Chivas USA and the Los Angeles Galaxy, two rivals that kick off the playoff SuperClasico Sunday afternoon, possess more ties than their locality. Chivas USA currently has several players on its roster
that have played for the Galaxy, including Ante Jazic
, Marcelo Saragosa
and Paulo Nagamura
. These three players know both teams well, and can't
wait to face their old club.
"The two teams are very different," Saragosa said of Chivas USA and LA. "The Galaxy were first in Los Angeles, but Chivas USA, because of
its ties to the grand tradition of Chivas de Guadalajara, has a bit more intensity and passion I think." Saragosa played with the Galaxy from 2004 to midway through the 2006 season, winning both
the MLS Cup and the U.S. Open Cup with the team in 2005. He came to Chivas USA on July 17 in a trade with FC Dallas.
Nagamura also played for the Galaxy during the 2005 and 2006
seasons. He recalls the Galaxy's 2005 MLS Cup championship, which he says started from a position that parallels Chivas USA's current one. "That was a weird year," Nagamura said.
"We qualified in fourth place, but we believed that we could go all the way and that we had what it takes to go all the way. It's kind of the same position we're in now at Chivas USA.
Nobody talks too much about Chivas USA," he continued. "I think a lot of people are underestimating us. But it's good to have all the hype on the other teams. It makes our team a little
more focused and concentrated on the goal that we have."
Jazic played with the Galaxy from 2006 until he was traded to the Red-and-White on Jan. 15. "The Galaxy have done a
complete 180," Jazic said of his former club. "Bruce
] has stabilized things. Defensively, they're really good, and they've got great
goalkeeping. They're a hard-working team, and when you have players like Landon Donovan
and David Beckham
, the game can change in a flash. They're going to be
a tough team to break down and we can't make any mistakes."
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