Chivas USA vs. Philadelphia Union | MLS Match Preview

CHIVAS USA vs PHILADELPHIA UNION
STUBHUB CENTER, Carson, Calif.
May 31, 2014 (WEEK 13, MLS Game #121)
7:30 p.m. PT (CSN-Phi)

A couple of teams needing a buoying victory meet when Chivas USA play host to Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening at StubHub Center. Chivas USA sit at the foot of the Western Conference, with one win in their last 11 games, following a 2-0 home loss to Portland at midweek. Union are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, with one win in their last 12 games, concluding their southern California stay following a 4-1 loss to the LA Galaxy last weekend.

REFEREE: Allen Chapman. AR1 (bench): Fabio Tovar; AR2 (opposite): Anthony Vasoli; 4th: Daniel Radford
MLS Career: 38 games; FC/gm: 21.9; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 9; pens: 10

SUSPENDED: CHV: Bobby Burling (through June 1)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CHV: Carlos Alvarez
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CHV: Bobby Burling, Marky Delgado … PHI: Maurice Edu
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: CHV: Marvin Chavez (Honduras) … PHI: Michael Lahoud (Sierra Leone); Andre Blake (Jamaica)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (6 meetings): Chivas USA 0 wins, 5 goals … Union 4 wins, 12 goals … Ties 2
AT CHIVAS USA (3 meetings): Chivas USA 0 wins, 2 goals … Union 1 win, 3 goals … Ties 2

LAST YEAR (MLS)
7/12: PHI 3, CHV 1 (Carroll 58; M. Farfan 82; Casey 89 – Correa 14)

  • The teams are meeting in league play for the only time this season.
  • Union have never lost to Chivas USA in six meetings all-time. Philadelphia has won all three matchups at PPL Park, including a 3-1 victory last July 12 in the only 2013 meeting between the teams.
  • Union won 1-0 on April 21, 2012 in Carson, their first win at Chivas USA in three tries; the teams had played to draws in the first Chivas home games vs. Philadelphia.
  • Coaches record: Wilmer Cabrera vs. PHI: first game … John Hackworth vs. CHV: P1 W1 L0 T0

CHIVAS USA
Chivas USA returned home and had their undefeated streak end after two matches, falling 2-0 to the Portland Timbers on Wednesday evening at StubHub Center. Chivas USA sit in ninth place in the Western Conference with 10 points from 12 games.

LAST MATCH

  • Both goals came in a six-minute span midway through in the second half. In the 65th minute, Jorge Villafana hooked in a cross from the left flank on the overlap, and Fanendo Adi was left all alone in the heart of the area to easily side-foot home past Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
  • Six minutes, Adi hit for his second, sent in clean through on goal from a through ball from midfield by Diego Valeri, again with all the time in the world to stroke the ball into the back of the net.
  • Chivas USA's frustration was complete in the 84th minute when defender Bobby Burling received a straight red card from referee Edvin Jurisevic for a late tackle on Adi.
  • Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera made one change to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium. Agustin Pelletieri came into the midfield for the suspended Oswaldo Minda.
  • CHIVAS USA (4-2-3-1): Dan Kennedy - Eric Avila, Bobby Burling (ejected 84), Carlos Bocanegra, Donny Toia - Agustin Pelletieri (Ryan Finley 69), Martin Rivero - Mauro Rosales, Marky Delgado (Carlos Alvarez 46), Leandro Barrera (Kris Tyrpak 61) - Erick Torres.

TEAM NEWS

  • Chivas USA suffered their fourth consecutive defeat in a home game at StubHub Center, dating back to the 3-0 loss to the LA Galaxy on April 6. Chivas has been outscored 11-2 in those four games.
  • “We weren’t careful with the ball,” said Chivas USA head coach Wilmer. “We were losing the ball too easily, so when we went in [at halftime] we talked about being more calm, secure and comfortable with the ball. We were losing those [opportunities] and having too many turnovers.”
  • Said midfielder Mauro Rosales: “We moved a bit in our lines, gave them more space and they hurt us. That’s not what we wanted. Chasing from behind is obviously more difficult. We needed to be more organized, but we weren’t great on the ball, so it didn’t work out.”
  • The club record is six consecutive losses in home games, set over the end of the 2011 season and the start of 2012.
  • “I think we have [began to] now to put a lot of pressure on us.  [The players] are eager and anxious to win at home, because we have been doing well away, but we have to be a little bit calmer in that aspect,” said Cabrera. “We cannot rush and we cannot lose our good shape and our work that we do on the field if we cannot find the possibilities.”
  • Chivas USA were not able to put a shot on target against Portland until the match had reached second-half stoppage time.
  • “Ideally, we would like to come out and play a bit more, but we were having a hard time in the first half getting on the ball and keeping possession,” goalkeeper Dan Kennedy said. “When we did, we created the best chance of the first half. We went out in the second half trying to build on that good tactical shape we had and be better on the ball. We were, but unfortunately they made two plays and punished us.”
  • Agustin Pelletieri returned to the Chivas USA lineup after a one-match absence, in the center of midfield, with Oswaldo Minda serving a suspension.
  • “The team continues growing, but we obviously have a lot of desire to earn a result here at our house. To be able to win at home is a goal that we all have, a principal objective for of our next game against Philadelphia,” said Rosales. “That’s what we need and now we have to work hard these two, three days to be well and ready for the match against Philadelphia.”

