Victor Decolongon

LA Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs: SJ does it again, wins it late

The Quakes always manage to find a late goal and they did again on Sunday, winning the first leg 1-0.

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Quakes steal another late win, top LA 1-0

The Earthquakes managed yet another late win, this time on blunders by Omar Gonzalez and Josh Saunders, to win 1-0 and take a lead back home for the second leg.


LA and SJ unambitious and scoreless

Heading into the Western Conference semifinals, all anybody could talk about was how open, attacking and heated the tie between the LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes would be, but the first half of the first leg was not any of those things. It was dull, unambitious and outright terrible so it is no surprise that the match is still scoreless.

Both sides were as cautious as possible, taking every opportunity to close down space and defend, and rarely looking to get forward. The Galaxy showed a little bit more ambition, creating a couple chances, but they were hardly offensive juggernauts.

LA almost went in front early on when David Beckham hit a tantalizing free kick to the top of the six-yard box. Jon Busch came charging off of his line, but couldn't get to the ball before Robbie Keane. The Irishman's header beat Busch, but it went inches wide of the post and the match remained level.

Unless one team changes things up, it looks like a scoreless draw is the most likely score. They will go to the second leg level and make it a one match, win or go home battle. Right now, it doesn't look like either will budge.


Franklin starts for LA, SJ lineup as expected

The San Jose Earthquakes were MLS's best team in the regular season, winning the Supporters' Shield with an amazingly consistent run that saw them jump in front early in the year and hold on until the final day. Tonight is their first playoff test, though, and it will be the first postseason for several of their players all together. It comes against the LA Galaxy, too, the reigning MLS Cup champions who are filled with star power and experience.

But for all of their experience and pedigree, LA is not very healthy. They are missing A.J. DeLaGarza because of injury, but they did get Sean Franklin back from injury after the right back missed LA's win on Thursday. It will be worth keeping an eye on David Beckham too, who is coming back from injury and looked very tired three days ago. Christian Wilhelmsson, who has been hurt, is available on the bench.

Otherwise, the only thing of note is Marcelo Sarvas coming back into the team in place of Edson Buddle, with Landon Donovan pushing up top.

The Earthquakes are going with a standard lineup, minus the injured Simon Dawkins, who is relegated to bench duty. It won them the Supporters' Shield so why mess with it?

LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Todd Dunivant, Omar Gonzalez, Tommy Meyer, Sean Franklin; Mike Magee, David Beckham, Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas, Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane.

San Jose Earthquakes: Jon Busch, Justin Morrow, Jason Hernandez, Victor Bernardez, Steven Beitashour, Ramiro Corrales, Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca, Marvin Chavez, Steven Lenhart, Chris Wondolowski.

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