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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Video: MLS California Clasico Outduels Euro Cup 2012 Final

This past Saturday's match between the San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy at a sold out Stanford Stadium with more than 50,000 in attendance lived up to the hype of a Classic.

It has often been referred to as the California Clasico.  For Northern California fans, it is the one time to watch Beckham and Donovan during the regular season.

Beckham and Donovan continue to be the class of the league.  They are the ones most fans want to see live in person.

But, San Jose has its own set of stars making their mark.  Steven Lenhart and Chris Wondolowski have been the main reasons for the surge that is happening for the San Jose team.  They are a pair of goal-scorers having excellent seasons at the same time, a rare thing for an MLS club.

San Jose sits atop the league standings.  The win, 4-3 over LA, despite goals from Beckham and Donovan, affirms that they are in it to win it this year.

And, the rivalry with LA took a step further nationally.  People are more familiar now with the California Clasico.

LA has it tough.  Every team gets up for them bigtime because of their reputation and because they are defending champs.

Despite all the teams pushing hard to beat them, LA will have to acknowledge its main rival to the North with more respect for many seasons to come.

The match had it all including two lead changes.  One lead change in Soccer is a lot to ask for, but two is hardly ever seen.  It was a thrilling match with excitement from start to finish, unlike the Euro Cup 2012 Final.

Spain took the lead and never looked back.  Italy hardly challenged.  They had few opportunities.

Spain proved again that they are the most skilled team.  Their passing is elegant and precise and they take advantage when the chance arrives.  They are beautiful to watch.

Unfortunately, after one half, the outcome was pretty clear.  With the lead 2-0 at half, Italy would need to come out and show they had the goods for a comeback.

But, it was not to be, they couldn't penetrate often enough or close enough.  Spain countered with two more goals to win going away, 4-0 final.

If Americans watched both matches, surely the MLS California Clasico won over more hearts and minds of the sports fans.  The action and talent was great.  Maybe Spain and Italy have better overall teams, but they couldn't match the overall frenzy and unpredictable qualities of the San Jose/LA game.

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