Chivas USA vs. Seattle Sounders | MLS Match Preview

CHIVAS USA vs SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
STUBHUB CENTER, Carson, Calif.
April 19, 2014 (WEEK 7, MLS Game #62)
7:30 p.m. PT (JOEtv)

Chivas USA return home to take on a Seattle Sounders FC on an extended road swing when the Western Conference clubs meet Saturday evening at StubHub Center. Chivas are looking to put the brakes on a five-match winless streak, coming off a 1-1 draw at the Portland Timbers last weekend. Sounders FC are coming off a pair of comeback results on the road, last a 3-2 come-from-behind win at previously undefeated FC Dallas last weekend.

REFEREE: Ismail Elfath. AR1 (bench): James Conlee; AR2 (opposite): Brian Poeschel; 4th: Kevin Stott
MLS Career: 26 games; FC/gm: 24.7; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 6; pens: 7

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SEA: Osvaldo Alonso
DISABLED LIST: SEA: Damion Lowe; Kevin Parsemain
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (13 meetings): Chivas USA 2 wins, 10 goals … Sounders FC 7 wins, 19 goals … Ties 4
AT CHIVAS USA (7 meetings): Chivas USA 2 wins, 7 goals … Sounders FC 3 wins, 12 goals … Ties 2
RETURN MATCHES: 9/3: Chivas USA vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 11 p.m. PT; 9/27: Seattle Sounders FC vs. Chivas USA, 1 p.m. PT

LAST YEAR (MLS):
6/1: CHV 0, SEA 2 (Martins 22; own goal 33)
7/28: SEA 2, CHV 1 (Evans 23; Neagle 57 – Torres (16)
9/4: SEA 1, CHV 0 (Neagle 24)

  • Sounders FC are unbeaten in their last 11 meetings with Chivas USA, with wins in their last five encounters, since Chivas won the first two meetings ever between the clubs in 2009. Seattle has won seven times with four draws.
  • Sounders FC are unbeaten all-time vs. Chivas USA at home, with 4 wins and 2 draws in six meetings in Seattle.
  • Sounders FC have also won a pair of U.S. Open Cup meetings between the teams, both times in the semifinals, in 2010 (3-1) and 2012 (4-1).
  • Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. CHV: P3 W2 L0 T1 … Wilmer Cabrera vs. SEA: first game

CHIVAS USA
Chivas USA had their winless streak stretched to five matches, despite coming back for a 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers on Saturday evening at Providence Park. Chivas USA sit in seventh place in the Western Conference with 6 points from 6 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The Timbers took the lead after just seven minutes. Maximiliano Urruti picked up a failed Chivas USA clearance and threaded a pass to Darlington Nagbe, who sliced a pass through two defenders to Will Johnson in open space. His rolling shot from just outside the box slipped past Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
  • But the visitors hit for the equalizer 16 minutes from time. Following a long pass down the left wing, Leandro Barrera crossed to the far post to an open Erick Torres, who tapped in for the easiest of finishes.
  • Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera made one change to the team that fell 3-0 to the LA Galaxy at StubHub Center. Leandro Barrera came back into the team in place of Luke Moore.
  • CHIVAS USA (4-2-3-1): Dan Kennedy - Eric Avila, Eriq Zavaleta, Carlos Bocanegra, Andrew Jean-Baptiste - Carlos Alvarez, Agustin Pelletieri - Mauro Rosales, Thomas McNamara (Marky Delgado 65), Leandro Barrera (Kris Tyrpak 88) - Erick Torres (Bobby Burling 90).

TEAM NEWS

  • Chivas USA saw their winless streak hit five games – though with three draws – in the tie in Portland. Chivas has won once in their last 14 games, dating back to the start of last September.
  • “More than the result, it’s the performance,” Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera said. “We rebounded from a performance that didn’t belong to us last week. That’s very positive, especially here against a very good, talented team. We outplayed them and showed personality by coming back. We showed character. That’s important for what is coming for us.”
  • Chivas USA striker Erick Torres scored his fifth goal in six games – second-most in MLS this season – in pulling his team back for the draw.
  • “I thought we took a really good step forward. Last week was a tough weekend for us, a tough game,” said goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. “So for us to bounce back like that shows that we have some character on this team and it’s going to be important for us throughout the year. ... I felt like this was, in terms of our soccer, our possession on the ball, definitely our best game. I think we had more shots, more corner kicks than Portland. So to come to this environment, a fantastic place to play, and put that performance together, the guys deserve some credit. I think it was a good result.”
  • After partnering in attack with Luke Moore the week before – when he and Chivas USA were was held scoreless – Torres returned to the role of playing as a lone striker.
  • “Playing the lineup we played with [Torres] as our point forward, it’s important we get him service. Leandro [Barrera] and Mauro [Rosales] were just doing what they do, getting up the field and finding ways to get balls in the box,” said Kennedy. “Something’s going to give. You get enough balls across the box and something’s going to give. We found that goal.”
  • There was a major injury concern coming out of the Portland match as Thomas McNamara was forced off midway through the second half with what was expected to be a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
  • Marky Delgado came on in place of McNamara, slotting into a holding role in front of the back four. “I thought that was Marky’s best performance for us this year,” Chivas USA assistant coach Paul Caffrey said. “He’s made a good claim for the spot. From a coaching staff standpoint, based on his performance, we would be comfortable if Marky had to be in there.”
  • Said Delgado: “I feel like they have a lot of belief in me. Every time I go in, they want that hunger out of me to go out there and fight like I’m fighting for a starting spot. It’s always good to have depth on the team so [production] doesn’t go down. They have complete confidence in me.”
  • Eriq Zavaleta, on loan from Seattle Sounders FC, will be unavailable for Chivas USA this weekend under the rule that prohibits players under interleague loan from facing the team they have been loaned from.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC snapped their brief two-game winless streak in fine fashion, coming back for a 3-2 win against previously undefeated FC Dallas on Saturday evening at Toyota Stadium. Sounders FC are in a tie for second place in the Western Conference with 10 points from 6 games.

