MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012
(All times Eastern)
Los Angeles (15-12-5) at San Jose (19-6-7), 7 p.m.
Santa Clara, CA (Sports Network) - The San Jose Earthquakes will break ground
on a new 18,000-seat stadium Sunday, when they also have a chance to seal the
Supporters' Shield against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
San Jose will break ground on its new $60-million home with an attempt at the
world record of 4,532 for most people taking part in a groundbreaking ceremony
before its crucial MLS match.
Later Sunday, the Earthquakes will be focused on the Galaxy and another win at
home to secure the best regular-season record in the league and the Shield.
"To have the ability to clinch the Supporters' Shield on the same day that we
break ground for our new stadium is really just a momentous occasion," San
Jose Earthquakes president David Kaval said. "It's almost hard to describe how
exciting that is."
San Jose (19-6-7) leads MLS with 64 points, five more than Eastern Conference
leader Sporting Kansas City. A win over Los Angeles (15-12-5) would be enough
to secure the best overall record, and complete a sweep of its main rivals.
The Earthquakes have won all eight of their games against L.A., Real Salt Lake
and Seattle Sounders FC this season.
In addition to the groundbreaking and Supporters' Shield, Earthquakes striker
Chris Wondolowski enters the match within reach of the single-season MLS mark
for goals scored.
Wondolowski has 25 goals this season, just two off the record Roy Lassiter set
in 1996 - the first year of MLS - with the Tampa Bay Mutiny. Wondolowski had a
hat trick in his last match, a 4-1 win over the Colorado Rapids.
He scored the match-winner in a 4-3 win over the Galaxy on June 30, when San
Jose rallied from a 3-1 deficit. Should he fail to tie or surpass Lassiter on
Sunday, the chase will end in Portland against the Timbers on Oct. 27.
Like San Jose, Los Angeles has clinched a playoff spot. But unlike the Quakes,
the Galaxy are still battling for positioning to secure a first-round bye into
the conference semifinals.
Fourth in the West with two games remaining, L.A. needs victories and a little
help to overtake Seattle for third place. Seattle holds a three-point edge and
also has two matches remaining.
The Galaxy could be without Landon Donovan, who missed United States duty over
the last week due to injury. Donovan admitted the goal over the last two games
is to climb to third.
"There's no question, that's the goal," Donovan said. "The goal is to be at
least third. If you're fourth, obviously there's a disadvantage in playing an
Donovan and teammate David Beckham were confident L.A. had the depth to deal
with an extra playoff match, which it would host, and the most important thing
was the defending MLS Cup champions were already in the playoffs.
"We've got two more games left, so, they're two tough games but I think at the
end of the day we've made it into the playoffs," Beckham said. "It's just down
to where are we going to be placed now, but we need to finish ... strong."
10/19 17:13:31 ET