The San Jose Earthquakes will host the LA Galaxy in the California Clasico, presented by Sutter Health, on Saturday, June 26, with PayPal Park open at full capacity for the first time since March 7, 2020.
The Quakes play their first match at home in over a month, following the international break and a three-match road swing. The Quakes are in search of a turnaround point in the season and look to earn a result before a full crowd.
After a difficult stretch of matches and results, head coach Matias Almeyda refuses to allow the team to let up. Speaking in a press conference after Tuesday evening’s match against Orlando City SC, Almeyda recognizes another difficult challenge in an LA Galaxy side that is in form, but he wants the team to honor their supporters and fight for the badge.
“We’ve won several derbies and our mentality will be the same as last year, and the year before,” Almeyda said. “I always highlight every player at teams where I have coached that when you put on a jersey and defend it, there are many people that would want to put it on for five minutes. That is the self-love you need to have.
“A derby is coming up, and [the LA Galaxy] are in much better form than us. We will try to recover in terms of spirits and in terms of football. The players must put their soul into every single match, not just this derby. That is where they really value the place they defend. We must put our soul in every detail. That is the respect we should have for the fans and for each other, and from there we get respect.”
The Earthquakes fell 1-0 on an own goal in their first match against the LA Galaxy in 2021, having kept a dangerous LA side without a goal for nearly 70 minutes. Prior to that loss at Dignity Health Sports Park, the Quakes had produced a record of 4-1-1 in six meetings leading up to that encounter. The Quakes also hold a favorable all-time record of 18-11-10 when hosting the Galaxy.
LA Galaxy are currently third (6-3-0, 18 pts.) in the Western Conference, and most recently defeated Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-1 on Wednesday night. The Quakes will need a plan to contain Chicharito, who tallied a goal in Wednesday’s match to keep him level with Seattle Sounder FC’s Raul Ruidíaz for most goals in 2021 at 8 apiece.
Kickoff at PayPal Park is set for 7 p.m. PT.
Saturday’s match will be broadcast nationally on UniMás and TUDN, Twitter (English audio), and via radio on KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF.