Los Angeles Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes: 6 Things We Learned
It was a night of great football, but also of poor defending as Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy lost a 4-3 shootout to the class of the MLS Western Conference, Frank Yallop's San Jose Earthquakes, on Saturday night at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, Calif.
With the defeat, the Galaxy drop to 6-9-2 (20 points) and are staring down at a return to the Western Conference cellar. Here are six things we learned from Saturday night's wild match.
1. A Horrible Night for Both Defenses
Well now. Who would want to be a defender? Nobody on a night like this. You talk about incompetent back lines, and you have to talk about the Galaxy, who gave up three straight goals in the last 46 minutes and stoppage. Then you have to talk about the Earthquakes, who conceded an own goal from Jason Hernandez.
It was simply an embarrassing display by both defenses. On the flip side, it was a highlight reel for both offenses, as we will see in this piece.
2. Not All of L.A.'s Big Guns Contribute
Players like Robbie Keane and Mike Magee need to pull their weight, and neither of them were able to inflict damage on San Jose. When all the big guns fail to deliver, the Galaxy will lose games in this fashion. It's a given.
3. San Jose Show Their Class in the Second Half
Technically, they began showing it just outside the stroke of halftime, when Marvin Chavez (who was mentioned in the preview for this match) made it 3-2 to the good of the Galaxy. In the second half, goals from Sam Cronin (47') and Mr. Reliable, Chris Wondolowski (61'), completed the comeback, and proved once again why San Jose are the class of the MLS Western Conference (sorry, Real Salt Lake).
With the win, the Earthquakes improve to 11-3-3 (36 points) and are officially in a race with D.C. United for this year's Supporters' Shield.
4. More Shots Lead to More Goals for San Jose
At the end of the night, if you have more shots on goal, chances are you will win the contest. San Jose had more shots on goal (19 to 14) and more shots on target (eight to five). In addition, the Earthquakes' passing accuracy was superior (71 percent to 67 percent).
5. Earthquakes Win the California Clasico
With the win, the Earthquakes win the California Clasico for just the fifth time in the rivalry's history. However, Los Angeles leads the series with 10 victories. So despite the form showed by this team, they have a lot of ground to cover to add even more fire to this rivalry, which, in the opinion of this Featured Columnist, surpasses that of L.A. versus Chivas USA.
6. Door Is Wide Open for Philadelphia Union
If the Union can pull off a second-half rally, this could be another barnburner at the Home Depot Center. A full preview of this match will be posted later this week on Bleacher Report and the View from Victoria Street.