Fresh from victory over Seattle in the U.S. Open Cup midweek, the Los Angeles Galaxy will face off against the San Jose Earthquakes in the latest edition of the California Clásico on Sunday, May 14, 2023. But who knows which LA Galaxy will turn up? Will it be the team that finally showed flashes of fluid, one-touch soccer for moments of the second half of Wednesday’s victory? Or will it be the team that looked languid and passionless in a 3-1 home loss to Colorado? Now 10 games into a disastrous campaign on and off the field, LA must rebound in MLS play. A win in the Cali Clásico, against their oldest rival, would be a Mother’s Day gift not just for moms that support the G’s, but for all Galaxy fans.
LA Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes at Dignity Health Sports Park
Reppin’ the colors of the greatest city
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) May 13, 2023
LA Galaxy’s Current Run of Form
If you’ve been following along, you know the Galaxy is currently enduring the worst start in its existence. That isn’t even hyperbole, this is their lowest point total through ten games in club history. The rest of the stat line is damning but necessary to realize the precariousness of the moment. LA has only won once in ten MLS games to start the season while picking up five losses in the last six games. Their home defeat to Colorado gives them a 1-3-6 record and a 13th-place spot in the Western Conference table with a -9 goal differential. They hold a record of 1-3-1 (7 GF, 9 GA) at home. Even worse, A Galaxy loss and an SKC win this weekend will see LA occupy last place in the entire league. Trust the process, indeed.
The only bright spots on this roster have been 19-year-old Center Back Jalen Neal and Tyler Boyd’s emergence as an attacking threat.
San Jose Earthquakes Current Run of Form
By contrast, San Jose is cruising. They are enjoying one of their best seasons in years, 2016 to be precise, where they had 18 points through the same amount of games. They are fourth in the West with a 5-3-3 record, tied with LAFC in the table, and just behind on goal difference. Additionally, the Quakes are within striking distance of the conference lead; they trail table leaders Seattle by just 2 points behind. And after last weekend’s stunning 2-1 victory over LA’s other team, Luchi Gonzalez’s men will believe anything is possible.
Possessing a midfield capable of matching up with Riqui Puig in Jackson Yueill and Carlos Gruezo, they also have other weapons. Forward Jeremy Ebobisse always hurts the Galaxy, with eight goals in ten games. Plus, they passed the first big test of their credentials last weekend. And after the stunning 2-1 victory over LA’s other team, Luchi Gonzalez’s men will believe anything is possible. With MVP candidate Cristian Espinoza leading the way with eight goals and three assists already this season, seeing is believing.
The last Cali Clásico ended in a 3-2 Galaxy away win in September 2022. Two goals by Galaxy Captain Javier “Chicharito” Hernández and one by Gaston Brugman carried the day. The Galaxy also has the better recent form in the series, winning three of the last 5 matches against the Quakes.
The away side has won the last four matches, however.
LA Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes Prediction
Derbies are wonderful because usually, form doesn’t matter. The emotion of these matches winds up carrying the day. That’s even more true in the Cali Clásico. And the Galaxy needs it to be. They’ll need to win this match, or their current home stand was wasted. Not to mention face the embarrassment of being dead last in the league.
But Vanney might’ve learned some second-half lessons in the Seattle win and will get his team off to a fiery Clásico start. LA will punch above its weight and rescue a tie against San Jose. And while not the gift Galaxy moms or fans might want, a win really is asking too much based on their form. The Lakers might’ve taken care of business vs. their Bay Area opponents, but the Galaxy will battle to a draw.
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