PHILADELPHIA UNION
Philadelphia Union suffered their second loss in as many outings, starting their Southern California trip with a 4-1 loss to the LA Galaxy on Sunday evening at StubHub Center. Union are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 11 points from 14 games.

LAST MATCH

  • It took the Galaxy just two minutes to open the scoring. Back with the Galaxy, Landon Donovan delivered a free kick from the right flank that Leonardo nodded past Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath after finding space in the six-yard box.
  • Then MLS history came four minutes into the second half. Donovan fed Robbie Keane on the right channel, then sprinted toward the left post for the return pass. The finish was easy, and with it Donovan became the all-time MLS goal-scoring leader with his 135th career regular-season goal.
  • Keane made it 3-0 for the Galaxy in the 64th minute, taking advantage after a giveaway in the Union end to race in and drive the ball through the goalkeeper's legs. It was 4-0 as Donovan added to his record count in the 81st minute, finishing off another one-two with Keane after yet another giveaway to slot home in the area.
  • Union pulled a goal back in the 88th minute when Maurice Edu converted a penalty kick after Galaxy rookie Raul Mendiola fouled Union's Zach Pfeffer.
  • Union manager John Hackworth made four changes to the team that fell 5-3 to the New England Revolution at PPL Park. Fabinho, Brian Carroll, Maurice Edu and Antoine Hoppenot all came into the team, in place of Aaron Wheeler, Austin Berry, Andrew Wenger and the suspended Cristian Maidana.
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-2-3-1): Zac MacMath - Raymon Gaddis, Amobi Okugo, Sheanon Williams, Fabinho - Brian Carroll, Maurice Edu - Danny Cruz (Andrew Wenger 61), Vincent Nogueira, Leo Fernandes (Zach Pfeffer 75) - Antoine Hoppenot (Conor Casey 52).

TEAM NEWS

  • Union suffered their second consecutive start, their fifth in the last six matches and their MLS-leading seventh this season.
  • “An inexcusable start,” Union manager John Hackworth said. “We gave up a goal on a restart in the second minute, and then it took us a while to get into it. Finally, we get going and we start playing well. But we were never truly that dangerous in the first half and that was a problem.
  • Union conceded a fifth goal in the opening 15 minutes of matches, one fewer than league-leaders Seattle and Montreal. While Union have conceded nine goals in the first half, their 15 goals allowed after the halftime break is most in MLS.
  • “It’s a poor performance and we are completely unhappy. You can’t start a game like that. We’ve continued to do that now week in and week out. It takes its toll on you,” said midfielder Danny Cruz. “Every single game giving up a goal in the first 10 minutes it changes the game completely. I think we didn’t have the ball in the first half because of it. Then three minutes into the second half we give up another goal – it’s unacceptable.”
  • After being released by the U.S. national team from the World Cup preparation camp, Maurice Edu joined the club in time to start the match, play 90 minutes and score his third goal this season.
  • “We let ourselves down. We can’t keep playing in little segments – little glimpses – because that’s all for nothing,” Edu said. “At the end of the day, you’re not going to win many games if you concede four and just play in spurts.”
  • Brian Carroll also recovered from a groin strain that had kept him out of the last two matches, after having to come off at halftime of the May 10 game with D.C. United, to return to central midfield and play the full 90 minutes.
  • After coming on as a substitute in 11 of the first 13 league matches, Antoine Hoppenot made his first start of the season, playing 52 minutes as the lone striker.
  • “Certainly with the way we move the ball we were able to have good rhythm and were able to do that. Midway thru the first half we finally got going,” Hackworth said. “… It looked like we had a lot of guys out there that were a little bit scared, didn’t want to play, fearful of having the ball in a tough spot. Once we got it going we were a good team that way.  To start the second half the way we did is unacceptable.”
  • Amobi Okugo, after two consecutive games in the center of midfield, dropped back to central defense to partner Sheanon Williams. Against the New England Revolution in the 5-3 loss, Austin Berry and Aaron Wheeler started at center back with Williams and Ray Gaddis occupying the fullback spots.
  • “We are clearly struggling to find a back line that is executing and playing well,” Hackworth said. “It’s something we have to continue to work on. It’s unfortunate that in Sunday’s game we gave up a goal on a set piece – just a simple marking problem in the second minute, and it literally changes everything you’re trying to do. Then obviously we had key guys make some bad mistakes on the next three goals.”