Playoff Preview: California Clasico

Quakes offer their insight into Sunday's playoff matchup against the LA Galaxy

The 2012 Supporters' Shield winners are set to face California Clasico rival, the LA Galaxy, at The Home Depot Center in the Western Conference Semifinal, presented by Kaiser Permanente, on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. The match will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.

Sunday's match will mark the fourth encounter between the two sides this season; the Quakes are 2-0-1 against the LA Galaxy after the first three matches.

Quakes players and coaches offered their insights about this week's training and the series ahead.

Question: After watching last night's game between the LA Galaxy and Vancouver Whitecaps FC, was this the matchup that you wanted?

Ramiro Corrales: I think everyone wanted this matchup. They are a good team. They played very well yesterday and it’s going to be a tough match. They deserved to win yesterday and we are all looking forward to Sunday.

Jason Hernandez: We are just worried about ourselves and are ready to go no matter who we face. These next two games will be a tough matchup but we’re looking forward to it. All three of the games we played against LA were different. You don’t really know what to expect every time you go out on the field. I don’t think there is any particular strategy that they will implement that will be different. We are just looking forward to a tough match.

Justin Morrow: They are the defending champions for a reason. They have been there before. We have individuals who have been there before but a lot of guys who haven’t as well.

Frank Yallop: It may be the matchup that we expected. For Vancouver to go and get a win in LA would have been a big upset. I was at the game last night, and for a lot of the game, it was very difficult for the LA Galaxy. The quality of the LA Galaxy at the end showed.

They are an experienced group. They won the Supporters’ Shield last year. You have the top three [Beckham, Donovan, and Keane] and then you add Magee, Buddle, and Gonzalez. They don’t panic and they keep playing the same way. If you watched all of last night’s game, I think the LA Galaxy were a little unlucky not to have scored earlier.

Question: Do you relish the chance to knock off the defending champions?

Jon Busch: For us, it’s another game. To advance to the next round, you have to win this first series. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is. Our goal will remain the same. It just happens to be Los Angeles. I said it from day one, no matter what LA’s record is, they are the defending champion and someone has to knock them off.

At the end of the day, it’s just another step in the direction of where we want to go and that is how we are looking at it as a team.

Question: You guys have a tradition of come backs against the LA Galaxy. Do you think that this in the back of their minds?

FY: I think that it doesn’t put doubt in their mind. The playoffs are a fresh season. They just got a win last night. I doubt that they are saying, “I know they are going to come back on us.” They found a way to come back last night.

Question: How will this game be different from the regular season?

JM: We’ve played the Galaxy three times and every game has been very good. I think all of the matches had a playoff atmosphere, especially our game at Stanford. The LA Galaxy won the MLS Cup last year for a reason.

I think to beat them this time, we can’t give up goals. It will be different in the playoffs. We have come back all season.