Colorado Rapids vs. Chivas USA | MLS Match Preview

COLORADO RAPIDS vs CHIVAS USA

DICK’S SPORTING GOODS PARK, Commerce City, Colo.

May 25, 2013 (WEEK 13, MLS Game #117)
7 p.m. MT (Altitude)

The Colorado Rapids put their four-game undefeated streak on the line when they meet Chivas USA for a second time this season on Saturday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids return home off a 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes last weekend. Chivas USA suffered another heavy defeat, this time a 4-1 home loss to Real Salt Lake. The Rapids collected a 1-0 win when the teams met in April at The Home Depot Center.

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REFEREE: Allen Chapman. AR1 (bench): Sean Hurd; AR2 (opposite): Greg Barkey; 4th: Fotis Bazakos
MLS Career: 18 games; FC/gm: 20.4; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 3; pens: 4

DISABLED LIST: COL: Jaime Castrillon, Diego Calderón, Matt Pickens
SUSPENDED: COL: Shane O’Neill (through May 26)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CHV: Mario de Luna
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: COL: Hendry Thomas, Shane O’Neill … CHV: Tristan Bowen, Joaquin Velazquez
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: COL: Shane O’Neill, Dillon Serna (U.S. U-20)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (23 meetings): Rapids 12 wins, 40 goals … Chivas USA 5 wins, 25 goals … Ties 6
AT COLORADO (11 meetings): Rapids 4 wins, 23 goals … Chivas USA 1 win, 12 goals … Ties 6
FUTURE MATCH: 8/11: Chivas USA vs. Colorado Rapids, 8 p.m. PT (UniMas)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. A Deshorn Brown penalty kick after seven minutes was the only goal in the Rapids’ victory April 13 at The Home Depot Center.
  • The Rapids have not lost to Chivas USA since March 21, 2009. In the nine matches since, Colorado has won seven, with two draws.
  • Colorado has a five-game undefeated streak alive against Chivas USA at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, dating back to 2008. The Rapids have won three of the five meetings since in Commerce City, with two draws.
  • The Rapids have won on each of their last four visits to take on Chivas at The Home Depot Center, over the past four seasons.
  • Coaches record: Oscar Pareja vs. CHV: P4 W3 L0 D1 … José Luis Sánchez Solá v COL: P1 W1 L0 D0

LAST MEETING (MLS)
4/13: CHV 0, COL 1 (Brown 7)

  • The Rapids took an early lead after Chivas midfielder Eric Avila brought down Deshorn Brown just inside the area, and referee Kevin Stott pointed to the post. Brown converted his own penalty, fooling goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
  • Chivas USA had a glorious opportunity of their own later in the first half with a penalty kick, but José Correa saw his attempt bounce off the crossbar.
  • Colorado goalkeeper Clint Irwin posted his second consecutive shutout, credited with two saves for the match.
  • CHIVAS USA (3-2-3-2): Dan Kennedy - Mario de Luna, Joaquin Velazquez, Bobby Burling - Edgar Mejia, Daniel Antunez (Laurent Courtois 31) - Eric Avila, Carlos Alvarez, Jorge Villafana (Marvin Iraheta 63) - Tristan Bowen (Juan Agudelo 58), Jose Correa.
  • COLORADO RAPIDS (4-1-3-2): Clint Irwin - Brian Mullan, Shane O'Neill, Marvell Wynne, Christopher Klute - Hendry Thomas - Atiba Harris, Dillon Powers, Nick LaBrocca (Drew Moor 46) - Deshorn Brown (Jamie Smith 87), Edson Buddle (Anthony Wallace 73).

COLORADO RAPIDS
The Colorado Rapids stretched their undefeated streak to four games, reaching a 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Rapids are in fifth place in the Western Conference with 16 points from 12 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Colorado took the lead in the in the 26th minute when Nathan Sturgis neatly turned home a Martin Rivero corner kick at the near post, squirting the ball between a defender and goalkeeper Jon Busch.
  • But the Earthquakes found the leveler in the 78th minute. Marvin Chavez, in the lineup after having an appeal of a suspension upheld, drilled a knuckling free kick from 30 yards out that beat Colorado goalkeeper Clint Irwin.
  • Colorado played a man down from the 90th minute after defender Shane O’Neill brought Chris Wondolowski down just outside the penalty area, but San Jose could not take advantage.
  • Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja made three changes to the team that defeated the Columbus Crew 2-0 at Crew Stadium. Marvell Wynne came back into the team for Brian Mullan, Pablo Mastroeni returned to the side for Dillon Powers, and Edson Buddle started in place of Deshorn Brown.
  • COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-1-1): Clint Irwin - Marvell Wynne, Shane O'Neill (sent off 89), Drew Moor, Christopher Klute - Atiba Harris, Pablo Mastroeni (Anthony Wallace 80), Nathan Sturgis, Danny Mwanga (Nick LaBrocca 73) - Martin Rivero (Brenton Griffiths 90) - Deshorn Brown.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Rapids have gone 2-0-2 in their last four matches, with three of those on the road. They are undefeated in their last four games away from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
  • “Getting a point on the road is always good, especially against a team like San Jose. But being up 1-0 late in the game, it’s always disappointing to give up that tying goal,” said midfielder Nathan Sturgis. “We knew we could have had the three points, but there are a lot of positives to take out of a game like this. We’ll head back home and look to correct what we missed.”
  • Sturgis scored the second goal of his eight-year MLS career to give the Rapids the draw with San Jose. He was starting his third consecutive match, the first time in more than two years he’s started three games in a row.
  • “I’m very happy for him,” Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja said. “He’s one of those guys that brings a lot of professionalism to the team. Excellent passer, but I think most important for him, now he’s becoming one of those guys that is box-to-box and helping us with scoring.”
  • Making his second consecutive start, his second in as many matches since suffering a broken foot in preseason, Martín Rivero collected his first assist of the season. He led the Rapids with 8 assists a season ago.
  • “I’m happy because I’ve started to play again, and I’m trying to get my rhythm back to get back to my level,” Rivero said. “I need a little time, hopefully it’s not too much. But, I’m tranquil because I’m doing what I love to do: play.”
  • Marvell Wynne made his first appearance in the Rapids lineup since April 20, missing three matches with a quadriceps strain.
  • Pablo Mastroeni made his first start since March 23, after suffering a hamstring strain. Mastroeni lasted 80 minutes, his longest shift since the opening match of the season; his previous two starts lasted 35 minutes total.
  • Deshorn Brown also made first start since April 13, after suffering a quadriceps strain.

