T-180: This is the Honda SuperClasico between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Club Deportivo Chivas USA, currently in its sixth edition here at Victoria Street's very own Home Depot Center. You know, I've been hearing all this talk by some hoity-toity upstart about Red Bull Arena being named the new American cathedral of football. Nonsense. With all respect to the architecture of the new stadium and the people of Harrison, N.J., and vicinity, the national team does not train there. Though playing a few international friendlies there wouldn't hurt, I will admit...
T-175: The Galaxy, long the only team in the City of Angels until the arrival of Guadalajara's sister team in 2004, dominate this series, winning four out of the last five editions.
T-170: LA's last match with Chivas USA was a 1-0 victory off a Landon Donovan penalty. The G's would advance 3-2 on aggregate in the 2009 Western Conference quarterfinals.
T-165: Chivas USA has a new man in charge: Martin Vasquez. Among the honors on his resume include work as an assistant for Bundesliga mainstay Bayern Munich. Vasquez looks to brings a fresh new attacking style to placate the likes of Legion 1908 and the Union Ultras.
T-160: Speaking of Union Ultras, they are the official Chivas USA supporters group. (Legion 1908 is a built-in group and the California chapter, Legion-Kalifas, attends the Chivas USA matches.) Those who plan to get to the stadium early will be in for a treat: a supporters club match between the Union Ultras and the Angel City Brigade at 5:00 p.m. on the pitch.
Supporters teams are not uncommon; in England a number of clubs have their own supporters who play football themselves. For example, AFC Wimbledon (a non-League team I follow) has their own side consisting of supporters, and they're not too bad themselves, scoring victories against supporters of more established clubs like Kidderminster Harriers, Brentford and Cambridge United.
In fact, there is a league dedicated to this. Check it out here:
T-155: Back to the scrimmage between the UU and the ACB. This was an annual match that began last season. It was proven to be a success, and will now be played before the first game of this SuperClasico.
T-150: History of this rivalry:
23 Apr 2005 - LA 3 CHV 1
28 May 2005 - LA 2, CHV 0
16 Jul 2005 - LA 2, CHV 0
3 Aug 2005 - LA 5, CHV 2
10 Aug 2005 - LA 1, CHV 0
15 Apr 2006 - LA 2, CHV 1
6 Jun 2006 - CHV 2, LA 1
15 Jul 2006 - LA 0, CHV 0
30 Sep 2006 - LA 3, CHV 0
28 Apr 2007 - LA 3, CHV 1
20 May 2007 - LA 1, CHV 1
23 Aug 2007 - CHV 3, LA 0
13 Sep 2007 - CHV 3, LA 0
27 Apr 2008 - LA 5, CHV 2
10 Jul 2008 - LA 1, CHV 1
14 Aug 2008 - LA 2, CHV 2
11 Apr 2009 - LA 0, CHV 0
11 Jul 2009 - LA 1, CHV 0
29 Aug 2009 - LA 1, CHV 0
1 Nov 2009 - LA 2, CHV 2
8 Nov 2009 - LA 1, CHV 0
LA Galaxy wins: 12
Chivas USA wins: 3
The Goats have not tallied a victory on the Galaxy since September 2007 and will look to break out of their slump tonight.
T-145: Los Angeles's next three home games include their road opener on April 10 against the Houston Dynamo, the MLS Cup 2009 rematch with Real Salt Lake, and a road trip away to CommunityAmerica Ballpark against the Kansas City Wizards.
T-140: Chivas USA's next three games include a home match against the New York Red Bulls on April 10, a road match to Houston on April 17, and a home contest on April 24 to face the San Jose Earthquakes.
T-135: The formations.
