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Chivas USA vs. Vancouver Whitecaps | MLS Match Preview

CHIVAS USA vs VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
STUBHUB CENTER, Carson, Calif.
March 16, 2013 (WEEK 2, MLS Game #16)
4 p.m. PT (CTV2 BC)

A pair of Western Conference clubs which opened their new seasons on winning notes meet to round out Week 2 as Chivas USA play host to Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Sunday afternoon in Carson. Chivas USA got their new beginning off to a good start in a 3-2 home victory against the Chicago Fire. Whitecaps FC also began their campaign in impressive fashion, rolling to a 4-1 home win against Supporters' Shield holders New York Red Bulls.

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REFEREE: Ramon Hernandez. SAR (bench): Nestor Chavez; JAR (opposite): Matthew Miscannon; 4th: Pedro Trejo

MLS Career: 37 games; FC/gm: 28.3; Y/gm: 4.3; R: 7; pens: 10

SUSPENDED: none
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (8 meetings): Chivas USA 1 win, 6 goals ... Whitecaps FC 3 wins, 12 goals ... Ties 4
  • AT CHIVAS (4 meetings): Chivas USA 1 win, 3 goals ... Whitecaps FC 1 win, 3 goals ... Ties 2
  • RETURN MATCHES: 7/12: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Chivas USA, 7 p.m. PT; 8/16: Chivas USA vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 7:30 p.m. PT

LAST YEAR (MLS):

3/30: CHV 3, VAN 1 (own goal 11; Avila 55 – Miller 64)
6/19: VAN 3, CHV 1 (Harvey 47+; Sanvezzo 49+, 81 – Bowen 7)
9/1: VAN 2, CHV 2 (Koffie 64; Heinemann 93+ -- Torres 3, 14)

  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • Chivas USA won 2-1 last March 30 in Carson in the first meeting between the teams, their only victory in eight all-time matches against Whitecaps FC.
  • Chivas USA have never won at BC Place. Whitecaps FC have won two of the three encounters all-time there (with one draw).
  • Coaches record: Wilmer Cabrera vs. VAN: first game ... Carl Robinson vs. CHV: first game

CHIVAS USA

Chivas USA opened their 2014 campaign with a late 3-2 victory against the Chicago Fire on Sunday afternoon at StubHub Center. Chivas USA sit in a tie atop the Western Conference with 3 points from 1 game.

LAST MATCH

  • Chivas USA took the lead early in the second half when Erick Torres was pulled down in the box by Fire defender Gonzalo Segares. Torres stepped up to convert the penalty, giving Chivas the lead in the 56th minute.
  • Rookie Thomas McNamara then doubled Chivas' lead in the 59th minute, when he slotted home a cross from the left flank from Leandro Barrera.
  • But the Fire pulled level midway through the second half through a pair of substitutes. Benji Joya got his first MLS goal in his first minute on the field, when he scored on a rebound from an Alex shot in the 64th minute.
  • Then another Fire substitute, Quincy Amarikwa, hit a beautiful curling shot past an outstretched Dan Kennedy to tie the game at 2-2 with 20 minutes to play.
  • But Chivas hit for the game-winner in the 88th minute. Defender Bobby Burling headed past Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson in traffic off a Mauro Rosales corner kick to give the home side the full complement of points.
  • Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera installed newcomers Mauro Rosales and Leandro Barrera in attacking wide roles in the midfield, with another newcomer in Agustin Pelletieri manning the center of the park. Rookie Thomas McNamara partnered Erick Torres in attack.
  • CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - Eric Avila, Bobby Burling, Carlos Bocanegra, Tony Lochhead - Mauro Rosales, Agustin Pelletieri, Oswaldo Minda, Leandro Barrera (Adolfo Bautista 65) - Erick Torres (Daniel Fragoso 90), Thomas McNamara (Luke Moore 79).

