Cobi Jones swears he wasn't one of them.
Sure, the Galaxy captain was at Edison Field on Thursday night. But he was there in an official capacity, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch--a sinker, he said--before the Angel game and doing a live television interview that lasted half an inning.
But Jones insists he took his baseball and Angel jersey home that evening and didn't join the irate crowd, which, fearing it was witnessing the last game before a players' strike, littered the field with baseballs, beach balls and toilet paper to protest a possible work stoppage.
Baseball's strike was averted, but who knows what Galaxy fans will shower the Rose Bowl field with tonight if the Galaxy gets thumped again by New York/New Jersey, as it was on June 15 at the Meadowlands, 5-0.
Not to alarm anyone, but they are giving out Galaxy lunch boxes tonight, which is somewhat fitting since the Galaxy has adopted a lunch-box mentality since the worst loss in team history.
"Everybody knows that this is a match that we need to come out and get a little bit of revenge for the way we were pretty much beat up on last time," said Jones, who missed that game while at the World Cup with the U.S. national team.
"I think everybody's ready and prepared for this game."
A week between matches will do that.
The Galaxy is coming off a stretch during which it played six games in 18 days, three consecutive weeks of Wednesday matches followed by Saturday matches.
Coach Sigi Schmid gave his team two days off this week as a respite before the season's stretch run.
"I feel good about how the week has gone and I think the guys are rested and ready to play," he said.
They'd better be. Against the MetroStars, the Galaxy will face arguably Major League Soccer's most intimidating forward in the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Mamadou "Big Mama" Diallo.
Diallo, who joined the Metro- Stars after a May 24 trade with New England, burned the Galaxy defense for four goals in June, the second time he had scored four in a game against the Galaxy. In seven matches against the Galaxy, Diallo has 11 goals.
Despite having played in only 19 games this season, Diallo has 11 goals, six behind the 17 scored by New England's Taylor Twellman in 24 games, and Galaxy forward Carlos Ruiz in 22 games.
Still, Schmid said, the Galaxy is in a different place today.
"We're in a better rhythm at this point of the year than we were the last time we played New York," he said. "But anytime you take a loss like that, it's something you remember. It's on our players' minds and it's something we need to make up for."