|LA Galaxy vs. SJ Earthquakes|
|City or region||California, United States|
|Teams involved||LA Galaxy, San Jose Earthquakes|
|First contested||April 28, 1996
Galaxy 2-1 Earthquakes
|Number of meetings||70|
|Most wins||Galaxy (31)|
|Most recent meeting||Galaxy 1–1 Earthquakes
(September 14, 2014)
|Largest victory||Earthquakes 5–2 Galaxy
(November 9, 2003)
The California Clásico is a soccer rivalry between two Major League Soccer teams, the LA Galaxy and the San Jose Earthquakes, which existed from 1996 to 2005 and was resumed in 2008. The rivalry reached its peak from 2001 to 2005, during which time the Earthquakes and the Galaxy combined to win four MLS Cup titles in a five-year period. The term "Clásico" is commonly used to refer to other rivalries in Spanish-speaking countries, most prominently, the Spanish Clásico between Barcelona and Real Madrid, or the Argentine Superclásico between Boca Juniors and River Plate. Los Angeles and San Jose is considered to be one of the most historical rivalries in American soccer. British daily newspaper, The Guardian rates "the California Clásico is perhaps the most historic and intense rivalry the league has." Todd Dunivant, former U.S. national team member and current Galaxy player, when asked about the rivalry stated "I think its the best rivalry in MLS, I think its got the most history, its got the most meaningful big games". The rivalry originated from the historical Northern California vs. Southern California sporting and cultural rivalries, as well as from the relative proximity of the cities, which are about 360 miles (580 km) apart, which allows rival fans to attend each other's games. They are sometimes identified with opposing political positions, with Los Angeles (Southern California) viewed as representing conservatism and San Jose (Northern California) viewed as representing liberalism. SB Nation claims that the California Clásico could become the most important rivalry in MLS.
Unified as one single state, Northern California and Southern California share a notorious rivalry. Historically, rivalries have manifested prominently in the state's professional sports including MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL. For some fans, it is traditional to hate teams from Northern or Southern California. In 2001, both teams reached the MLS Cup 2001, with San Jose posting a 2-1 overtime victory on goals by Landon Donovan and Dwayne DeRosario. While next season, Carlos Ruiz led Los Angeles to its first MLS Cup title over the New England Revolution after San Jose was previously upset in the playoffs by the Columbus Crew. While there have been several players to play for both teams beforehand, the rivalry intensified after the Anschutz Entertainment Group (owner of the Los Angeles Galaxy) took sole ownership of the San Jose Earthquakes in December 2002.
The two teams squared off again in the first round of the 2003 MLS Cup playoffs in what would become an epic series. Los Angeles won the first game at home 2-0 in the two-game aggregate-goal series. In the second game in San Jose, the Galaxy scored two early goals to widen its aggregate lead to four goals, only to have San Jose score five unanswered goals to win the series 5-4. Many neutral MLS pundits at the time viewed that game as the best in league history. After eliminating the Galaxy, San Jose went on to defeat the Kansas City Wizards en route to winning its second MLS Cup title (over the Chicago Fire) in three years.
After a rumored buyout of the Quakes by Mexican soccer side Club América in January 2004, Earthquakes general manager Johnny Moore resigned prior to the 2004 season and was replaced by former U.S. and Galaxy defender Alexi Lalas. Under Lalas, 2004 ended up being a down year for the Quakes as it barely made the playoffs on the final day of the regular season. Both San Jose and Los Angeles were eliminated from the playoffs by Kansas City. Afterward, when Earthquakes star player Landon Donovan briefly returned to German club Bayer 04 Leverkusen after his loan agreement with San Jose expired, Lalas traded away his return rights, after which Donovan returned to play for the Galaxy. Many Earthquake fans felt betrayed and welcomed Donovan with a hostile reception when Galaxy would play at Spartan Stadium, he would be often referred to as the "American Luís Figo" as to when Figo made a hugely controversial move from Barcelona to bitter rivals Real Madrid. Several San Jose fans altered their Donovan jerseys name on the back to read "Donowho". They also brought signs with explicit messages like "Landon Judas Donovan", "PrimaDonovan Traitor" and "Donovan Is Traitor Scum."
Following the departure of Lalas to become the general manager of the MetroStars early in 2005, San Jose returned to form and captured the MLS Supporters' Shield, awarded to the league's best team during the regular season. The two clubs met again in the playoffs, with Los Angeles finally winning a playoff series against San Jose thanks largely to the play of Donovan on its way to defeating New England in MLS Cup 2005.
