The World Cup always brings drama into the MLS, simply by the timing of the League and the tournament leaves the possibility of heroes to step up for Club when their colleagues are away in Brazil. Many USA supporters were in fact dumbfounded when Landon Donovan was exempt from the squad. Although Jurgen Klinsmann snubbed Donovan from the final 23-man squad selection, Bruce Arena is enjoying the fruit of Jurgen's exemption. Since Jurgen left the Los Angeles number ten off the roster, Landon has scored three times in three games for the Galaxy. Donovan has also found perhaps a little extra motivation to his game for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
The Los Angeles Classico June 8th was an interesting affair since only one player from the two teams would be participating in the World Cup in a few days. Many have been slightly critical of the Los Angeles Galaxy recently with Omar Gonzalez leaving to compete in Brazil, who will fill that spot as a center back for Los Angeles. On this occasion June eighth, AJ DeLaGarza played next to Leonardo in central defense; Robbie Rogers assumed AJ's post as the left back. Chivas USA also had one of their players called to international duty in Brazil; Oswaldo Minda was called into the Ecuadorian national team for the injured Segundo Castillo. All the tactical and technical corrections made in defense for the Galaxy the first blood to be spilt was the Galaxy's. Martin Rivero was able to surge into the LA box in the 20th minute mark, picking out Erick Torres. “Cubo” took two touches, his first almost forcing him out of position, but “Cubo” fired his shot into the net making it 0-1 to Chivas.
The Galaxy were able to pull themselves level 15 minutes after the first goal after a run of strong build ups against the Chivas USA goal. A probing effort occurred on the Chivas left flank in the 35th minute Stefan Ishizaki laid the ball into the right hand side of the goats box. Marcelo Sarvas was able to cross the ball into the box for Gyasi Zardes to head the game level at 1-1. Many usual spectators of the Los Angeles Classico have got used to the idea of the Galaxy emerging victorious against Chivas, but this time around Chivas would prove to be far more resilient than times before.
After the interval the flow of the match did not subside much, the only factor that depicted so was the score line unfortunately. With both sides playing with high levels of intensity and physicality overflowing at both ends of the pitch. Chivas USA came close to taking the lead again in the 70th minute when Martin Rivero again threaded a ball for Rosales to dangerously chip into the box. The cross however was easily picked out by the Galaxy defense. The match ended in a 1-1 draw even though the attack did not find a break another breakthrough in the second half. Much has to be said of the defense and midfield for both sides that played with extreme amounts of fortitude.
The post game press conference much was said of both sides, Bruce Arena was vocal about in regards to his side’s inability to score a second goal. The media quickly pointed out some topics for the upcoming weeks as the Galaxy have two players missing. Omar Gonzalez currently is in Brazil with the US Men's National Team and other designated player Robbie Keane is on international duty for Ireland. Robbie Keane is due to return for the Los Angeles Galaxy soon as Ireland plays Portugal tonight in New Jersey. Bruce Arena was also quick to reiterate that the season is "long" and that "there is plenty of time to work out the necessities" to get the Galaxy on a winning track.
Wilmer Cabrera on the other hand was more upbeat since his last encounter here against the Galaxy yielded a humiliating 3-0 loss. The goats are in a transition phase, but perhaps it is more along the lines of a metamorphosis since their recent acquisition of players. Martin Rivero particularly has proved to be a vital cog in the center midfield for the Rojiblancos in regards to attack and defense. As brought up in the post game press conference Martin Rivero is described as a "box to box player." Midfield players that can perform both attacking and defensive duties in the modern game are a tough feat. Players with said attribute can be a strong basis to a possible resurgence in the upcoming future.
Photography accredited to Angelica Orozco