Other MLS clubs might look at matches with Chivas USA as soft spots on the schedule.
The Los Angeles Galaxy approach their neighborly derbies with a bit more caution despite a level of indisputable dominance in the series.
The in-form Galaxy will try to continue rolling into the World Cup break as the Los Angeles rivals meet at their shared stadium for a Galaxy home match.
Los Angeles (4-3-4) will have to proceed without forward Robbie Keane, who will miss his first match of the season on international duty with Ireland.
"We think, and it's been proven, that maybe with the exception of the last game we played we get their best game of the year," Landon Donovan told the Galaxy's official website. "We know they've struggled, we're not living under a rock. They've also had some good performances along the way. They didn't do it against (Philadelphia in a 3-0 loss on Saturday) and the last time they played us, but they're capable of it."
The league's all-time leading scorer might be a bit humble. Los Angeles is 20-4-7 all-time against Chivas (2-7-4) with a 13-1-5 mark since April 26, 2008. Since the lone loss on May 19, 2012, the Galaxy are 5-0-1 with a 17-2 scoring advantage.
The latest was a 3-0 victory on April 6 with Keane, Stefan Ishizaki and Baggio Husidic marking the score sheet.
Predictably, Keane and Donovan have dismantled Chivas with Keane collecting five goals and two assists in six career starts and Donovan recording 13 goals and 16 assists in 26 games. In his last five starts against Chivas, he has four goals and eight assists.
The pair has also been strong in matches leading up to the June break. Donovan scored the team's goal in a 1-all draw at Chicago last Sunday, giving him three goals and an assist in two matches. Before his departure, Keane had two goals and two assists in his last three, a 2-0-1 stretch for Los Angeles.
They'll again be without top defender Omar Gonzalez as he heads to Brazil with the U.S. national team, though they've been steady in his absence, allowing a goal in each of their five matches without him and a league-low 10 for the season.
On the other end, Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy is set to become the club's all-time leader in games played with his 124th appearance (122nd start). The celebration could end at introductions as Kennedy has been in goal for all 17 Galaxy goals over the last six matches.
He's also been in goal for Chivas' consecutive home losses, conceding five goals while the club has gone scoreless in both defeats and 210 consecutive minutes over its last three.
It also has gone 271 minutes without scoring against the Galaxy.
Chivas figures to have center backs Carlos Bocanegra (hamstring) and Bobby Burling (suspension) back to take on its top rival after sitting out against Philadelphia.
"It's important because they have been playing most of the games," coach Wilmer Cabrera told the club's official website. "They're part of the core of the group and it's important to have everyone healthy and everyone available. As two starting players, it is key for us to have them physically and mentally ready."
Chivas will again be without Marvin Chavez as the midfielder travels to Brazil with Honduras.
- Sports & Recreation
- Los Angeles Galaxy
- Chivas USA
- Robbie Keane
- Los Angeles
- Landon Donovan