Carson, Calif. – Sunday, March 17, 2013 (Photos by: Victor Posadas)
Home Depot Center, Carson California, March 17, 2013 (Foto: Victor Posadas)
Chivas USA started “El Super Clasico” much better than they did against FC Dallas. They were not letting the LA Galaxy have their way with them like they did in the previous two installments of the Classico. Both teams were playing hard, gritty soccer like you would expect two teams to play in a heated rivalry. Players were getting hit, pushed, and knockout around but the referee was letting them play. Jose Luis Sanchez Sola, D.T. for Chivas USA, was forced to substitute Oswaldo Minda very early into the game because of a knock he received. Marvin Iraheta received a yellow for elbowing A.J. DeLaGarza. Seam Franklin later relieved a yellow for kicking Josue Soto on the chest.
Even with all this gritty play from both teams, neither could find a way to create on open look at goal in the first part of the first half. Not until the 31st minute was LA Galaxy able to take a shot on goal. This opportunity began as a set play. The ball was centered to the far post were Omar Gonzalez heading the ball back into Chivas USA’s box. Jose Villarreal ran towards the all and headed over Dan Kennedy. Luckily for Chivas USA, the header was a bit too high and it hit the crossbar.
In the 40th minute of play, Colin Clark and Joaquin Velázquez were both running for the ball. Clark slide for the ball but Velázquez tried to block the ball from him. Clark began to raise his legs, and Velázquez tried to draw a foul by dragging his legs to make it seem like Clark tripped him. The referee believed that Velázquez was the one who caused the foul and gave him a yellow. Velázquez then started complaining and the referee gave him another yellow plus a red for dissent. After these series of events, Chivas USA was down a man for the remainder of the game.
Chivas USA didn’t start the second half the way they wished. In the 50th minute, they allowed DeLaGarza to run up to the touch line and cross the ball to Mike Magee who headed the ball towards goal. The ball hit the goal post and bounced away from goal. Chivas USA tried to clear it but their clearance attempt went straight to Marcelo Sarvas who kicked a volley on goal but Kennedy was ready and saved the attempt on goal.
As the game progressed, LA Galaxy began to take control of “El Super Clasico. It seemed like the game was just being lol played on Chivas USA’s side of the pitch. Los Angeles had a couple of close calls at goal but they just couldn’t find the finishing touch. There was a sense in the stadium that it was just a matter of time till the flood gates would open on Chivas USA and LA Galaxy would be victorious.
In the 83rd minute of the game, DeLaGarza passed it Magee who shot at goal. A Chivas USA defender deflected the ball upwards. Jack McBean located the ball and headed it towards goal. Kennedy jumped and stretched his arm as far as he could to try to deflect the ball away from goal, but the ball was too far for his outstretched arm. He was only able to get his fingertips on the ball but it was not enough to stop the ball from crossing the goal line. The goal gave LA Galaxy a 1-0 lead and more than likely the win.
Chivas USA weren’t going to let LA Galaxy win their third “Super Clasico” in a row. Chivas USA took advantage of a defensive breakdown in the LA Galaxy backline. Erick Avila passed the ball to Carlos Borja whom centered a low cross the far post where a crossing Carlos Alvarez who just had to tap the ball into the net. With this goal, Chivas USA tied the game 1-1. The game ended in a draw and both teams split a point.
After the game Chelis seemed to be happy with how his team fought throughout the game. He said, “We won a point in this game. But what matters most is that we won a lot more respect.” He was happy because his team didn’t give up. They played a hard and gritty game. When someone mentioned that people were saying Chivas USA played “dirty” he responded by saying, “My team plays within the rule book. Buy my players play with great will and urgency so they will commit some fouls.”
All in all, it was a good game for Chivas USA. They not only tied against the best team in the MLS but they were able to do it as the away team. The last thing “Chelis” said was, “As the players keep believe in themselves more and more you will see a better team. This team keeps advancing. They are never going back or going sideways they are advancing and you will see a better team.”