The Earthquakes took a two-year hiatus from the league in 2006 and 2007 due to stadium and ownership issues. During that period, the Quakes' players and head coach were relocated to Houston, Texas, where they won two additional MLS Cup titles as the Houston Dynamo. Meanwhile, shortly after Lalas’ brief stint with the MetroStars, he moved on to become the general manager of the Galaxy, who failed to make the playoffs during both years of San Jose's hiatus from the league.
The San Jose Earthquakes franchise was revived by Lewis Wolff and Earthquakes Soccer, LLC, restarting the rivalry in 2008. Ignominiously, both the Quakes and Galaxy tied for the worst record that season. The Quakes lost the series and thus received the dubious distinction.
On June 25, 2011, Josh Saunders came in for injured goalie Donovan Ricketts. Saunders received a red card for what appeared to be an intentional elbow to the face of Steven Lenhart. Galaxy had no more substitute goalies and were forced to use forward Mike Magee as a last resort. Magee kept a shutout as the game ended 0-0.
The rivalry further intensified in 2012 when the Galaxy hosted the Earthquakes at The Home Depot Center with Galaxy taking the lead 2-0 but with 15 minutes left the Earthquakes came back and won the game 3-2. In late June, the Earthquakes played the Galaxy in front of 50,391 spectators at Stanford Stadium marking an attendance record for the Earthquakes franchise. Once again the Galaxy took the lead 3-2 at half time but the Earthquakes managed to score 2 goals to defeat the Galaxy 4–3, David Beckham was involved in scuffles during and after the match, he was awarded a one-match ban by the MLS Disciplinary Committee. The match itself was credited as one of the best MLS games in history. Galaxy's Omar Gonzalez expressed that the Earthquakes were "embarrassing", "obnoxious" and "a bunch of jokes" after a 2-2 draw.
The two teams met again in the Western Conference Semi-finals. San Jose defeated Los Angeles 1-0 in the first leg but the Galaxy came back and defeated the Earthquakes 3-1 at Buck Shaw Stadium, (3-2 on aggregate). It was the Earthquakes only loss at Buck Shaw all season.
In June 2013, the Clasico returned to Stanford Stadium and in stunning comeback fashion, the Earthquakes defeated the Galaxy with two goals by Shea Salinas and Alan Gordon in stoppage time (92',93') to win the game 3-2. San Jose became the first MLS team ever to win a game in extra time with 10 men after Victor Bernardez was red carded in the 77' minute.
For the first time, the California Clásico was hosted in Fresno, California as part of the inaugural Central California Cup on February 15, 2014. The preseason exhibition match marked the first time two MLS franchises played each other in the city of Fresno.
Although historically there have been rivalries between Northern California and Southern California supporters, a bitter rivalry exists between the 1906 Ultras which support San Jose and the Angel City Brigade which support Los Angeles. Supporters from both teams taunt each other with elaborate tifo displays and chants due to the passion and hate there is. Heightened security is used to ensure no violence between the opposing groups. Social networking sites such as Facebook have also been used to jeer rival fans ensuring the rivalry continues outside of soccer.
On October 21, 2012 during a regular season game at Buck Shaw Stadium, several LA Galaxy fans were arrested after violent altercations erupted in the stands and smoke bombs were set off during half time. In fear of causing a riot, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale police officers, some dressed in riot uniforms, arrived and cleared the Galaxy supporters section during the game.
While the transfer of Landon Donovan from San Jose to Los Angeles caused an uproar amongst the fans, the rivalry between the two teams has not prevented players from switching teams.
