MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012
(All times Eastern)
Los Angeles (0-1-0) at San Jose (1-0-0), 11 p.m.
Santa Clara, CA (Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Galaxy have overturned a
first-leg deficit just twice in their long postseason history - the first back
in the inaugural season of MLS in 1996 against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Sixteen years later, the Galaxy are the exact same position after a 1-0 defeat
in the first leg of Western Conference semifinals.
This time, as defending MLS Cup champions, Los Angeles has to overturn the gap
on the road.
Los Angeles visits San Jose on Wednesday night in the second leg of their two-
game series and a one-goal win at Buck Shaw Stadium is the minimum needed just
to force extra time.
The Earthquakes need just a draw to advance to the Western finals, and the top
squad during the regular season was impressive at home all year.
"First and foremost, we can't concede," L.A.'s Landon Donovan said. "We've got
to be smart with our defending, but we're in a position now where we've got
nothing to lose.
"So we're going to go like we have always, we're going to go and try to win
the game. There's no reason why the guys in this room can't go win a game in
Los Angeles trails in the series after San Jose struck in stoppage time at The
Home Depot Center on Sunday. Victor Bernardez scored off a deflected free kick
from 40 yards, giving San Jose its ninth stoppage-time goal this season.
"It was never a game you would think that we would lose," Donovan said, "but
it was kind of one fluke play, and we were a little unlucky."
L.A. has scored five goals in its two road games against San Jose this season,
losing 4-3 at Stanford Stadium in June and tying 2-2 at Buck Shaw in October.
"Now it looks like we've got to get two. But it's not over. We've played well
there twice this year," Donovan said.
L.A. felt it played well in the first match, and David Beckham felt team could
have won if it took advantage of its opportunities.
"If you don't put one of those (chances) away it can always kill you at the
end ... But we can take the positives from the chances we created and the
possession that we had," Beckham said.
San Jose is in great shape for the second leg against L.A., but 27-goal scorer
Chris Wondolowski does not expect his side to be happy to hang onto a one-goal
"We expect them to come out flying on Wednesday night, but we will also come
out flying," he said. "We are not planning on sitting back and protecting a
A good sign from the win was the shutout, the first for the Earthquakes since
mid-September. San Jose had just two shutouts over its last 14 regular-season
"I think it was a very mature away performance," San Jose coach Frank Yallop
said. "We didn't want to concede a goal. ... At this point, you've got to make
sure you do that. We worked all week on defending."
San Jose knows there is still a lot of work to do in the second leg.
"We haven't accomplished anything yet. We still have another game to go and we
have to be humble," Bernardez said. "We respect them and we know ... they will
come out ready again Wednesday night."
11/06 18:12:59 ET