Nothing fuels the fire of a rivalry more than a player switching sides. In every great rivalry, key players have gone from heroes to villains. For example, Johnny Damon from the Red Sox to the Yankees, Dennis Rodman from the Pistons to the Bulls, Brett Favre from the Packers to the Vikings. The California Clasico has now seen 25 players sport a jersey from both sides.
Landon Donovan began his storied MLS career in San Jose with Quakes at the age of 19. He played three seasons in black and blue and led the Quakes to two MLS Cups. Donovan was the darling of the Earthquakes and the faithful thought of him to be the future of the club, just as Wayne Rooney was with Everton FC before leaving for rival Manchester United. Landon had a similar idea in mind as he departed the Quakes for their rivals down south. This threw gasoline to the fire making this rivalry burn even brighter. Donovan went on to be an MLS great leading the Galaxy to four MLS Cups.
Alan Gordon has not been shy to the drama in this rivalry, switching from the Galaxy to the Quakes and back to the Galaxy where he is currently playing. Gordon has played in a California Clasico as an Earthquake six times and will be suiting up for what could be his 12th appearance in a Galaxy uniform in this rivalry. Gordon’s biggest moment in the rivalry came in 2013 when he scored the game-winning goal for the Earthquakes in stoppage time. He will be looking to help win the game for the Galaxy this time around.
Joe Cannon has played for the Quakes 13 times in this rivalry. While he never played at Stanford Stadium, he still has a great understanding of the rivalry. This is Cannon’s third season as the color commentator for the Earthquakes. He will definitely have some great insight for the game this year over the airwaves on 1590 KLIV.
With just a taste of the rivalry, Chad Barrett has rejoined the Clasico this year after participating as a member of the Galaxy in three games from 2011-2012. Barrett was a part of what some say is the greatest MLS game in history in 2012, when the Quakes won in a 4-3 thriller. He understands the intensity of this rivalry and will be looking to be on the right side of it this time around.