What LA-NYRB means for the San Jose Earthquakes
All eyes will be on the Home Depot Center tonight as the Los Angeles Galaxy and New York Red Bulls take the pitch in a monumental inter-conference clash (8 p.m. PT, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes).
Quakes fans have as much reason to tune in as anyone with both the Galaxy and the Red Bulls on San Jose's playoff radar.
If the season ended today, the Quakes would play New York in the first round. The Quakes split their regular season series with the Eastern Conference contenders, winning 4-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium PHE (Pre-Henry Era) and falling 2-0 on the road AH (After Henry).
Thierry Henry will not play against the Galaxy, but their other big mid-season signing, Mexican captain Rafael Márquez, will suit up. The Red Bulls are 4-2-3 since Henry's debut on July 31.
San Jose is just as likely to face Southern California rival Los Angeles in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs. The Quakes trail Colorado by a single point with one game in hand for the No. 6 overall seed.
If San Jose overtook the Rapids, it would set up a reenactment of the 2010 California Clásico. The Quakes fared well in their previous two matches with the Galaxy, a 2-2 draw at the HDC and a 1-0 home win. If not for Landon Donovan's goal in the waning moments of their first meeting, San Jose would be 2-0 against Los Angeles this season.
The Galaxy are three points clear of Real Salt Lake for the top seed in the Western Conference. With four of five remaining games at the HDC, Los Angeles is in great shape to take the 2010 Supporter's Shield.
Tune in tonight for the Los Angeles Galaxy vs. New York Red Bulls at 8 p.m. PT on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.