Next stop for Chivas USA is a game vs. Chicago Fire at Chicago.
Home Depot Center, Carson Calif. March 10, 2013
The whistle blew to begin the game and almost as if on cue, Chivas USA began the game with a mental lapse. They let an FC Dallas player escape through their ranks and he had a one on one opportunity against Dan Kennedy, Chivas USA’s starting goalkeeper. Luckily for Chivas USA, Kennedy came up with an important save. That save seemed to calm down Chivas USA because they began to take control of the game. They had an opportunity to score a goal on a set play. Edgar Mejía, midfield player from Chivas USA, crossed the ball to the far post where Juan Agudelo, Chivas USA forward, was waiting for the pass. Agudelo controlled the ball, turned, and fired towards goal but an FC Dallas defender got in the way of the ball and stopped the shot from going in.
As the first half went on, FC Dallas continued to pressure the Chivas USA back line but the defense for Chivas USA would not break. At the 37th minute, Chivas USA had a great scoring opportunity. Tristan Bowen gave Laurent Courtois a long pass. The defensive player for Dallas misread the pass and let Courtois pass him. Courtois shot the ball low and the ball bounced in front of the FC Dallas goalkeeper but he was still able to save the shot.
The second half started a lot better for Chivas USA. They shook off their sluggish first half performance and seemed to be taking control of the game. They stated off with an excellent scoring opportunity by Miller Bolaños. He shot a low crossing shot to the far post but the FC Dallas goalkeeper was able to get a foot on it and made the ball miss its target. As the half continued Chivas kept pressuring FC Dallas’ defense but they lacked the finishing touch to be able to get their goal.
In the 57th minute of the game FC Dallas player David Ferreira scored after receiving a long pass from Fabian Castillo. Ferreira went by two Chivas USA defenders and shot the ball between Kennedy’s legs to score the first goal of the game.
The goal didn’t seem to affect Chivas USA who kept the pressure on FC Dallas. The pressure finally paid off in the 68th minute of play. Chivas USA stole the ball at midfield, Walter Vilchez saw a crossing Agudelo and passed the ball. Agudelo controlled the ball and faked a shot, cut the opposite way he was heading and switched the ball to his other foot causeing both the defender and goalkeeper to be out of position. Agudelo shot and scored drawing Chivas USA even with FC Dallas.
In the 76th minute of the match, Chivas USA had a goal kick. FC Dallas controlled the ball and headed the goal kick back towards their box. George John received the pass but couldn’t control it. Oswaldo Minda from Chivas USA stole the ball from a John, shot towards goal and scored. This gave Chivas USA a 2-1 lead.
To finish off the game, Chivas USA scored another goal in stoppage time. FC Dallas had a corner kick but Chivas USA defended it perfectly and they were able to go on a counter attack. Eric Avila started it with a long run down the middle of the field. As he got close to the box, the passed the ball to Edgar Mejía who passed it to Giovani Casillas. He received the ball and shot towards goal. The goal keeper slid forward but was unable to stop the ball. The ball rolled across the goal line and Chivas USA scored their third goal of the match. That ended up being the final score, Chivas USA 3- FC Dallas 1.
Chivas USA never let up. Even though they had the lead, they never stopped attacking or looking for scoring opportunities. That is what their new head coach, José Luis Sánchez Solà, is trying to implement in Chivas USA. His philosophy: always attack, never put your head down, never give up was easily seen in today’s game. After going down by 1 at home, Chivas USA did not give up. They didn’t put their heads down. What they did was continue to attack and they never let up. The result can speak for itself. Chivas Usa won.
Coach Chelis said after the match, “We cannot put our heads down. If I hate something, it is that my team put their head down and give up. I’m proud of how they never gave up even after being down by one at home again.” He is also trying to teach his team to enjoy what is happening now and worry about the future when it arrives. In his words, “We must celebrate here and now. What’s coming up will eventually be here but we must celebrate what we did today.”