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Get ready for another edition of the California Clasico!
As one of the more intense rivalries in MLS, there are rarely a lack of fireworks when the San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy hit the field against one another.
That said, heading into the weekend, the Earthquakes are in a poor state with five losses in their last six games.
Keep in mind, one of those losses was against the Galaxy last month.
The Galaxy have been somewhat inconsistent through the 2021 season, but with a key player potentially back in the mix, they should be able to get the job done.
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|San Jose Earthquakes vs LA Galaxy Information|
|Teams||San Jose Earthquakes vs LA Galaxy|
|Location||PayPal Park (San Jose, California)|
|Time||Saturday, June 26th at 10:00pm ET|
|How to Watch||UniMas, TUDN, Twitter|
Let’s first discuss San Jose.
Although they’re widely recognized as an unpredictable team that constantly bounce back and forth between high-scoring wins and losses, they’re now having issues with claiming points since mid-May.
In short: The Earthquakes have been lackluster in the last few weeks.
With only one point claimed in their last six matches, San Jose have quickly lost their status as dark horses and have transitioned into becoming one of the more underwhelming MLS clubs.
Their recent 5-0 loss to Orlando City earlier this week didn’t do much to help either.
At time of writing before the start of the weekend, no side in the Western Conference has allowed more goals than the Earthquakes.
That’s a serious defensive issue for manager Matias Almeyda, and in the near future, he’ll have to find a way to halt what many consider to be the top striker in the league.
After scoring in the Galaxy’s latest 2-1 away win over the Vancouver Whitecaps, Hernandez now has eight goals and one assist in just nine appearances this season.
The 33-year-old striker is on another level in 2021, and with San Jose looking vulnerable, Saturday’s match could easily be a two or even three-goal game for the Galaxy star player.
Wearing the captain’s armband, Chicharito was impressive for his squad and even helped defensively late into his recent match with some vital clearances.
And speaking of defense…
A side effect of Almeyda’s attack-minded and high-pressing system for the Earthquakes is a wide and often spacious area for opposing counter-attacks.
This has regularly led to some thrilling matches for San Jose since Almeyda showed up in 2018, but in the last few weeks, there have been far too many chances given to their opponents.
And with San Jose’s attack failing to compensate for these errors in the backline, they now have a questionable -6 goal differential as they stumble into the weekend.
As for the Galaxy, they could be even stronger if a crucial starter is potentially fully fit.
Arguably the most important member of the Galaxy roster, Dos Santos returned to the pitch during Wednesday’s win against Vancouver after suffering an injury in late May.
After missing out on the 2-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders earlier this month, the midfielder stepped back onto the field as sub during Wednesday’s win over Vancouver.
The Galaxy are an entirely different side with their clever distributor and first line of defense, and after looking active in his 31 minutes against Vancouver, Dos Santos could be ready to be back in the XI on Saturday.
If Dos Santos is fully fit, the Galaxy will have all of the right tools available to clinch a convincing result.
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Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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