Carson City, California- The StubHub Center, June 29, 2013 (Photos: Samuel Coronado, Victor Posadas)
Chivas USA hadn’t had the season they envisioned when they started the season with a 3-1-1 record. They thought they were going to have a breakout season but then their season began to unravel. They had a string of injuries that contributed in them beginning to lose. Not only were they losing players to injury, many players began to get traded and there wasn’t any cohesion in their line-up since it was changing week to week. Then Chivas USA fired their head coach, Jose Sanchez “EL Chelis” Solan. They knew that they needed to turn their season around and they had to do it fast.
They began the game looking to be aggressive and take advantage that they were at home. Not even a minute had passed when Gabriel Farfan took a long range shot. The shot sailed wide right but Chivas USA was looking for anything to boost their confidence on the offensive side. Their aggressive nature helped them to score the first goal of the game in the 18th minute. The play began when Josue Soto shot from the outside. The ball sailed straight to were New England Revolutions’ goalkeeper, Bobby Shuttleworth, was standing but he couldn’t keep hold of the ball. He blocked the ball with his fists but the ball landed on the top of the box. Tristan Bowen was able to pass the ball quickly to Laurent Courtois who kicked it with his left foot to the top right corner of the net. The goalkeeper jumped to block it but he reacted too late to save the shot.
With that goal, Chivas USA began to gain a lot of momentum. They began to have more possession of the ball and were creating more dangerous opportunities to score another goal. They also got the crowd into the game, which they hadn’t done so in many games. New England wasn’t playing a bad game though. When they had the ball, they would advance the ball till they reached the final third of the pitch. There, they would seem to loose creativity and a sense of what to do next. They had open shooting lanes but instead of shooting towards goal, they would try to make an extra pass, which would give Chivas USA ample time to regroup their defense and stop the attack.
The second half began differently for Chivas USA. They weren’t coming out as aggressive like they did in the first half. They seemed to be either trying to protect their lead or they had tired legs because they weren’t running or attacking like they did in the first half. New England was the aggressor in the second half. They had an early opportunity to even out the score but Dan Kennedy was there to save the shot. New England did score a goal but it was nullified because of an offsides call. As the half went on, New England was creating more chances to score but Kennedy was always ready to save the shots.
New England tied late in the game. Diego Fagundez had the ball on the right flank. He saw Chad Barrett making a run close to the far post. Fagundez crossed the ball to that area and Barrett redirected the ball towards the net. Kennedy didn’t dive to make sure the ball didn’t go in and as if by fate, the ball went in. The game ended in a one-one tie.
Even though Chivas USA tied the game, there was a sense that this was a whole new Chivas USA; one that was using quick passing to move the ball forward instead of long balls. This Chivas USA seemed more confident than the one who hadn’t won since March. Even though they couldn’t pull of the victory, there was a clear change for the positive in the team.
Their next game is July 4th against FC Dallas at Dallas.