the Galaxy have scored since they returned.
"The defense did a good job," Buddle said. "I tried to do my part. The defense was solid all night, they got a shutout and we were able to hold onto the lead."
Though out of both the US Open Cup and the CONCACAF Champions League, the Galaxy are on track for a run at the Supporter's Shield, and of course the California Clasico, the journey toward both titles will take a huge step forward on Saturday.