The Los Angeles Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes have been headed in different directions since returning home from the MLS is Back Tournament.
The Galaxy (4-3-2, 14 points) haven't lost since the tourney outside Orlando, Fla., winning four consecutive matches to move into the thick of the Western Conference playoff race.
The Earthquakes (2-4-3, nine points) haven't won since their trip to Florida, going 0-3-1. That includes a 7-1 loss Thursday at Seattle in which the only goal they scored came on a Chris Wondolowski penalty kick with the game long decided. It was Wondolowski's 163rd career MLS goal, extending his own league record.
The teams will put those streaks on the line Sunday night at Earthquakes Stadium.
"I think that where this club is and the strides we've taken, it's still headed in a great direction and those strides are still along the way and still on the right path," Wondolowski said. "Does (Thursday's result) hurt? Yes, absolutely. (It's) a gut blow. It hurts me. It hurts my ego and it hurts everything. This one is going to keep me up at night. ... We have a game Sunday. It's another Clasico and we better come ready."
The Galaxy are coming off a 3-0 victory against Los Angeles FC last Sunday, as Sebastian Lletget scored twice and Cristian Pavon once.
The Galaxy could get a boost from the return of Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, Mexico's all-time leader scorer, who suffered a calf injury in Florida and hasn't played since.
"I'm completely fit in that my calf is completely fine," Hernandez said. "I've been training with the team four days now and I feel good, nothing at all. That question will be for the game, I'm going to be available probably for this weekend, and if it's one minute, 50, 60, 90 or whatever, I'm going to try my best to maintain that rhythm and that level the team is showing these last games."
The teams last met Aug. 29 in Southern California, with the Galaxy posting a come-from-behind 3-2 victory on Lletget's 82nd-minute winner.
--Field Level Media