- Curt Onalfo - with Galaxy: 1996 / with Earthquakes: 1997
- David Kramer - with Galaxy: 1996-1997 / with Earthquakes: 1997-1999
- Harut Karapetyan - with Galaxy: 1996-1998 / with Earthquakes: 1998, 2000
- Dan Calichman - with Galaxy: 1996-1998 / with Earthquakes: 2000
- Eddie Lewis - with Earthquakes: 1996-1999 / with Galaxy: 2008-2010
- Lawrence Lozzano - with Earthquakes: 1997-1998 / with Galaxy: 1998-1999
- Gabe Eastman - with Galaxy: 1999 / with Earthquakes: 2000
- Adam Frye - with Earthquakes: 1999 / with Galaxy: 2000-2002
- Zak Ibsen - with Galaxy: 1999-2000 / with Earthquakes: 2001-2002
- Joe Cannon - with Earthquakes: 1999-2002, 2008-2010 / with Galaxy: 2007
- Simon Elliott - with Galaxy: 1999-2003 / with Earthquakes: 2009
- Danny Califf - with Galaxy: 2000-2004 / with Earthquakes: 2005
- Ian Russell - with Earthquakes: 2000-2005 / with Galaxy: 2007
- Brian Ching - with Galaxy: 2001 / with Earthquakes: 2003-2005
- Brian Mullan - with Galaxy: 2001-2002 / with Earthquakes: 2003-2005
- Craig Waibel - with Galaxy: 2001-2002 / with Earthquakes: 2003-2005
- Landon Donovan - with Earthquakes: 2001-2004 / with Galaxy: 2005–present
- Gavin Glinton - with Galaxy: 2002-2003, 2006-2007 / with Earthquakes: 2008
- Alejandro Moreno - with Galaxy: 2002-2004 / with Earthquakes: 2005
- Todd Dunivant - with Earthquakes: 2003-2004 / with Galaxy: 2005–2006, 2009–present
- Chris Aloisi - with Galaxy: 2004 / with Earthquakes: 2005
- Jovan Kirovski - with Galaxy: 2004-2005, 2009-2011 / with Earthquakes: 2008
- Ned Grabavoy - with Galaxy: 2004-2006 / with Earthquakes: 2008
- Alan Gordon - with Galaxy: 2004-2010, 2014–present / with Earthquakes: 2011–2014
- Kelly Gray - with Earthquakes: 2005, 2008-2009 / with Galaxy: 2007
- Cornell Glen - with Galaxy: 2006 / with Earthquakes: 2009-2010
- Ty Harden - with Galaxy: 2007 / with Earthquakes: 2013–present
- Brandon McDonald - with Galaxy: 2008 / with Earthquakes: 2009-2011
- Dan Gargan - with Earthquakes: 2013 / with Galaxy: 2014–present
|LA wins||Draws||San Jose wins||LA goals||San Jose goals|
|MLS Regular season||22||15||17||75||70|
|U.S. Open Cup||3||1||0||6||2|
|Team||MLS Cup||Supporters' Shield||U.S. Open Cup||Champions' Cup||Total|
|San Jose Earthquakes||2||2||0||0||4|
MLS Regular season
|Date||Home Team||Score||Away Team||Venue|
|April 28, 1996||Los Angeles||2–1||San Jose||Rose Bowl|
|May 12, 1996||San Jose||1–2||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|September 1, 1996||San Jose||1–1 (1–3 pen.)||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|September 15, 1996||Los Angeles||4–2||San Jose||Rose Bowl|
|April 12, 1997||San Jose||4–1||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|May 18, 1997||Los Angeles||1–1 (LA pen.)||San Jose||Rose Bowl|
|August 17, 1997||Los Angeles||2–3||San Jose||Rose Bowl|
|September 21, 1997||San Jose||2–3||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|March 21, 1998||Los Angeles||3–3 (3–1 pen.)||San Jose||Rose Bowl|
|June 27, 1998||San Jose||1–2||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|September 16, 1998||San Jose||0–0 (LA pen.)||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|September 20, 1998||Los Angeles||0–1||San Jose||Spartan Stadium|
|April 3, 1999||San Jose||1–1 (4–2 pen.)||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|April 24, 1999||Los Angeles||0–1||San Jose||Rose Bowl|
|August 7, 1999||San Jose||1–4||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|September 1, 1999||Los Angeles||3–1||San Jose||Rose Bowl|
|May 17, 2000||San Jose||0–0||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|May 27, 2000||Los Angeles||1–1||San Jose||Rose Bowl|
|August 26, 2000||San Jose||0–3||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|August 30, 2000||Los Angeles||2–1||San Jose||Rose Bowl|
|April 7, 2001||Los Angeles||2–3||San Jose||Rose Bowl|
|June 9, 2001||San Jose||3–1||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|July 4, 2002||Los Angeles||2–1||San Jose||Rose Bowl|
|July 7, 2002||San Jose||1–0||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|September 14, 2002||Los Angeles||1–0||San Jose||Rose Bowl|
|September 21, 2002||San Jose||0–1||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|April 26, 2003||San Jose||1–0||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|June 18, 2003||Los Angeles||1–1||San Jose||The Home Depot Center|
