This was going to be such an easy pick if Gullit stayed in charge. Chivas USA, 3-1, and the Galaxy suffering through the most worthless, hollow, pointless trophy presentation ever. Actually, that's still a pretty smart pick. A lot of this depends on how big a problem Ruud Gullit actually was, and how much of a natural leader Cobi Jones is.
Points to consider:
Tim Leiweke wasn't removed from oversight of AEG's soccer operations. So the Beckham camp can't be TOO upset with him, either for going into the locker room and yelling, or for firing Lalas, or for firing Gullit - sorry, failing to persuade him to stay. Fine, Ruud wasn't fired, he left to spend more time with Bruce Arena's family. Whatever you say.
Cobi used to wear the armband for the Galaxy, but surrendered it to Vagenas and never regained it. Landon Donovan and David Beckham were captains after Peter, I don't think Cobi was captain again after 2004 or so. The value judgment I would make from this is that Cobi was respected in the locker room, but not necessarily popular. Must add that the correlation between popularity and coaching effectiveness is not proven, to say the least.
It wouldn't surprise me in the tiniest if Kljestan showed up to play. MLSnet has him listed as an "international absence," but I don't see why he couldn't play if the International Date Line gods were on his side.
Both teams have been inconsistent at times, garbage as often as not. Ruud utterly failed with a team ahead of CUSA in the standings. Just saying.
Doesn't look like CUSA was able to sell out this game in advance. Their website splash page says "Buy tickets for the game!", but Ticketmaster says individual tickets aren't on sale, probably because it starts in three hours. That said, walk-up should give Bizarro Chivas a sellout, or at least an excuse to announce it as one.
Winner makes the playoffs, loser doesn't. That sounds probably a lot more right than it is, but both teams badly need the points, both teams are running out of opportunities to get those points, both teams tend to put the pedal to the metal against each other, and both teams have huge, howling, gaping flaws. If Kljestan shows up, Goats; if not, Galaxy. Yeah, that has the ring of plausibility. I know the Galaxy are godawful, but Landon Donovan hasn't been, and he's taken worse teams than this to glory.
EDIT - oh, yeah. It's not interesting or entertaining, but the CUSA front office has apparently taken steps to keep Legion 1908 away from real fans. We'll see if it works. You know what definitely would have worked? Banning those dirtbags from the game. I'm watching the game at home, mostly because...well, this has nothing to do with soccer, but my wife is doing research into a new form of life, and she's on the verge of a serious breakthrough. She's definitely getting close to something big - a little too close for the comfort of some. So if I "disappear" abruptly...you'll know why...the truth is out there....