California Classico 2012: SJ Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy
City derby matches always produce the most intense and exciting soccer matches. The most famous ones even have their own name: think Manchester City vs. Manchester United (Manchester Derby), Liverpool vs. Everton (Merseyside Derby), Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund (Deutschland National Derby) and Real Madrid vs. FC Barcelona (El Clasico).
In California, we have a derby of our own: the California Classico, between the San Jose Earthquakes and the LA Galaxy. The Galaxy have won more Classicos in the past (10 win to the Earthquake's 5), but this season the Earthquakes have been in top form, and are currently at the top of the MLS, while the Galaxy are barely halfway up the league. So the stage was set for a match.
The match was held at Stanford Stadium, which seats 50,000, which is 5 times the capacity of Buck Shaw Stadium, where the Quakes usually play. But the California Classico is a Big Deal. The match had been heavily promoted for months before, and there were quite a few special activities aside from the game itself.
All the Beckhams in the world couldn't save the game for the Galaxy, though; San Jose played an incredible second half -- at the start of the half they were behind, 3-1, and by the end of the game they had won 4-3!
We even got to see some off-the-game drama, as David Beckham (no doubt frustrated by the Galaxy's poor form as well as his omission from the Team GB Olympic squad) lost his temper, threw the ball at players, started fights, and generally acted like a poor sport. Finally, we got to see fireworks of a different sort -- there was a 30-minute fireworks display right after the game.