Before the Galaxy played last-place Chivas USA on Sunday, Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza cautioned against discounting Chivas USA.
"We can't take anything for granted, definitely not against these guys," DeLaGarza said of the club that shares the Galaxy's home venue, StubHub Center.
DeLaGarza proved prescient as the Galaxy played to a 1-1 tie with Chivas USA, which earned each team one point but left the Galaxy, a four-time Major League Soccer champion, nearly feeling as if it had lost.
"Not a good result for us," Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena said. "Give Chivas credit, I thought they played real well and organized."
This was the second of three games in what's dubbed the "SuperClasico" season series between the teams; the Galaxy won the first match, 3-0, on April 6.
It also was the teams' last game before a three-week break for the World Cup. The Galaxy and Chivas USA next play June 28.
Chivas USA scored first, in the 20th minute. A pass from Chivas USA midfielder Martin Rivero toward the team's leading scorer, Erick Torres, bounced off the legs of Galaxy defender Leonardo but right to Torres.
Torres then kicked a grounder from about 15 yards that stayed to the right of diving Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo and hit the side of the goal for a score. Torres now has nine goals for the season.
Midfielder Gyasi Zardes got the Galaxy even with a header in the 35th minute.
Galaxy midfielder Marcelo Sarvas was at the edge of the 18-yard box when he kicked a chip-shot pass to Zardes just in front of the six-yard line, which Zardes headed over Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
Kennedy was making a club record 124th appearance for Chivas USA.
The Galaxy dominated Chivas USA in terms of possession (65.6% to 34.4%) and attempts on goal (21 to six), but it couldn't convert beyond Zardes' score.
The Galaxy was playing without two of its top players: forward Robbie Keane, who's with the Irish national team, and defender Omar Gonzalez, who's with the U.S. national team.
"We played well enough to probably win the game but in the end we didn't put enough pressure [on Chivas USA] and create quite enough chances," Galaxy forward Landon Donovan said.
The Galaxy had hoped to enter the break with some momentum, and with Sunday's tie the Galaxy remained unbeaten in its last four games.
But the draw with Chivas USA left the Galaxy with a record of 4-3-5 and in seventh place in the MLS Western Conference. Chivas USA is 2-7-5. The top five teams in each conference reach the playoffs.
"I think if we had won this game we would have felt pretty good about where we're at," Donovan said.
"But we've had a choppy sort of start to the season where we've played well in certain games and haven't gotten the results, and then we've had a few games now where we haven't played well," he said.
Still, Arena noted that "we've only played 12 games. We have 22 more games. It's not that I'm pleased with where we are. I'm certainly not discouraged."