READ: Colorado Rapids' ambitious new defender German Mera arrives seeking "a new perspective" in MLS

CHIVAS USA
Chivas USA lost for a third consecutive match and had their winless run extended to six games, losing 4-1 to Real Salt Lake on Sunday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. Chivas USA sit in ninth place in the Western Conference with 11 points from 11 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • RSL was ahead after just three minutes. Picking up a mishit pass from Javier Morales, Ned Grabavoy raced forward with nothing but space ahead of him, took it almost to the box, then slotted it inside the left post.
  • Joao Plata made it 2-0 a little more than two minutes after the break. Aaron Ponce's chipped pass in midfield caromed off Kyle Beckerman's head and behind the Chivas backline, and Plata raced toward the Chivas box with Steve Purdy in pursuit, then fired inside the right post.
  • Chivas pulled a goal back in the 55th minute. Edgar Mejia sent a looping cross into the 6-yard box from the right flank and Jose Villafaña got his head to it, looping it back over RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando and inside the right post.
  • RSL ended all suspense in the 78th minute as substitute Robbie Findley finished a Yordany Alvarez feed from a corner at the left post after it was misplayed by Chivas midfielder Walter Vilchez.
  • The rout was complete in stoppage time when Grabavoy slotted home his second on yet another counter and another breakaway, finishing inside the right-hand post.
  • Chivas head coach Jose Luis Sánchez Sola made seven changes to the team that fell 3-0 to the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field. Only Steve Purdy, Joaquin Velazquez, Eric Avila and Edgar Mejia kept their places, with Patrick McLain, Mario de Luna, Carlos Borja, Marvin Iraheta, Josue Soto, Giovani Casillas and Tristan Bowen all out of the team.
  • CHIVAS USA (3-1-4-2): Dan Kennedy - Steve Purdy, Joaquin Velazquez (Gabriel Farfan 46), Bobby Burling - Walter Vilchez - Eric Avila, Edgar Mejia, Aaron Ponce, Jorge Villafana (Josue Soto 88) - Miller Bolanos (Giovani Casillas 56), Jose Correa.

READ: Sinking ship? Gabriel Farfan says move to struggling Chivas USA is "a challenge"

TEAM NEWS

  • Chivas USA went down to a third consecutive defeat, having allowed 11 goals in that time, in the loss to Real Salt Lake. They lost for the fifth time in the last six matches.
  • “The last three weeks have not been easy. They’re definitely not been what we’ve worked for in training. Working that hard all week to step out [on the field] and get punished like that is never good,” said defender Bobby Burling. “We just have to stick together and go forward. Every team in this league has to go through these spells and the quicker you get out of them the better. We need to just turn this page quickly.”
  • Said Chivas head coach Jose Luis Sánchez Sola: “We do as much as we can, but this is just our level. We have different players now than the ones we had at the beginning of the season, so obviously we play differently. I feel proud of what they did in the beginning of the season and I continue to feel proud of what they’re doing now.”
  • Jorge Villafaña scored his first goal of the season to pull a goal back for Chivas. He has scored one goal in each of the last four seasons.
  • “We didn’t expect for this to be the result. We felt that we dominated the first half and parts of the second half, but the scoreboard tells a different story,” said Villafaña. “It’s now time to put it behind and to keep working and try to get out of this streak. We had a lot of looks, maybe more than 20. We couldn’t knock them in. we need to work on being able to finish our looks.”
  • Chivas USA were in second place in the Western Conference as recently as April 13; they now sit in last place in the division, two points behind Vancouver.
  • “We have 11 points and we are in last place. I wish we were in the Eastern Conference so we could be in a higher position,” said Chélis. “In the Eastern Conference there are other teams that have the same amount of points as we do, but we belong to the Western Conference. Although, being in last place doesn’t worry me. I’m worried that I can’t find a way to win.”
  • Walter Vilchez returned from injury to play his first match since March 10, moving forward to a holding role in midfield after his first two MLS starts came in the back line.
  • Miller Bolaños also made his first start since March 10, his second appearance in the first XI this season.
  • Gabriel Farfán made his Chivas USA, coming into the back three at halftime, after being acquired from Philadelphia Union in the days leading up to the match.
  • “The guys on this team are fighting each and every week and trainings are intense. There is good competition between the spots,” said Burling. “Maybe we haven’t played with each other all that much, but at the end of the day when the ball rolls out it’s time to play and we’re capable players.”