LAST MATCH

  • FC Dallas opened the scoring in the 10th minute. A deflected pass, a high bounce and some wind put Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei in trouble, and the ball went off his fingertips and landed behind him for David Texeira to tap into an empty net.
  • The visitors were level in the 22nd minute. Clint Dempsey stepped up to a 35-yard free kick and bent it over the wall, off the underside of the crossbar and just over the goal line. The ball then spun back into play, and Obafemi Martins headed in the rebound to make sure, but Dempsey was credited with the goal.
  • FCD nosed back in front five minutes before halftime when Texeira was fouled in the penalty area by DeAndre Yedlin and referee Juan Guzman pointed to the spot. Michel converted the penalty kick, his second in as many weeks.
  • Seattle were level again in the 75th minute. Substitute Marco Pappa sent in a curling ball from the left that was headed only to the far side of the penalty area, from where Dempsey fired a cross that deflected off defender Stephen Keel and into the net behind helpless Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz.
  • The game-winner came 10 minutes later. Racing for the return pass off a one-two with Chad Barrett, Dempsey one-timed the ball into the top of the net to give Seattle the victory.
  • Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made two changes to the team that played to a 4-4 draw with the Portland Timbers at Providence Park. Djimi Traore came into central defense in place of Jalil Anibaba, and Lamar Neagle started for Michael Azira.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-1-1): Stefan Frei - DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore, Chad Marshall, Leo Gonzalez - Kenny Cooper (Marco Pappa 68), Osvaldo Alonso, Gonzalo Pineda, Lamar Neagle (Chad Barrett 72) - Clint Dempsey - Obafemi Martins (Michael Azira 90).

TEAM NEWS

  • Sounders FC remained undefeated on the road this season with two wins and a draw. Sounders FC have scored 12 goals this season, second-most in MLS – 10 coming in the last four games – but have also conceded 10 goals, one off most in MLS (Chivas USA, Portland).
  • “We're not making it easy on ourselves,” said goalkeeper Stefan Frei. “We need to fix those issues a little bit because you can't give up three to four goals every game, but I think the games are really important for us as a show of character when you can keep your heads up and keep plugging away and trying to step up and help one of your teammates out, it shows a lot of character and I'm very proud of the guys.”
  • Clint Dempsey took over leadership of the MLS Golden Boot standings with six goals – five coming in the last two matches – after scoring a pair of goals in the Sounders FC victory.
  • “Clint is an important player for us, and we needed to find him in the first half and didn't find him enough with the ball. Didn't find Oba (Martins) enough with the ball. So, as a result, our offense stagnated,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. “In the second half, once we started finding Oba ... we did a better job in the second half not getting stretched out."
  • In his four appearances this season, Dempsey has six goals and one assist – he has been involved in seven of the nine goals Seattle has scored in matches where he has played.
  • “It’s always good to perform well in Texas, because that's where I developed my game in Nacogdoches and driving to Dallas playing my club ball,” Dempsey said. “A lot of friends and family were here, and it's nice to perform well. But … the most important thing is we got the win for the team, and we need to keep getting points like that. I think you'll see us start to put in better performances, and we'll tighten up and we'll get it right.”
  • After missing the Portland match through suspension, Djimi Traoré returned to the lineup into central defense the first time the back four of DeAndre Yedlin, Traore, Chad Marshall and Leo Gonzalez were together.
  • “I thought (DeAndre) Yedlin did much better in the second half getting control of (FCD winger Fabian) Castillo.  That was important for our team, as well,” said Schmid. “The goals we gave up the one was goalkeeper error, the other was a penalty kick, that was a penalty. I'm not going to dispute that, but we bent a lot and really didn't give up anything off the run of play.”
  • For a second consecutive match, Marco Pappa came off the substitutes’ bench for the final quarter of the contest. Pappa did not feature in two straight games after starting the opening two games of the season.
  • “It took a little bit of time but I think he’s responded well. His performances in the past two games, I’ve been happy with. ... We have players who certainly feel they are starters or right around there so when they’re on the bench, they are a little bit unhappy,” said Schmid. “That’s a little extra motivation for when they step on the field ... They are going to fight for their spot.”