Carson City, California- The StubHub! Center, July 17, 2013 (Photos: Victor Posadas)
The game between Toronto FC and Chivas USA was a much expected game for Chivas USA fans. It wasn’t because Toronto was a big name in the MLS. It was because the two big signings for Chivas USA were finally going to play. Carlos Bocanegra and Erick “El Cubo” Torres were going to make their much anticipated debut against Toronto FC.
The game began with both teams coming out very tentatively. Toronto FC was passing the ball around looking for spaces to slowly make their way towards goal. Chivas USA was trying to do the same but they weren’t precise in their passing turning the ball over left and right. Neither team was able to break each other’s defense for the first 20 minutes of the half. Then it seemed like it would get easier for Toronto FC because the referee gave Chivas USA’s midfielder, Eric Avila, a red card for a supposed studs up tackle but it was a dubious call.
Toronto FC began to take advantage of their one man advantage and began to push more men forward sensing the momentum swing in their favor. Toronto had the first scoring opportunity of the game coming from the left flank. The play began with Toronto having the ball in the middle of the pitch. As the player got closer to the box, he saw his teammate, Jonathan Osorio, making a run on the left flank. The player passed him the ball. Osorio received the ball and made his way towards the touch line. He crossed the ball low towards the middle of the box to where Jeremy Brockie was trying to make contact with the ball, but Bocanegra was following close behind Brockie and didn’t allow him to hit the ball.
Surprisingly, Chivas USA came out attacking in the second half. Most people would think they would come out defending and try to get at least a point from this match but they did the opposite. They had two opportunities in the beginning of the half to try to score but they came out short on both of them. Then in the 60th minute, they had their best chance to score. Tristan Bowen had the ball on the right flank. He was able to out run his defender to give himself some space to cross the ball towards the middle of the box. It seemed like Toronto’s defense was going to clear the ball out but they missed the ball and the ball landed on “El Cubo’s” feet. It seemed to surprise him because he took too long to shoot which gave Toronto’s goalkeeper, Joe Bendik, time to position himself to block the shot.
Chivas USA scored in the 79th minute of the game. Bowen had the ball in the middle of the field. He saw “El Cubo” running on the right flank by himself and he passed him the ball. “El Cubo” received the ball and cut towards the middle of the field. He created himself some room and shot towards goal. The ball seemed to hit the knee of Steven Caldwell and redirect the trajectory of the ball. The goalkeeper couldn’t do anything but watch the ball switch direction and go into the net giving Chivas USA a 1-nil lead.
Chivas USA won the game 1-nil. It was their first victory in 14 games. Ever since Jose Luis “El Guero” Real has become Chivas USA’s coach, they have been playing a lot better. They have played much better defensively but what was missing was the offense. They two new players that Chivas USA acquired this transfer season came up big in the game. Bocanegra seemed very comfortable with the defensive group. He lead the defensive unit perfectly especially when they went a man down. He was putting men in the right place to defend anything Toronto threw at them. “El Cubo” played very well despite being the lone man up top. He held the ball when he had to and most importantly scored the game winning goal.
Chivas USA is going to try to keep this momentum when they visit the Seattle Sounders on July 28.