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Stars zoom home for Los Angeles clasico
by Ridge Mahoney, August 23rd, 2007 7AM

TAGS:  mls


[TV PREVIEW] U.S. coach Bob Bradley did his MLS counterparts Frank Yallop and Preki a favor. England coach Steve McLaren wasn't so accommodating. Bradley pulled off Landon Donovan and Jonathan Bornstein during the USA's 1-0 loss to Sweden, but McLaren played David Beckham the full 90 minutes of England's 2-1 home defeat against Germany. All three are expected to be back at Home Depot Center for this edition of the Los Angeles-Chivas USA derby; yet to be determined is how much, if at all, they can play.

LOS ANGELES (3-8-5) vs. CHIVAS USA (9-6-3)
Thursday, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN2

The Galaxy has yet to win a league match with Beckham and Donovan in the lineup, and Yallop is also missing Ante Jazic (ankle) and Kelly Gray (calf) because of injuries. Los Angeles has lost its last three league games, must travel to Colorado for a Sunday game, and then returns home to play Pachuca in the SuperLiga final next Wednesday.

Chivas USA has won three of its last four and its potent forward pairing of Maykel Galindo and Ante Razov can find space in a patchwork and erratic Galaxy back line. Abel Xavier's experience and strength have been assets for the Galaxy yet he's also prone to aim for the big tackle and miss, or to just zone out and miss an assignment.

Jazic, normally the left back, had slid into the middle to replace Xavier in last week's 5-4 loss to New York. With him out, Mike Randolph will probably stay at left back if Xavier can play in the middle alongside Ty Harden.

The inexperience of Harden and midfielder Kevin Harmse, despite the spirit and determination shown by the rookies this season, has cost the Galaxy a few goals.

The Galaxy has yet to lose to Chivas USA, having won, 3-1, and tied, 1-1 before the arrival of Beckham. Only three points can help it now if it is to edge upward toward the playoff places. It is by far the more desperate team, and shorthanded or not, has no margin for error.

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