Galaxy-Chivas USA Preview

After knocking off one conference leader, Chivas USA is brimming

with confidence as the club gets ready to take on another in what

should be a more emotional game.

Chivas is looking to end an eight-game winless run against

red-hot Landon Donovan and the Los Angeles Galaxy when The Home

Depot Center co-tenants meet Saturday night in the latest edition

of the SuperClasico.

Chivas USA (3-3-3) has won three of four after Justin Braun’s

first career hat trick was the difference in a 3-2 victory at

Eastern Conference-leading New York on Sunday.

Los Angeles (5-2-5), however, is 5-0-3 in the series since a 3-0

loss Sept. 13, 2007. The West-leading Galaxy outscored Chivas 4-1

in their two wins last season, although Edson Buddle scored three

goals in those matches and is no longer with the club.

Chivas is eager to measure itself this year against its

high-profile rival.

“It’s going to be high-energy, the fans will be great, the

stadium will be perfect, the atmosphere, it’s everything you want

in a game,” Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy said. “So it’s going to

be fun.”

Slowing down Donovan will be a key to Chivas’ chances. Donovan

has a league-leading seven goals after scoring twice in last

Saturday’s 4-1 home victory over Sporting Kansas City. All of his

goals have come in the Galaxy’s last five matches.

“Landon is doing a great job,” coach Bruce Arena said. “He does

whatever we need to be better as a team and be successful on the

night. And he’s taken on the responsibility of scoring goals

again.”

David Beckham returned to the lineup last weekend as Los Angeles

ended a three-game winless slide. The superstar scored his first

goal, and he’s been instrumental during the Galaxy’s dominance in

this series.

“It’s great for the sport when teams are playing well and they

come up against each other,” Beckham told the Galaxy’s official

website. “If you want to be successful, you have to match yourself

against the teams that are playing well.”

Arena used backup Josh Saunders in goal last week with Donovan

Ricketts unavailable due to illness. Ricketts could return

Saturday.

Ricketts and the Los Angeles defense should be tested by a

Chivas attack that has come alive in the last four games after

producing one goal over its previous four.

This game also marks the first SuperClasico for first-year

Chivas coach Robin Fraser, a former longtime Galaxy defender.

Fraser also played under Arenas for the U.S. national team from

1998-2001.

“I understand there’s great passion between the fans, which is

great, and I think it makes for a great stadium, no question,”

Fraser said. “But at the end of the day like I said, I think for

myself and for the team, the focus is continued improvement.”