TEAM NEWS

  • Chivas USA won their season opener for the first time in five seasons, giving Wilmer Cabrera his first career victory as an MLS head coach.
  • "For me the team looked organized, the shape looked good, we controlled the game the majority of the time, and we didn't have too many shots on goal against us," said Cabrera. "Those 10-15 minutes that we got comfortable, we need to fix, and find the options to change that, we don't relax when we are winning, especially 2-0 at home."
  • Defender Bobby Burling scored the second goal of his seven-year MLS career – his first since 2010, when he scored for the San Jose Earthquakes – to give Chivas USA the late victory.
  • "We work on set pieces twice a week in training and like I said, Rosales, one of the reasons we brought him here is because we've seen it over the last few years what he's been able to do in the league," Burling said. "His set pieces are precise. We pretty much just got to run to the spot and he puts the ball there."
  • With rookie Thomas McNamara starting the match in attack, Adolfo Bautista came off the substitutes' bench for the final 25 minutes.
  • "He came in different shape; he's used to playing in a different environment," Cabrera said. "Here, it's more physical and athletic, so he needs to get adjusted. We don't want to throw him in right away, because that wouldn't help him and it wouldn't help us. That wouldn't help the team. The idea is not to throw guys out there. The idea is to throw them in when they are 100 percent ready."
  • Said Bautista: "I'm very happy to have played those important minutes. I took positive steps, and now I'm waiting to give more minutes to keep helping this team."
  • With newcomer Mauro Rosales given the start on the right side of midfield, Eric Avila was moved back to right back for the season opener.
  • "He's very professional and has a lot of talent," Cabrera said. "He works hard and has an unbelievable engine. We see the possibility to develop there. If he can develop how we think he can, he's a candidate for the position with the [U.S.] national team. ... [Right backs] need to attack well, and Eric Avila has all of those tools. He feels comfortable there. He's taking short steps, but we feel he is capable of doing it, learning and adapting."
  • In all, six newcomers to MLS made their debuts in the Chivas USA team: McNamara, Leandro Barrera, Agust"n Pelletieri, Luke Moore, Adolfo Bautista and Daniel Fragoso.
  • "Obviously the team is almost all new, only about three or four are back from last season and we need a little more time training together and many more matches with this level of play. It will take time, but we are on the right track and we need to correct our mistakes even when we win," said Rosales. "We tried to have good organization in the match whether it's at the beginning or the end, and always have a good plan to generate some attacks, to generate situations, to be able to generate opportunities to score that will always lead us to win matches. Offensively and defensively, we have to work on the defensive end, to not be out of place. At times in the match we saw a little disorganization, but that gets better after matches

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC

Vancouver Whitecaps FC got the new season off to a rolling start, cruising to a 4-1 win against last year's Supporters' Shield winners, the New York Red Bulls. Whitecaps FC sit in a tie atop the Western Conference with 3 points from 1 game.

LAST MATCH

  • Whitecaps FC opened the scoring from the in the 34th minute, after New York defender Richard Eckersley was ruled to have handled the ball in the box. Kenny Miller finished coolly from the spot, slotting the ball into the bottom right corner as goalkeeper Luis Robles dived the opposite direction.
  • Sebastian Fernandez doubled Vancouver's lead on 50 minutes, hitting a powerful, swerving effort into the top right corner from outside the area that Robles was not able to keep out of the net.
  • Miller then scored his second in the 77th minute, lobbing a bouncing ball over Robles expertly after substitute Pedro Morales set the effort up with a beautifully weighted ball over the top of the New York back line.
  • Morales added the icing on top in the 89th minute, finishing inside the area after Nigel Reo-Coker teed him up after making a run into the right side of the area.
  • The Red Bulls scored a consolation goal in the first minute of stoppage time when Bradley Wright-Phillips netted from a flicked header from a cross from the left side.
  • Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson installed newcomers Matias Laba and Sebastian Fernandez in his first lineup, with Kenny Miller playing as an underneath striker. Steven Beitashour made his club debut in the back four.
  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-3-1): David Ousted - Steven Beitashour, Andy O'Brien, Jay DeMerit, Jordan Harvey - Nigel Reo-Coker, Matias Laba - Russell Teibert, Kenny Miller (Kekuta Manneh 83), Sebastian Fernandez (Nicolas Mezquida 73) - Darren Mattocks (Pedro Morales 65).

TEAM NEWS

  • Whitecaps FC maintained their perfect record in season openers in MLS, having won four times in four matches to open the season in the North American top-flight.
  • "I think it was written in the stars," Robinson said. "The way the first game came out, and it was [against] my old team, things like that. But it's just the beginning. We know we've got a lot of work to do, but we'll get back to work [at practice]."
  • Whitecaps FC striker Kenny Miller scored a pair of goals – his second career two-goal game in MLS – in leading the club to the win.
  • "Kenny's come back, worked his way over the offseason and he's got fit now," Robinson said. "He hasn't had a full preseason under his belt, but Kenny's a top player as well, and he makes others around him better. He got his reward today for a very good performance."
  • Two new signings scored goals in Sebastian Fernandez and Pedro Morales. Morales, who also added an assist, could be an injury question mark for the Chivas USA match. "He's only trained three or four days with us. So it's important I look after him because we have a long season ahead," said Robinson.
  • Darren Mattocks was installed as the spearhead of the Whitecaps FC attack and recorded an assist.
  • "If he's going to play in that role, it's important that he does hold the ball up," Robinson said. "The second goal came from him holding the ball up, being a platform to build with his movement, Kenny Miller's vision and then Darren running into space and then playing a simple pass to Seba, who obviously used his magic to create a good finish. Seba gets all the headlines, but it was Darren's hold-up play and movement that created the chance."
  • Jay DeMerit and Andy O'Brien were the central defense partnership – a pair that played together for just eight minutes in 2013.
  • "I think you saw Jay and Andy going up against Tim Cahill, fighting and scrapping for every ball. That's important because you need to build a successful team through the spine of your team," Robinson said. "We have an experienced goalkeeper, we have two experienced defenders, we have Nigel in midfield and we have Kenny up front. That's not including Pedro. We have a good spine. We have young players around that can play on the edges out wide and inside."