Preview: New-look Vancouver visit short-handed Chivas USA

Chivas USA return home to take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC when the clubs meet for the second time Wednesday at The Home Depot Center. Chivas USA are coming off another three-goal performance, this time in a 3-3 draw at the Columbus Crew. Now under the stewardship of Tom Soehn, Whitecaps FC saw their MLS winless streak extended to 11 games last weekend in a 1-1 home draw with the New York Red Bulls.

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REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar. SAR (bench): Ian Anderson; JAR (opposite): Frank Anderson; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal MLS Career: 130 games; FC/gm: 26.9; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 39; pens: 49

INJURY REPORT:
CHIVAS USA – DOUBTFUL: MF Blair Gavin (L hamstring strain); DF Jimmy Conrad (concussion); PROBABLE: DF Michael Lahoud (concussion; MF Paulo Nagamura (L calf strain); FW Tristan Bowen (L ankle sprain); DF Seth Owusu (R knee sprain)
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC – OUT: FW Atiba Harris (R knee surgery); MF John Thorrington (R calf strain); DOUBTFUL: DF Jonathan Leathers (R calf contusion); PROBABLE: FW Long Tan (R foot contusion)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES:
CHV: Simon Elliott, Andrew Boyens (New Zealand); Alejandro Moreno (Venezuela) …
VAN: Terry Dunfield (Canada); Nizar Khalfan (Tanzania); Michael Boxall (New Zealand)

SUSPENDED:
CHV: Jorge Flores (through June 1); Marcos Mondaini (through June 4)

WARNINGS:

SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD:
none

SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS:
CHV: Zarek Valentin
VAN: Terry Dunfield

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (1 meeting): Chivas USA 0 wins, 0 goals … Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 0 goals … Ties 1
  • AT CHIVAS USA: First meeting. The teams are meeting for the second time this season, after having played to a scoreless draw April 16 at Empire Field.
  • Coaches record: Tom Soehn v CHV: P6 W1 L3 T2 … Robin Fraser vs. VAN: P1 W0 L0 T1

LAST MEETING:

4/16: VAN 0, CHV 0

  • Both sides nearly took the lead twice in the opening 45 minutes. After just two minutes, a Marcos Mondaini header was cleared off the goal line by Vancouver’s Camilo. The 'Caps responded immediately, but Wes Knight put a shot off the post in the ninth minute.
  • Vancouver goalkeeper Jay Nolly ended the match with four saves, while Chivas USA 'keeper Dan Kennedy finished with two -- including a last-minute stop on Whitecaps FC rookie Omar Salgado.
  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-4-2): Jay Nolly - Jonathan Leathers, Michael Boxall, Alain Rochat, Blake Wagner - Wes Knight (Omar Salgado 83), Jeb Brovsky, Kevin Harmse, Davide Chiumiento (Nizar Khalfan 68) - Eric Hassli (Long Tan 80), Camilo.
  • CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - Michael Lahoud (Zarek Valentin 46), Heath Pearce, Andrew Boyens, Ante Jazic - Ben Zemanski (Paulo Nagamura 60), Simon Elliott, Nick LaBrocca, Jorge Flores (Francisco Mendoza 75) - Marcos Mondaini, Alejandro Moreno.

CHIVAS USA

Chivas USA three times held leads, before settling for a 3-3 draw with the Columbus Crew on Saturday evening at Columbus Crew Stadium. Chivas USA have 13 points from 11 games on the season, starting the week in a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • Chivas USA took the lead after just four minutes, as Justin Braun flighted a ball from the left side of the box and Nick LaBrocca side-footed home a volley from close range. But the Crew drew even nine minutes later, Emmanuel Ekpo streaking down the center of the park before laying off to Andres Mendoza to stroke home from inside the area.
  • The visitors regained the lead in the 37th minute when defender Andrew Boyens headed home a corner kick, but the Crew again pulled level in the 52nd when Mendoza lashed home a second from the edge of the box after picking off an errant pass in midfield.
  • Jorge Flores again gave Chivas a lead in the 57th minute, running onto a defense-splitting pass from Ben Zemanski and beating goalkeeper William Hesmer. But Ekpo again brought the Crew, waiting on a deflection before turning and hammering a rising shot into the goal from the left side of the box.
  • Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser made no changes to the team that fell 1-0 to the LA Galaxy in the first SuperClásico of the year at The Home Depot Center.
  • CHIVAS USA (4-1-3-2): Dan Kennedy – Zarek Valentin, Heath Pearce, Andrew Boyens, Ante Jazic – Simon Elliott (Gerson Mayen 90) – Ben Zemanski, Nick LaBrocca, Jorge Flores (sent off 69) – Justin Braun (Chris Cortez 93+), Alejandro Moreno (Francisco Mendoza 79).

