Shea Salinas - Cali Clasico
SJEarthquakes.com

MATCH PREVIEW: California Clasico marks beginning of important stretch for the Quakes

Wednesday’s rivalry match vs. the LA Galaxy marks the start of a four-game stretch in which the San Jose Earthquakes play three teams currently below them in the standings, as well as a home game vs. red-hot Seattle Sounders FC. These games provide a tremendous opportunity to distance themselves from their foes and cement their place in the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs.

The Galaxy, like most years, are expected to be a powerhouse in Major League Soccer. They spend a lot, bring in world renowned superstars, and proudly display the five stars above their crest at every turn. But LA finds themselves at the bottom of the Western Conference with the third worst record in MLS (4-8-3), including a staggering five home losses to date.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at San Jose’s upcoming opponent:

Standings

The LA Galaxy are in 12th place in the Western Conference with a 4-8-3 record and -9 goal differential. While they do have the conference’s worst points-per-game average, their saving grace is that they have played fewer games than everyone but Colorado and FC Dallas.

Recent Form

The Galaxy are winless in six straight matches (0-5-1), with each of the last five resulting in losses. In each of the five losses, they have conceded at least twice and lost by multiple goals in four. LA did not have a game this past weekend due to a COVID-related postponement, which means they should be well-rested, but their most recent game vs. Portland at home on Oct. 7 resulted in a 6-3 defeat.

Key Players

Chicharito continues to be the storyline. After a big money move to bring the decorated Mexico international to LA, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez has scored just one goal this season. The Galaxy have yet to win with him on the field, holding an 0-6-2 record in his eight appearances and 0-5-1 record in his six starts.

Fortunately for LA, their other superstar, Cristian Pavon, has been terrific. He is one of just four players in MLS with at least seven goals and six assists, joining Seattle’s Jordan Morris, Toronto’s Alejandro Pozuelo and Orlando’s Chris Mueller.

History

The long-standing rivalry speaks for itself, but the unusualness of 2020 has resulted in Wednesday’s match being the fourth encounter between these two teams – most in a single season since 2005. Each side has an identical 1-1-1 record thus far in 2020.

The match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcast live on NBC Sports California, KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF.

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