SuperClásicos to bring out Chivas USA best

Goats say the match vs. the Galaxy has given them a boost

There’s something special about the SuperClásico. It could be the
extra-packed Home Depot Center or the fact that both Chivas USA and the
LA Galaxy call Los Angeles home.

There’s always electricity in the air.

“Emotions
are always at one hundred percent in these SuperClásicos,” said Chivas
USA defender Mariano Trujillo after practice on Wednesday. “We don’t
want to lose Thursday night. We don’t like to lose any game, but
especially not against the Galaxy. We want to get our first three
points and get a victory for the Chivas USA fans.”

Chivas USA
has plenty of reasons to come out firing against their in-stadium
rivals on Thursday evening. The Red-and-White went a dismal 0-2-1
against LA last year, and were ousted from the postseason by a 3-2
aggregate score against the Galaxy.

“Even with the new players
this year, we all know the rivalry and we know the bad blood,” said
Michael Lahoud. “Regardless of when you play Galaxy, there’s always
going to be lots of tension and emotion. And the playoff storyline from
last year makes for an even greater game.”

The Galaxy have
enjoyed success against Chivas USA in the past, boasting a 10-3-2
record against the Red-and-White since 2005. But with a younger roster
and a new coach, the Goats are feeling strong ahead of Thursday’s
match.

“We’re feeling very confident,” said Lahoud. “It’s
always different to feel that way after the last result we had, which
was a disappointing one, but there’s just something about our team and
the enthusiasm that we’ve all felt for the past couple of days.”

Key
to Chivas USA’s success against LA will be containing Landon Donovan.
The American international has just returned from a successful stint
with English side Everton, and is bristling with confidence.

“They
have some dangerous players,” said Trujillo. Guys like Donovan are
players that can hurt you if you aren’t paying attention. But if we can
possess the ball and maintain good offense, we won’t have to worry
about defending them so much.”

Veteran Brazilian stalwart
Marcelo Saragosa will likely be assigned to containing Donovan. It’s no
easy task, but Saragosa knows the job well and should have no problem
hassling the 2009 MLS MVP. His experience playing with the Galaxy
during from 2004-2006 doesn’t hurt either.

“Donovan is a great
player,” said Saragosa. “We have to close him down and not give him too
much space. But he’s not the only one we have to worry about. They have
a strong team with other players that can hurt you.”

As one of
only two Western Conference teams not to secure any points on MLS
opening weekend, Chivas USA will have extra reason to fight for a
victory on Thursday.

“We’re thinking about winning,” said
Trujillo. “We have to stay focused and play within our system. If we
can do that, then there’s no doubt that we’ll get a win tomorrow.”