LOS ANGELES GALAXY
Manager: Bruce Arena
Colors: White tops with blue shoulders and gold accents, white shorts, white socks
1 Donovan Ricketts
28 Sean Franklin ---- 4 Omar Gonzalez ---- 22 Leonardo ---- 2 Todd Dunivant
11 Chris Birchall ---- 8 Dema Kovalenko ---- 88 Alex Cazumba ---- 10 Landon Donovan (C)
14 Edson Buddle ---- 19 Juninho
12 Josh Saunders GK
20 A.J. De La Garza MID
7 Chris Klein MID
18 Mike Magee
26 Michael Stephens
27 Bryan Jordan
17 Tristan Bowen
With Eddie Lewis injured, the young Brazilian Alex Cazumba will see more playing time for LA. Edson Buddle will look to add to his goal total, while Landon Donovan's finishing and facilitation will be counted on.
Manager: Martin Vasquez
Colors: Red and white striped tops, blue shorts, blue socks
1 Dan Kennedy
8 Mariano Trujillo ---- 4 Michael Umana ---- 5 Marcelo Saragosa ---- 5 Ante Jazic
16 Sacha Kljestan (C) ---- 18 Blair Gavin ---- 7 Osael ROmero ---- 13 Jonathan Bornstein
------------------------- 17 Justin Braun ------------------------------------------
-----------------------------------------9 Maykel Galindo ---------------------------
22 Zach Thornton GK
45 Yamith Cuesta DEF
19 Jorge Flores FWD
10 Jesus Padilla MID
11 Michael Lahoud MID
77 Chukwudi Chijindu MID
29 Maicon Correa FWD
Osael Romero is a young gun from El Salvador who will mesh well with Maykel Galindo in the front. Jorge Flores, the winner of a Sueno MLS contest years ago, will also be one to watch. Look for Kljestan and Bornstein to make an immediate impact tonight against the tenacious Los Angeles midfield.
T-120: So it's two hours to kickoff, and the crowd begins to file in and find their seats. I am a stickler for the mainstay of pageantry known as tifosi. In 2007, the Legion unfurled a huge banner honoring their team's breakthrough series win over the Galaxy. Don't be surprised to see it unfurled tonight.
T-110: By the way, it's April Fools' Day. In spite of the cause it's very likely, if not a certainty, that there won't be any fooling around tonight in this inter-city derby.
T-100: This is not an April Fools joke either: the league expands the designated player rule to three. So we are looking at $335,000 + $335,000 + $335,000 + $250,000 that will be split among those not carrying a third DP. That's $1,255,000 per team, per season. Now what if all the clubs fill their slots...who will get the $250,000? Hmmm...
Nevertheless, I expect all of the teams' DP slots to be filled after this announcement. I now have a spot in the upper tier of the box. I'd rather have my seat at the upper tier rather than the lower because it provides a much better view along with superior leg room.
T-80: Other action going on today: 29th minute, and Houston's Bryan Ching pulls a thigh/hammy, and will have to be subbed. 1-0, Real Salt Lake over Houston Dynamo. This Real team hasn't missed much from last season. They are in top notch form under Jesus Christ-er, Jason Kreis. Apologies. It sounds similar. The Galaxy will have their hands full on April 17.
T-79: A large oversized Galaxy jersey can be seen in Section 137, in the Riot Squad corner. This will definitely be used for the pregame festivities. At the ACB end, the drums are set to go. Not sure what happened in that supporters' match; I will have to check the websites of both the Angel City Brigade and the Union Ultras for all the details.
T-75: The schoolkids are already filling up the seats in the north goal end. Talk about devotion.
T-40: Our match official in charge is Ricardo Salazar (he shares the same last name as me, no joke about that), the linemen are Core Rockwell and Peter Manikowski, and Kevin Stott is out fourth official.
T-30: Both teams already warming up. Looks like the fans are still filing in.
T-20: 20 minutes to kickoff, and the coverage in Houston is wrapping up. The Dynamo have rallied to make it 2-1 via a Brad Davis brace. Watch for him to be the X-factor against the Galaxy in Round 3 of MLS action.
T-10: Chivas and LA wrap up their final runthroughs. Tonight's parade plots its course as the ANgel City Brigade pounds the Maundy Thursday night rhythm. And as always, the fireworks are set in the middle of the pitch.
