2012 MLS Playoffs: What to Watch for in Galaxy vs. Earthquakes

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2012 MLS Playoffs: What to Watch for in Galaxy vs. Earthquakes
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Galaxy will meet the San Jose Earthquakes at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California for the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinal matchup.

Coming off a nerve-racking 2-1 comeback win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the knockout round of the playoffs, the Galaxy look to defend their title and spoil the Earthquakes' impressive season.

This will be San Jose's first playoff match since they qualified as the No. 1 seed in the West. After winning the Supporters' Shield (most points in the MLS regular season), the 'Quakes hope to carry over their dominance over L.A. this season into the playoffs.

The Galaxy are coming into this match winning seven of their last eight home games in MLS. But they haven't had much success against the Earthquakes this season. 

They most recently tied the 'Quakes 2-2 in San Jose without the likes of David Beckham and Landon Donovan. San Jose has been able to pull off some late game heroics and beat L.A. twice. Once they were down 2-0 and went on to win 3-2. Another time the Galaxy had a 3-1 lead, which was squandered as the 'Quakes won 4-3.

It doesn't get much better than this in terms of playoff matchups. The Earthquakes and Galaxy are bitter rivals, and it definitely shows on the field. Be sure to tune in as this series will likely be one of the most entertaining and electrifying of this year's postseason.

Here are a few storylines to watch for in the crucial first leg of the series.

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