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              === Top-seeded 'Quakes begin playoffs at Galaxy ===
 
 Carson,  CA (Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Galaxy will continue defense of
 its  MLS Cup  title on  Sunday at  The Home  Depot Center  against Supporters'
 Shield winners San Jose.
 
 The   Galaxy  won   both  the  Supporters'  Shield  and  MLS  Cup  last  year,
 something that the Earthquakes will hope to duplicate this season.
 
 Los  Angeles finished  the regular season fourth in the Western Conference and
 had  to produce  a second-half rally against Vancouver in a 2-1 knockout round
 win over the Whitecaps on Thursday just to get to this point.
 
 An  early goal  from Vancouver's  Darren Mattocks  made things  nervy for  the
 Galaxy,  but  as Landon Donovan  said, the win  came down to determination and
 patience.
 
 "Our  determination was  good and we kept putting them under pressure. We kind
 of just got the sense that if we were patient then they were going to wear out
 and  sure enough, in  the second half, they started opening up a little," said
 Donovan.  "They couldn't keep  up defending the way that they did in the first
 half and we were finally able to pick them a part a little bit."
 
 Los Angeles hasn't had a lot of success against San Jose this season with just
 one point against the Earthquakes in three meetings.
 
 However,  the  Galaxy is in the  midst of a good  run of form having lost only
 once in its last 11 games.
 
 Bruce  Arena's  team also  has the  benefit of a  wealth of playoff experience
 having made a run to the title last year.
 
 Only  one  year removed from  missing out on  the postseason, head coach Frank
 Yallop  has  the 'Quakes at  the top of  the league thanks  in large part to a
 potent offensive attack that far and away led the league in goals.
 
 Chris  Wondolowski tied  Roy Lassiter's  single-season goals  record with  27,
 while  Alan  Gordon and Steven Lenhart  combined for 24 themselves, which will
 give the Galaxy defense plenty to think about.
 
 The  'Quakes  may not  have the  playoff experience of  the Galaxy, but Gordon
 knows  that there is  less room for error, and that the level of focus must be
 greater.
 
 "There  is less  forgiveness for errors. You  got to tighten things up and you
 can't  make mistakes,"  Gordon said  when asked  about the  difference between
 regular  and  postseason play.  "When you  make mistakes,  you're going to get
 punished. We have to be tuned in as a team and that's what has got us here."
 
 San Jose didn't learn its opponent for Sunday's game until Thursday night, but
 according  to  defender Jason Hernandez, it  really doesn't play a role in how
 the team prepares.
 
 "For the most part, we have just concentrated on what we are doing here - what
 we  want  to get better  at and what advantages  we want to create," Hernandez
 said.  "Not knowing who  we play doesn't make a huge difference for us. At the
 end of the day, if we have a good week of training and a game plan, we will be
 just fine."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 11/02 15:38:48 ET

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