T-3: The regular caterer is on assignment tonight to help the press. Two helpings of chicken, macaroni & cheese and asparagus to go with a garden salad and rolls...all for $10. Beat one helping on Pollo Campero on the concourse.
T-2: Fabian Espindola with a horsecollar tackle in stoppage time. Wrong code, and you would still be penalized the full 15 for that. Final in Houston: 2-1 to the Dynamo. Espindola still arguing his case, but to no avail. Legion 1908 banging their drums in the northwest corner.
T-0: National anthem by Justin Guarini (heard of him? American Idol Season 1 runner-up? I hope you do...), and we're ready to go. Nice rendition, too.
FIRST HALF START: 8:15 PM
Since this is on ESPN2, there will be a bit of a delay to accomodate the national broadcast.
1' - And we're off. Chivas with the ball early. Bornstein kicks it out of bounds for a throw-in. The Goats want to sustain early possession.
2' - Trujillo puts it in touch for Galindo. Dunivant with and entry ball for someone in the midfield, but Chivas is there to swarm in and dispossess.
3' - Here's an opportunity for Osael Romero. Wide right, but that's what he is capable of. Goal kick for Ricketts.
4' - Romero will be getting plenty of chances tonight. Here is is again. LA needs to have to marked on him. Dunivant marks him.
5' - Vasquez made it clear to his players in neutralizing Edson Buddle. So far, so good.
6' - Wonder what that clearance was from Bornstein. The Goats keep their cool. Here's Kennedy with a goal kick.
7' - Clear night tonight. Here come the G's.
7' - GOAL! Los Angeles Galaxy 14 Edson Buddle Assist 10 Landon Donovan 28 Sean Franklin
Seven minutes into the contest, the Galaxy strike first blood. Chivas USA are now on their heels.
8' - Offsides on Galindo. What a crisp header by Buddle and an even better delivery from Donovan.
9' - Galaxy manager Bruce Arena wants Buddle to be more involved in this match. That's his second goal of the season.
10' - There's one volleyed into the seats.
11' - Percussion battle in the north end. Chivas USA with possession. Romero marked for a goal kick. If they let the Salvadoran get some touches, he can equalize at will.
12' - A diving save by Donovan Ricketts to stop Galindo from breaking through. He's shaken up, but he's all right, to the relief of the fans.. As always, Josh Saunders is a capable keeper and ready to fill in when necessary.
15' - As a goalkeeper, when you're making a diving save, utilize a technique that will prevent you from falling awkwardly.
16' - Chivas USA continues to press on with an equalizing chance, but the G;s are there to stop it. And now Juninho is a bit shaken after that ambitious one-timer. Nothing too bad.
17' - We are 17 minutes in and it is 1-0 Los Angeles.
18' - Here is Buddle, and he is fouled by Michael Umana. Salazar issues the yellow card.
Yellow Card - 4 Michael Umana
19' - Set piece for the Galaxy. That didn't work well. First corner for the Galaxy. Donovan to take...
20' - And that missed wide for Leonardo. two bullets dodged, and once again the suspect finishing for LA rears its head tonight.
22' - Alex Cazumba pleads his case to Ricardo Salazar, but to no avail.
23' - Umana walks a fine rope. Excellent dispossession of Cazumba by the Chivas defense.
24' - Galaxy playing some solid defense. Dunivant there on the clearance.
25' - Boo birds are out for that suspect play by the Goats. And now some wars of words on the way.
Yellow Card - 11 Chris Birchall
Los Angeles Galaxy
It's a yellow card festival As C&C Music Factory mentioned, it's a "thing that makes you go 'Hmmm...' "
26' - More pushing and shoving, and more cards.
Yellow Card - 14 Edson Buddle
Los Angeles Galaxy
27' - Bruce Arena looks on with a stonefaced, grim expression. Set piece for the G's. Dunivant's shot..doesn't amount to much.
29' - Here comes Chivas USA, but they are met by the Galaxy defense. This will be a possession battle for the rest of this first half.
30' - Here's a chance for Romero...and that was wasted.
