Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy have found themselves in dire straits. Unable to figure out the Carolina RailHawks in the U.S. Open Cup for the third straight year, this once-proud franchise has officially fallen on hard times, and it’s only going to get worse when they take on Mark Watson’s San Jose Earthquakes, who suffered an honorable defeat, on penalties at the hands of the Seattle Sounders, a true regular at winning America’s oldest cup competition in football.
It will be a pillow fight to remember and forget at on June 28 Stanford Stadium, a graveyard for opponents who lack the defense and the critical intangibles to be even close to competitive against the Bay Area’s elite. The team in question that defines the San Francisco Bay Area’s elite: the Stanford Cardinal American football team. But that’s for another FanSided piece; this is all about the soccer.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by NBCSN. Here are 10 Bold Predictions for this match between the San Jose Earthquakes and Los Angeles Galaxy.
1. Negative football will do for San Jose
Here’s how San Jose can beat the Galaxy: play negative football. That’s clogging the middle, double-teaming Robbie Keane and putting on high pressure to force Landon Donovan into a transition role. The wing play from Los Angeles is so poor, UCLA’s equivalents would put it to shame. The crosses from the fullbacks and Stefan Ishizaki will be off, and Baggio Husidic will be passing like a blind mouse, with Leonardo hacking for merely a paycheck rather than for the shirt! Eureka! They’ve found it! And speaking of finding it…
2. No goals for Los Angeles
Los Angeles will not find the net. That’s right readers, Los Angeles are not going to find the net. Robbie Rogers, Gyasi Zardes, and A.J. DeLaGarza are just one of a handful of players unwilling to fight for the shirt and instead sulk in another paycheck sans pay cut. The Galaxy will be out of luck on Saturday night.
3. Jaime Penedo with at least four saves
The one bright spot for the Los Angeles Galaxy is goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, who will make at least four saves to keep the Galaxy in this, albeit it will be a losing battle.
4. Jon Busch with at least four saves
In spite of all the goals that San Jose will score, the Quakes will also get some solid goalkeeping from Jon Busch. Busch will record at least four saves in this game.
5. Steven Lenhart with a goal and an assist
The MLS Multiplex doesn’t have to tell you about how polarizing Steven Lenhart is. But it’s his polarizing personality and style of play that has made him an enduring favorite among Earthquakes fans. Lenny gets a goal and an assist in this match.
6. Khari Stephenson will score
Khari Stephenson is just one of those players that has a nose for goal. Just give him space, and he’ll do the rest. Watch for Stephenson to get in goal and add more pain to the misery of Southern California. Kings hockey season is over, Los Angeles, and the Sharks faithful want their revenge…via proxy.
7. Here comes Sam Cronin
Another face to watch out for is Sam Cronin, who is a difference maker when creating crisp attancking sequences. Cronin won’t get on the scoresheet, but he will record an assist in this game.
8. Alan Gordon will score
One more goalscorer in this game is Quakes journeyman forward Alan Gordon. He has had a history of success against Los Angeles, and on Saturday, Gordon will get on the scoresheet. And he will take his shirt off. Watch.
9. At least 50 fouls and four cards
Yep, this is the California Clasico all right. So watch the fouls and cards pile up in this one. Thus, the MLS Multiplex boldly predicts at least 50 fouls and four cards in this match.
10. San Jose shuts out LA
It’s not the goal festival from last year, but it’s still a win for the San Jose Earthquakes. As a matter of fact, it’s a more comfortable win for the Quakes, as a toothless Los Angeles Galaxy team stumble in like a bunch of drunken hooligans who were got by the balls. And speaking of balls, San Jose will put the ball in the back of the net and earn a hard-earned form of payback for the Kings pipping the Sharks weeks earlier. Print it! Now!
San Jose Earthquakes 3, Los Angeles Galaxy 0