Chivas USA vs. Vancouver Whitecaps | MLS Match Preview

CHIVAS USA vs VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
STUBHUB CENTER, Carson, Calif.
Aug. 16, 2014 (WEEK 23, MLS Game #217)
7:30 p.m. PT (TWCD; TSN)

Chivas USA will be aiming to get their season back on track in a bid to move up the Western Conference table when they play host to a Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the thick of the playoff hunt as the clubs meet Saturday evening at StubHub Center. Chivas USA have lost four games in a row following their 2-0 defeat at Portland last weekend and now sit nine points out of the final postseason position. That spot is held by Whitecaps FC, who solidified their hold by extending their undefeated run to five games with a 2-0 win over Eastern Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City.

REFEREE: Edvin Jurisevic. AR1 (bench): George Gansner; AR2 (opposite): Mike Rottersman; 4th: Juan Guzman
MLS Career: 78 games; FC/gm: 22.6; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 15; pens: 12

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARDPOR: CHV: Bobby Burling, Tony Lochhead … VAN: Jordan Harvey, Matias Laba
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CHV: Marky Delgado, Mauro Rosales, Donny Toia, Erick Torres, Nathan Sturgis, Agustin Pelletieri, Oswaldo Minda … VAN: Gershon Koffie, Sebastian Fernandez, Andy O’Brien, Pedro Morales, Nigel Reo-Coker
DISABLED LIST: CHV: Thomas McNamara … VAN: Caleb Clarke (season-ending injury)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (10 meetings): Chivas USA 2 wins, 10 goals … Whitecaps FC 3 wins, 14 goals … Ties 5
AT CHIVAS (5 meetings): Chivas USA 1 win, 4 goals … Whitecaps FC 1 win, 4 goals … Ties 3

2014 (MLS):
3/16: CHV 1, VAN 1 (Torres 45 – Manneh 81)
7/12: VAN 1, CHV 3 (Mitchell 27 – Pelletieri 47; Torres 81; Barrera 94+)

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Agustin Pelletieri, Erick Torres and Leandro Barrera scored second-half goals as Chivas USA claimed a 3-1 victory July 12 at BC Place. The teams reached a 1-1 draw March 16 at StubHub Center.
  • The win in Vancouver for Chivas USA in the last meeting was their first ever at BC Place. Whitecaps FC had won two of the first encounters there all-time (with one draw).
  • Coaches record: Wilmer Cabrera vs. VAN: P2 W1 L0 T1 … Carl Robinson vs. CHV: P2 W1 L0 T1

LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • Whitecaps FC made the initial breakthrough in the 27th minute. Pedro Morales sent a pinpoint delivery from a corner into the box and Carlyle Mitchell headed home low through the legs of goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. Chivas got themselves level just two minutes into the second half when Agustin Pelletieri rose unchallenged to head home a Mauro Rosales corner from the left.
  • The match then took a turn when Whitecaps FC fullback Jordan Harvey saw a straight red from referee Armando Villarreal for a two-footed tackle on Oswaldo Minda.
  • Chivas took advantage by hitting for the eventual winner in the 81st minute when Marco Delgado sent in a ball to the back post, which Erick Torres headed past Ousted for his fifth goal in five games.
  • The visitors then sealed the match in stoppage time when Leandro Barrera rolled the ball into an empty goal from almost midfield after Whitecaps FC goalkeeper David Ousted was caught up field for a corner.
  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-3-1): David Ousted - Steven Beitashour, Johnny Leveron, Carlyle Mitchell, Jordan Harvey (ejected 69) - Gershon Koffie (Nigel Reo-Coker 68), Matias Laba - Sebastian Fernandez (Christian Dean 71), Pedro Morales, Kekuta Manneh (Darren Mattocks 68) - Erik Hurtado.
  • CHIVAS USA (4-2-3-1): Dan Kennedy - Donny Toia, Eriq Zavaleta, Carlos Bocanegra, Tony Lochhead - Oswaldo Minda, Agustin Pelletieri (Nathan Sturgis 77) - Marvin Chavez, Mauro Rosales, Eric Avila (Marky Delgado 46) - Erick Torres (Leandro Barrera 83).

CHIVAS USA
Chivas USA saw their losing slide extended to four matches, falling 2-0 to the Portland Timbers on Saturday evening at Providence Park. Chivas USA sit in ninth place in the Western Conference with 23 points from 22 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The Timbers struck first in the 10th minute. Diego Valeri picked up the ball in midfield and made a long run right up the spine of the Chivas USA defense, before cutting back at the edge of the box and unleashing a right-footed curler that whistled past a diving Dan Kennedy in goal.
  • The lead was then doubled in the 39th minute. Valeri crossed to Fanendo Adi in the box, and the forward shielded off a defender before flicking the ball to an awaiting Rodney Wallace, who slotted home easily from the left side of the box.
  • Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was called upon to make only one save for the match, in the 83rd minute when substitute Leandro Barrera got free at the top of the box and sent in a left-footed shot that Ricketts turned aside with a diving stop.
  • Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera made one change to the team that fell 1-0 to FC Dallas at StubHub Center. Mauro Rosales returned to the side in place of Leandro Barrera.
  • CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - Akira Kaji, Eriq Zavaleta, Tony Lochhead, Donny Toia - Mauro Rosales, Agustin Pelletieri (Ryan Finley 80), Oswaldo Minda (Marky Delgado 60), Nathan Sturgis - Marvin Chavez (Leandro Barrera 46), Erick Torres.

