The Los Angeles Galaxy need to get a win tonight to exit the Western Conference basement, but without key players Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane it will be difficult.
Making matters worse, the international calender reares it's ugly head for MLS clubs again, with both clubs losing vital components.
Galaxy designated players Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan are on international duty, while the Earthquakes will feel the impact of losing their star, MLS leading goal scorer Chris Wondolowski, to the U.S. National Camp. The 29-year-old forward has 11 goals so far in 12 matches on the campaign, and is an integral reason why the Earthquakes have performed so well this season.
The 'Quakes will need Steven Lenhart and Alan Gordon to step it up a notch if they are to find their first win away against L.A. since 2005. Gordon, in particular, has performed well as of late, having come off the bench in the last two games to score key goals to preserve valuable points. Since coming back into the league in 2008, the Earthquakes have lost three and drawn once to the Galaxy at the Home Depot Center.
The positive for San Jose has been strong play on the road this year, where Frank Yallop's side has so far generated a 3-1-1 record, and this match will be the first of four straight away from Buck Shaw Stadium. To win outright, San Jose is paying a respectable 3.20.
L.A. has not won in five games and is coming off a 1-0 loss to city rivals Chivas USA this past Sunday, and coach Bruce Arena will be looking for Edson Buddle and David Beckham to pick up the slack tonight while A.J DeLaGarza and Sean Franklin will need to hold up the fort on the back four. The team received a bit of a boost when starting goalkeeper Josh Saunders returned to the squad yesterday after spending time in the league's substance abuse program.
A Galaxy win is 2.10 right now at Ladbrokes.com, while the draw bet is at 3.20.
Some bets to look at tonight include the over/under, where L.A. has yet to produce a clean sheet this season in 13 games, while San Jose has scored 23 so far - third best in the league - in addition to scoring eight of those on the road. The over is paying out 2.02.
Also interesting is San Jose's tendency to score goals in the second half, as more than half of the Earthquakes' goals have come after the 60th minute, six of which have come between the 70-90th minutes. So perhaps the draw/away or home/draw bets in the halftime/fulltime offerings may prove to be of value, currently slated at 7.50 and 15.00 respectively.
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