Remember what happened the last time San Jose and Los Angeles crossed paths?
It was the rebirth of "Stanford magic" in the previous chapter of the California Clasico. Stoppage-time stunners from Shea Salinas and Alan Gordon helped propel the Earthquakes to an improbable 3-2 victory. A capacity crowd of 50,000-plus were on hand to witness another stunning comeback.
Since then, both clubs have embarked on similar paths.
The Quakes are 4-3-1 in their last eight matches. The Galaxy are one better with a 5-2-1 record.
But off the pitch, no one has matched the intensity of Los Angeles in recent weeks.
Off the strength of a current three-game unbeaten streak, former captain Landon Donovan exuded confidence on the Galaxy's official website:
That's the type of game that champions win...We had a really, really good performance against [Real] Salt Lake last week at home, a real good performance midweek [against Cartagines in the CONCACAF] Champions League. This is a massive win for our team...I think we're confident. Offensively, we're really starting to click. Defensively, now it's two shutouts in a row. I think we're building towards really good things.
Head coach Bruce Arena upped the ante in his praise of Gyasi Zardes' performance on the left flank. His comments were posted on MLS' official website:
He gets better every game. I think he's been good in the position -- he's got a lot to learn, but there's so many good signs there that demonstrate that he can potentially be outstanding in that position.
Donovan kept the ball rolling by announcing a contract extension on Wednesday to retain his services in Los Angeles.
As a club, the Galaxy have been "outstanding" at home.
Los Angeles enters the weekend with a staggering 8-1-2 record at the StubHub Center this season.
Couple that record with a boastful confidence—plus a revenge factor—and the recipe is there for another Galaxy victory.
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