Recap: Chivas, Seattle play to scrappy 1-1 draw in LA

Brad Evans and Alejandro Moreno

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CARSON, Calif. – Juan Agudelo and David Estrada traded second-half goals as Chivas USA and the Seattle Sounders played to a 1-1 draw at the Home Depot Center on Saturday night.

Agudelo put Chivas USA ahead in the 57th minute with his first goal of 2012, a lead they would hold for just four minutes until Estrada found the equalizer.

OPTA Chalkboard: Both teams clamp down in defensive effort at Home Depot Center

It looked like the fireworks would come much earlier. Chivas pushed hard for the opener and were, perhaps, unlucky not to be awarded a penalty in the ninth minute after Zach Scott appeared take down Ryan Smith in the box.

After the potential penalty shout, Chivas settled into control of the match as their finest chance came in the 28th minute. After finding space on a set piece, John Alexander Valencia fired shot from beyond the 18-yard box into the chest of Sounders goalkeeper Bryan Meredith.

In the 39th minute, the Sounders began testing the Chivas back four largely through Estrada. He blazed down the left side of the field and was only stopped by a desperate sliding tackle by Riley. The barrage continued as just seconds before halftime as Mauro Rosales nearly completed a stellar build up by the Sounders, but saw his shot go just wide of Dan Kennedy’s net.

At the start of the second half, Seattle kept up the pressure as Estrada linked up with Fredy Montero, who launched a 20-yard shot just wide of the net.

That merely set the stage for Chivas to grab the go-ahead goal seconds later. Riley linked up with Agudelo as the Goats scored their first goal from the run of play at home this season.

It was Agudelo’s his first goal for the Rojiblancos, and it came after the US International leapt over Seattle defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado to head in a whipping cross from ex-Sounders defender James Riley.  

Although Chivas pulled ahead, the lead would not last as Seattle would equalize four minutes later on Estrada’s fifth goal of the season. The goal came after Alex Caskey fired a bounding cross down the left flank that caused Valencia to whiff, leaving Estrada all the time in the world to beat Kennedy.

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The goal did not please Chivas head coach Robin Fraser, who pulled Valencia in favor of center back Rauwshan McKenzie three minutes later.

Both teams attempted to push for the equalizer late, but neither was able to break through.

Seattle had their chance in the 90th minute when a defensive miscommunication allowed the ball to fall for Andy Rose, who fired a shot from 20 yards that Chivas defender Danny Califf was able to clear off the line.

Chivas had their best chance to break the deadlock in stoppage time when second half substitute Blair Gavin fired a shot from distance that forced a fingertip save from Meredith.

With the result, Chivas USA are now 4-6-3, while the Sounders saw their winless streak extended to four games, moving to 7-3-3 overall.

MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match

Rank Player What We Saw
1 David Estrada Estrada is never the biggest star in the game, but he always finds room and often makes plays. Tonight that meant a classy equalizer.
2 Juan Agudelo The cross-country move has revitalized the youngster, and he rewarded Robin Fraser's faith with a thumping header - and flashes of some sublime skill throughout.
3 Pete Vagenas Still quietly doing his business after all these years. It helped that he didn't have to contend with Ozzie Alonso, but regardless, Vagenas was the biggest reason Chivas dominated the ball.

HIGHLIGHTS: CHV vs SEA