31' - Dema Kovalenko's pass to Buddle goes wide. Here's Todd Dunivant, but his entry ball is met by the Goats. Big opportunity for Maykel Galindo goes wide. This is some great defense from the Brazilian Leonardo. He is on it tonight.
32' - A French flag in the Legion 1908 section? April Fish joke, maybe?
33' - Donovan Ricketts looks on as Justin Braun is warned for his challenge on Sean Franklin. Goal kick.
34' - Chivas USA on the attack again. Here's Galindo...and that was snuffed out by Ricketts. The Galaxy seem to know his tendencies by now.
35' - Both sides lack fire in the Finishing department. Can that change this half?\
36' - Salazar says play on after that tackle by Trujillo on Buddle.
37' - Donovan argues his case to Salazar. He did say that he wanted to up the ante before the match, and so far he doing that. A Big Swat from the Big Cat from Kingston Town.
38' - Dan Kennedy has had his share of stops, but hasn't been tested as much since that Buddlevan goal.
39' - That was trouble on that gift that Birchall had for him, but the Galaxy defense breaks out their own bailout package. Offsides on Donovan.
40' - Too far a pass for Edson Buddle. Kennedy sweeps it.
41' - Thank you very much, says Ricketts, who scoops it up for a goal kick.
42' - I have been seeing better passing from Chivas USA that Los Angeles, but the finishing for Los Angeles-though few and far between, as well as the defnding, has been clutch.
43' - Another chance for the Goats falls into the hands of Donovan Ricketts.
44' - Kennedy resets for Chivas USA. Goats can't get anything going in the front. Questionable challenge, and Alex Cazumba is down. The Legion and Union Ultras call for simulation. Salazar instead opts for a free kick.
45' - Now Kennedy is getting some work done. Good save. Four minutes of stoppage time.
45' + 2' - This is great defense from Los Angeles.
45' + 3' - Martin Vasquezz will have a lot to talk about in the change rooms. Nice dispossession by Buddle at the end for Umana.
Los Angeles Galaxy 1
Chivas USA 0
What I am seeing is a complete replay of Saturday night's opener, just with a different team. The Galaxy have been unable to consolidate their lead, and this will be a spur for the Goats in the second half.
Chivas USA 1
Los Angeles 3
Shots on Goal:
Chivas USA 0
Los Angeles 1
Chivas USA 0
Los Angeles 0
Chivas USA 9
Los Angeles 8
Chivas USA 0
Los Angeles 1
Chivas USA 1
Los Angeles 1
SECOND HALF START: 9:19 PM
46' - Will we see adjustments from the Goats, or will the Galaxy consolidate? Let's find out. No halftime substitutions from either team.
Some early possession work from the Goats. Clean tackle on Juninho by Ante Jazic.
47' - Bornstein on an entry pass, Donovan challending possession. Set piece for Chivas USA.
48' - Cleared out in the box. Beautiful stop of that chance for Galindo and Saragosa.
49' - Jazic with the throw-in. Offsides on the delivery for Galindo. Corner for the Galaxy.
50' - Now what can Donovan make of this? Cleared. Take two. The Riot Squad raises their scarves. That's also cleared. Great work in the midfield by LA.
52'- A challenge by Donovan goes south for a Chivas USA set piece.
53' - And he is hearing it after Legion 1908 clamors for a penalty on that tackle.
54' - Dan Kennedy had to scoop that up because Edson Buddle was right in his crosshairs.
55' - Ricketts resets for the Galaxy.
56' - Brilliant defense from Jonathan Bornstein on that Juninho shot.
57' - You have to applaud the resiliency of this Chivas USA team. The boos rain down here at the Home Depot Center. Cazumba asked for an obstruction.
58' - Substitution Chivas USA
IN 10 Jesus Padilla
OUT 7 Osael Romero
59' - Corner for the Galaxy. It's Cazumba, and it's cleared. Romero has not been as much of a factor tonight. Los Angeles wasn't set to anoint Osael as "Mauricio Cienfuego II" just yet
60' - Shot by Donovan goes wide. And the finishing again goes sour for the G's.
