Nyassi, MPG and mojo: The Quakes will look to keep the mojo going after a confidence-building stretch last week, in which they earned a second consecutive win over Seattle at CenturyLink Field this season and a come-from-behind triumph over Sacramento Republic FC in the U.S. Open Cup at Avaya Stadium. Against the Sounders, a big positive was the Quakes got scoring from two players not named Chris Wondolowski. Matias Perez Garcia and Sanna Nyassi had highlight-reel goals in the 2-0 victory. MPG scored his first goal of the season, dissecting the gassed Sounders defense on a quick counter attack and hitting a left-footer into the near corner. Nyassi had a brilliant right-footed finish into the corner in the first half, his second goal of the season, off an MPG assist. Obviously, Robbie Keane, who had a hat trick in a 6-1 win over PSA Elite in the U.S. Open, and the Galaxy represent a formidable challenge. But Los Angeles will be coming off a midweek game against a fresher Quakes side.
Baggio Husidic vs. Fatai Alashe: The Earthquakes’ prize rookie midfielder could meet up with the Galaxy’s versatile Husidic, who was in top form with a goal and two assists in a 5-1 rout of the Philadelphia Union on June 20. In his second season in Los Angeles after coming over from Hammarby IF-Sweden, Husidic has played multiple positions, including left back against Orlando City. A quick study Alashe has 11 starts after coming on as a substitute in the 81st minute against FC Dallas in the season opener. He’s only missed games against Toronto FC and New England to play with the U.S. Under-23 squad. Alashe seems to have landed in a dream spot, surrounded by veterans who can help direct him. World Cup veterans and solid pros Clarence Goodson and Victor Bernardez are stationed behind him and U.S. international Chris Wondolowski and Argentine Matias Perez Garcia are in front of him.
Stanford Stadium mystique: The Earthquakes and LA Galaxy will renew one of the great rivalries in North American soccer at a venue that produced two of the Quakes’ most memorable wins. In 2012, the Quakes overcame a 3-1 deficit to prevail 4-3 over the Galaxy in front of a crowd of 50,391. Wondolowski capped the second-half surge with a sidekick winner in the 61st minute. In 2013, the Quakes somehow managed to do something even more remarkable on The Farm. Playing with 10 men, they scored twice in second-half stoppage time on goals by Shea Salinas and Alan Gordon to stun the Galaxy 3-2 in front of a crowd of 50,028. In 2011, the Quakes rallied from a 1-0 deficit to take a 2-1 lead against New York Red Bulls on goals by Khari Stephenson and Lenhart before settling for a 2-2 draw in front of a crowd of 41,028. Last season, the Quakes fell 1-0 to the Galaxy on a Gyasi Zardes goal in the 61st minute, in front of another crowd of 50,000-plus at Stanford, where they've received incredible fan support. The Quakes played without Wondolowski, who was in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, and three other key starters: Bernadez, representing Honduras in the World Cup; and the injured duo of Shea Salinas and Goodson. Notable: The Galaxy has just one win in their last 10 regular-season meetings with the Quakes in Northern California.