Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena says he doesn't pay much attention to the Major League Soccer standings, a story even his players don't fully believe.
"I'm not going to call him a liar," defender Todd Dunivant said playfully. "But we all certainly keep an eye on it. It's hard not to at this stage of the season … where every game matters."
Few games this season have mattered as much as the one the Galaxy plays Sunday in Santa Clara, where it will meet the league-leading San Jose Earthquakes (Galavision, Time Warner Cable, 4 p.m.). Although the Galaxy has already qualified for the MLS playoffs, it almost certainly needs wins in its final two regular-season matches against San Jose and Seattle to have a chance at earning a bye into the Western Conference semifinals.
Anything less and the Galaxy probably would finish fourth in the standings, which, under the league's new playoff format, would force it to win a play-in game with the conference's fifth-place team next week to reach the semifinals.