|October 18, 2003||Los Angeles||3–0||San Jose||The Home Depot Center|
|October 25, 2003||San Jose||1–1||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|May 22, 2004||San Jose||4–2||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|July 4, 2004||Los Angeles||2–1||San Jose||The Home Depot Center|
|September 11, 2004||Los Angeles||2–1||San Jose||The Home Depot Center|
|September 25, 2004||San Jose||0–0||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|May 21, 2005||Los Angeles||2–1||San Jose||The Home Depot Center|
|June 25, 2005||San Jose||3–0||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|August 27, 2005||San Jose||2–1||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|October 15, 2005||Los Angeles||1–3||San Jose||The Home Depot Center|
|April 3, 2008||Los Angeles||2–0||San Jose||The Home Depot Center|
|June 14, 2008||San Jose||0–3||Los Angeles||O.co Coliseum|
|August 3, 2008||San Jose||3–2||Los Angeles||O.co Coliseum|
|April 18, 2009||San Jose||1–1||Los Angeles||O.co Coliseum|
|June 20, 2009||San Jose||2–1||Los Angeles||O.co Coliseum|
|October 24, 2009||Los Angeles||2–0||San Jose||The Home Depot Center|
|July 22, 2010||Los Angeles||2–2||San Jose||The Home Depot Center|
|August 21, 2010||San Jose||1–0||Los Angeles||Buck Shaw Stadium|
|June 25, 2011||San Jose||0–0||Los Angeles||Buck Shaw Stadium|
|August 20, 2011||Los Angeles||2–0||San Jose||The Home Depot Center|
|May 23, 2012||Los Angeles||2–3||San Jose||The Home Depot Center|
|June 30, 2012||San Jose||4–3||Los Angeles||Stanford Stadium|
|October 21, 2012||San Jose||2–2||Los Angeles||Buck Shaw Stadium|
|June 29, 2013||San Jose||3–2||Los Angeles||Stanford Stadium|
|August 31, 2013||Los Angeles||3–0||San Jose||StubHub Center|
|October 20, 2013||Los Angeles||0–0||San Jose||StubHub Center|
|June 28, 2014||San Jose||0–1||Los Angeles||Stanford Stadium|
|August 9, 2014||Los Angeles||2–2||San Jose||StubHub Center|
|September 4, 2014||San Jose||1–1||Los Angeles||Buck Shaw Stadium|
|Date||Home Team||Score||Away Team||Venue|
|September 26, 1996||San Jose||1–0||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|September 29, 1996||Los Angeles||2–0||San Jose||Rose Bowl|
|October 2, 1996||Los Angeles||2–0||San Jose||Rose Bowl|
|October 21, 2001||Los Angeles||1–2||San Jose||Columbus Crew Stadium|
|November 1, 2003||Los Angeles||2–0||San Jose||The Home Depot Center|
|November 9, 2003||San Jose||5–2||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|October 23, 2005||Los Angeles||3–1||San Jose||The Home Depot Center|
|October 29, 2005||San Jose||1–1||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|November 4, 2012||Los Angeles||0–1||San Jose||The Home Depot Center|
|November 7, 2012||San Jose||1–3||Los Angeles||Buck Shaw Stadium|
U.S. Open Cup
|Date||Home Team||Score||Away Team||Venue|
|August 9, 2000||Los Angeles||2–0||San Jose||Titan Stadium|
|July 24, 2001||San Jose||1–1 (9–10 pen.)||Los Angeles||Negoesco Stadium|
|August 7, 2002||San Jose||0–1||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
|August 24, 2005||San Jose||1–2||Los Angeles||Spartan Stadium|
Each season, a cup is awarded to the team that won the most points in the California Clásico during the regular season. Between 1996 and 1999, matches ending in draws were culminated in a penalty shootout with the winner of the shootout gaining one point while the losing team left with no points. This system was abolished starting with the 2000 season; a draw awarded each team 1 point.
|Tie broken on goal difference|
|2003||Los Angeles||5:5 (5–3)|
|2009||Los Angeles||5:5 (4–3)|
|2013||Los Angeles||4:4 (5–3)|
On October 13, 2013 the California Clásico was highlighted on the TV series "MLS Insider" explaining the history of the rivalry from the different perspectives of players such as Chris Wondolowski and Landon Donovan.
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- HanNa Lee (December 16, 2007). "'Interstate 5' Rivalry Game to Kick Off Galaxy's 2008 Season". Canyon News. Retrieved April 4, 2008.
- French, Scott. "GALAXY: Magee hero in goalkeeping disaster - Soccer Blog - ESPN Los Angeles". Espn.go.com. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
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