For as heated as El Trafico can get, many Galaxy fans consider the matches against the San Jose Earthquakes the most important game on the schedule.

While the match against our city neighbors has produced some exceptional moments, the California Clasico has had its own share of magic and played in front of some of the biggest crowds in league history.

The Quakes rent out Stanford Stadium every year for all the fans wanting to see the Galaxy when they travel North, with attendance regularly reaching the 50,000 range. But more than that, the Cali Clasico has also taken place on the biggest of stages: MLS Cup. 

20 years ago this October, San Jose scored in injury time to steal away what would have been the Galaxy’s first MLS Cup that it came against the old enemy hurt even more. 

Photo: Los Angeles Galaxy

The Galaxy got some measure of revenge in 2012 when they beat the Quakes at Buck Shaw Stadium 3-1 in the Western Conference Semifinal.  San Jose was brimming with confidence after winning the Supporter’s Shield and thought it was their year to win it all. Three goals in 18 minutes by the Galaxy disproved that notion and silenced everyone at the university field.  A brace by Robbie Keane and a Mike Magee goal ended the season for San Jose, and the Galaxy went on to win MLS Cup to rub even more salt into their wounds.

San Jose has gotten nowhere close to the semifinals, not to mention a Supporter’s Shield or MLS Cup since.  In fact, San Jose has only made the playoffs twice in that time.

Saturday’s newest opportunity for renewing Cali Clasico hostilities comes with the Galaxy and San Jose separated by three points and three places in the table. The Galaxy is coming off a loss to be forgotten against Portland and will want to use the game against their northern rivals as the stage to do it.

The G’s will also surely want to avenge last season’s 4-0 loss to the Quakes. 

And with it being the last home game until the June 19 rematch against Seattle next month, where Dignity Health Sports Park will be at full capacity, the Galaxy will also look to get some confidence back with a win and gain momentum they can take into that showdown. 

Photo: Los Angeles Galaxy

Both California teams always seem to bring their strongest tackles and best game wherever they may be in the standings at the moment. 

The players seem to relish the encounter and the chance for state bragging rights, with the Galaxy coaching staff taking part in their own Cali Clasicos as players.

They know the importance and passion of this match.

So too do the supporters.

“Magee and Keano ripping them to pieces in the 2012 WCSF,” Chris Tucker, aka @zerocool138, replied when asked what the best Galaxy moment against San Jose was.

There were also some choice words for the team that probably shouldn’t make print here, but many G’s would most likely have used to describe San Jose as well.

Galaxy fans will be interested in only one word on Saturday, though…

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