61' - Are we going to see another 1-0 win again? Alex Cazumba is making us think twice regarding that, as he clears it out.
62' - Ambitious effort for Buddle.
63' - Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy
IN 18 Mike Magee
OUT 19 Juninho
Braun with that foul. Here's Gonzalez with the set piece, but the Goats are there to stop that chance. Here's they come on the transition.
64' - Great save from Ricketts. Best of the night so far from the Big Cat as he stops that Kljestan volley.
65' - Jesus Padilla's shot for the top right corner goes wide. The finishing has been nothing short of unimpressive tonight for the Goats.
66' - Here's Magee, but he is marked. Donovan tries to help out, but the double-team backfires.
67' - Players flying on the pitch. This is great football. Corner.
Substitution Chivas USA
IN 29 Maicon Santos
OUT 9 Maykel Galindo
Maicon comes in, hoping to give the Goats the spur they need. Dunivant clears that corner.
69' - The delivery was there from Trujillo, but Blair Gavin arrived a hair too late.
71' - Throw-in for Franklin. The cross from Buddle is snatched up by Kennedy. No penalty called on the save from Ricketts.
72' - And so the defensive feast continues.
73' - 73rd minute, and Chivas USA is still struggling to find that equalizer while the Los Angeles Galaxy want to adds to their 1-0 lead.
74' - Neither team is willing to budge at this point. Every offensive opportunity the Galaxy and Chivas have is either squandered at the own expense or swept up by Chivas's Dan Kennedy and the Galaxy's Donovan Ricketts.
75' - Well this quite a rash challenge. Marcelo Saragosa tackling Leonardo.
76' - An attendance of 19,805. Not surprising, given that this is a midweek game. A little aside: both players are up.
77' - Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy
IN 20 A.J. De La Garza
OUT 88 Alex Cazumba
78' - Corner for the G's. Hey Brigade, you're on TV!
79' - Another corner. Credit to Chivas USA, they are not going to let this Galaxy side consolidate their lead.
80' - Ricketts was beat on that on, and Maicon missed that one high and wide. Even the people in the press box could not believe that.
81' - Subsitution Chivas USA
IN 77 Chukwudi Chijindu
OUT 17 Justin Braun
82' - That was a crucifiable miss by Maicon.
83' - The Galaxy supporters couldn't believe that was a throw-in. I'm still stunned that he Maicon butchered that. Opportunity for LA parried by Kennedy.
84' - There's a punch called for a foul. Salazar only provides a caution to Saragosa. Throw-in time.
85' - I think Donovan is waiting for that big opportunity in the transition. Trujillo marked.
86' - No goal. That hit the side netting. Why did the Legion rain the ticker tape down? Can they not see with their eyes?
87' - GOAL! Los Angeles Galaxy 14 Edson Buddle Assist 10 Landon Donovan
And this time, Donovan got the entry pass right to Buddle, unlike the last time against the Revolution.
88' - Chance late for Chivas USA to take one back. Missed.
Yellow Card 20 A.J. De La Garza
Los Angeles Galaxy
Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy
IN 26 Michael Stephens
OUT 11 Chris Birchall
89' - Vasquez is a broken figure right now. They will be looking for answers after this match is over.
90' + 1' - Four minutes of stoppage time added on. Kennedy takes this one. What about that goal by Buddle to complete his brace. If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. And that is what they did on that goal.
90' + 2' - Yellow Card 26 Michael Stephens
Los Angeles Galaxy
90' + 3' - One last time, the crowd roars its disapproval of that apparent challenge on Franklin by Chivas USA.
90' + 4' - Another sensational save by Ricketts. Buddle almost made it a hat trick there. Salazar blows his whistle Round One of the Honda SuperClassico goes to the Galaxy.
LOS ANGELES GALAXY 2
Edson Buddle 7', 87'
CHIVAS USA 0
Stay tuned on the View and on Bleacher Report for my thoughts on this match.