TEAM NEWS

  • Chivas USA have now alternated games where they’ve scored three goals – then been shut out. They scored three against New England on April 30, then were blanked by Real Salt Lake, repeated the pattern with three goals vs. New York on May 15, then were held goalless by the LA Galaxy, then scored three at Columbus.
  • “I think that when we play well, and we have from time to time, when we play well we create chances and it’s a matter of whether we are going to finish them,” said Alejandro Moreno. “[In Columbus] obviously we did pretty well with our chances. It’s one of these things, when we play confidently we’re pretty good.”
  • The three goals allowed matched the season-high for Chivas, which they had allowed in the season-opening loss to Kansas City.
  • “I felt like we played well enough to get all three points. We really made some mistakes at the end but coming off the game last week where we didn’t play very well,” Robin Fraser said. “I felt we did extremely well in terms of possession and then in turning the possession into chances. In the end, we’ll take the draw on the road but it’s a game we felt we could’ve won.”
  • Andrew Boyens scored the second goal of his MLS career, his first since June 2, 2007, playing for Toronto FC in a game against Colorado.
  • Known as “Sueño” after winning the inaugural edition of MLS Sueño, Jorge Flores scored his first goal of the season in the draw with Columbus, the fifth of his MLS career. But he will not figure in the Vancouver match after he was sent off for the first time in MLS, received a pair of yellow cards.
  • In addition to Flores, Chivas will be missing a host of first-choice players to international duty: midfielder Simon Elliott and defender Boyens to New Zealand, and Alejandro Moreno to Venezuela.
  • “When we’re together as a unit, we’re successful, but when we play as individuals then we’re not very successful,” defender Ante Jazic said. “When guys are on the same page then we get results, so going forward, we can put together positive results by being compact and playing together.”
  • Moreno will miss the next two matches for Chivas USA, but is expected to return for the Houston match June 11, while the national side takes on Mexico’s Copa America team (U-22) in a friendly in Las Vegas. He could then be gone for more than a month as Venezuela participates in Copa America; the tournament opens July 1, and the final is scheduled for July 24.
  • “The Venezuelan federation has been very careful because they want him to play during preparations and we want him to play as well as it is a great honor to represent your national team,” Chivas general manager Jose Domene said. “But at the same time, he wants to play here as well, for at least the Houston match on June 11. He’s going to try to come back with us.”

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC

Vancouver Whitecaps FC saw their winless run in MLS extended to 11 games, playing to a 1-1 draw Saturday with the New York Red Bulls at Empire Field. . Whitecaps FC have 9 points from 12 matches, sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • The teams traded goals 10 minutes apart in the first half. A lovely give-and-go between Davide Chiumiento and Camilo ended with the Brazilian being taken down in the box by New York right back Carlos Mendes, and Eric Hassli buried the ensuing spot kick.
  • But the Red Bulls found an equalizer as Roy Miller lofted a crossfield pass to Jan Gunnar Solli, whose fed Rodgers for a shot on the turn past Whitecaps FC 'keeper Jay Nolly.
  • In his final game in charge, Whitecaps FC head coach Teitur Thordarson made five changes to the team that lost 1-0 to the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Greg Janicki came in at center back for Mouloud Akloul, Terry Dunfield and Davide Chiumiento came into the midfield for Jeb Brovsk and Russell Teibert, and Eric Hassli and Camilo started up top for Omar Salgado and Long Tan.
  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC--Jay Nolly – Wes Knight, Greg Janicki, Jay DeMerit, Alain Rochat – Shea Salinas (Russell Teibert 67), Gershon Koffie, Terry Dunfield, Davide Chiumiento (Nizar Khalfan 77) – Eric Hassli, Camilo (Omar Salgado 82).

TEAM NEWS

  • The game was the final in charge for Teitur Thordarson, who was relieved of his duties on Monday, along with goalkeeping coach Mike Salmon.
  • “From the outset, we strived to put together a winning side that plays an exciting brand of football. For the most part, I believe we were able to achieve this,” Thordarson said in a statement. “I have had an incredible experience with the club for three and a half seasons. I love the city, the people, and the fans. Most importantly, I want to thank the supporters, players, and staff for their fantastic support.”
  • Thordarson will be replaced by the club’s director of soccer operations, Tom Soehn. A defender in MLS for four seasons from 1997-2000 with Dallas and Chicago, Soehn was head coach of D.C. United from 2007 through 2009. Over three seasons, he posted a 36-30-24 regular-season record. His sides won the Supporters’ Shield in 2007 and the U.S. Open Cup in 2008.
  • “Teitur and Mike have served the club extremely well in recent seasons but we feel that today’s changes are necessary in order to accelerate the process of turning around our difficult start to the season,” Whitecaps FC chief executive officer Paul Barber said in a statement. “We wish Teitur and Mike well for the future.”
  • The draw with the Red Bulls extended the Whitecaps FC winless run to 11 games, though it was their third draw in their last four league contests.
  • “I think we have shown so many times in terms of level of play that we have no problems, absolutely no problems whatsoever,” said Thordarson. “We create chances on every team in this league, but we just need to finish this off. Obviously there’s no doubt that players get frustrated when they play in so many games and have so many chances and don’t get a win.”
  • It was another one-goal game for Whitecaps FC, who have scored six goals in their last nine MLS games, after scoring seven in their first three. They also scored three goals – one each – in three completed Nutrilite Canadian Championship matches.
  • “It means, at this moment, we are not good enough to win,” said midfielder Davide Chiumiento to the Vancouver Sun. “I thought we played better and had more chances to win this game. Mentally it starts to be difficult. If you play bad, you can't win but I think we had a good game.”
  • Eric Hassli regained sole possession of the Vancouver club scoring lead with his fourth goal in MLS. He’s scored goals the last three times he’s taken the field, including the abandoned NCC second leg in Toronto, when his goal had given Whitecaps FC the lead on aggregate after 60 minutes.
  • After the abandoned match at BMO Field, Thordarson ran out the same group that started the weathershortened match, with the exception of right back Jonathan Leathers, suffering from a calf contusion.