TEAM NEWS

  • Chivas USA saw their current goalless run extended to 276 minutes with a third consecutive shutout defeat, in the loss at Portland. It’s the seventh longest goalless drought in MLS this season.
  • “Right now, I think we have some issues. We lost the ball and the way we lost the ball, they punished us. It wasn’t like they were penetrating so easily through the middle, through the defense,” said Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera. “No, it was more about us losing the ball in areas where we shouldn’t lose the ball. They found those possibilities.”
  • Erick Torres went a third consecutive game as well without a goal, following a six-game scoring streak from June 8-July 20. Torres has gone three games without a goal just once before this season ñ from May 17-31.
  • “We have to help Cubo [Erick Torres]. That’s what I always say. We have to help Cubo. We didn’t help because instead of looking to go forward, we were just passing the ball back,” said Cabrera. “In the first half we weren’t clear. We didn’t move the ball quickly and we were losing the ball so easily. That’s something that has to be addressed.”
  • Said midfielder Mauro Rosales: “I guess he was too lonely in the attacking part of the field. Having four defenders against one [attacker] is not always a good thing to do. He needs help from us coming from outside. The guys just play in the middle, being organized. If you are in a good shape, organized, you can have more chances, have more second balls that are going to help you to move forward. It’s our job to give options to him. He didn’t have many because of what we did in the first half.”
  • Marvin Chavez partnered Torres in attack for a second time since coming to Chivas USA from Colorado (also: July 20 vs. D.C. United). Chavez was removed at halftime in favor of Leandro Barrera, who had started the previous two matches.
  • “The second half was a little better. The subs came in and it was much better, more life, creating options, trying to go forward,” said Cabrera. “[Portland] defended well and if they weren’t clearing the ball, the goalkeeper was in a good position. We couldn’t create possibilities to score for any of us.”
  • Chivas USA were limited to just one shot on target for the match, coming in the 83rd minute. Chivas USA have just 67 shots on target for the season, by far fewest in MLS this year (next: D.C. United with 81).
  • “Going forward we didn’t have that good mentality. That’s something that we need to address otherwise it’s going to be difficult for us,” said Cabrera. “If you don’t have a good mentality going forward, if you donít create problems for the other team, they’re going to be comfortable over the whole field and that was the first half. But in the second half at least, we showed character. The guys came in well, but it was a little bit too late for us.”

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC extended their undefeated run to five games, defeating Sporting Kansas City on 2-0 on Sunday evening at BC Place. Whitecaps FC sit in fifth place in the Western Conference with 32 points from 22 games.

LAST MATCH

  • Whitecaps FC were gifted the opening goal in the 17th minute. Pedro Morales hit a long, speculative ball forward that Igor Juliao headed back toward Sporting goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum as he rushed off his line, and the ball sailed into the empty net.
  • The Vancouver advantage was doubled in the 39th minute. Morales picked off a pass in midfield then broke quickly up the middle on a two-on-one break before sliding the ball square to Darren Mattocks, and he made no mistake, lashing home a low shot from just outside the box.
  • Mattocks had a chance to grab his second of the night with a late penalty, after SKC defender Aurelien Collin was adjudged by referee David Gantar to have pulled down Omar Salgado in the box. But Sporting ‘keeper Jon Kempin, making his MLS debut after coming on for the injured Gruenebaum at the half, got a hand to the shot to push it off the post and out.
  • Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson made one change to the team that played to a scoreless draw with the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. Andy O'Brien came into central defense in place of Carlyle Mitchell.
  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-3-1): David Ousted - Steven Beitashour, Johnny Leveron, Andy O'Brien, Jordan Harvey - Gershon Koffie, Matias Laba - Erik Hurtado (Mehdi Ballouchy 68), Pedro Morales (Russell Teibert 77), Sebastian Fernandez (Omar Salgado 82) - Darren Mattocks.

TEAM NEWS

  • Whitecaps FC snapped their string of four consecutive draws and five games overall without a victory with the win against Sporting KC. It was the club’s first victory since defeating Seattle on July 5.
  • “If we concentrate on our business and we get to where I believe we need to get to, then we'll all be happy. If we don't, it's down to me and it's down to the team,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson. “I don't want to rely on other teams to try and sneak into the playoffs. If we concentrate on our business and we do our business correctly, then we'll be there or thereabouts.”
  • Added goalkeeper David Ousted: “It definitely is crunch time right now. Like you said, people are winning next to us, and we need to keep winning like we did to keep up with people and keep going up the standings. This was a good start but the work doesn’t stop here. We’ve got an even more important game in Chivas, and this will be a little bit for nothing if we don’t go there and get something out of it.”
  • Whitecaps FC also kept a clean sheet for a second consecutive game for the first time this season. They have six shutouts for the year.
  • “It says a lot about this team and the quality that's in it, but it also says we need to mature a little bit getting into those tough games – Chivas, Chicago away – where people are expecting wins.” Ousted said. “Those are not easy games and we need to realize that and work harder in those games to get wins out of it.”
  • Darren Mattocks scored his fourth goal over the last five matches, after having a three-game scoring run put to an end in the Chicago match.
  • “It should have been five in five with the [penalty kick], but the most important thing is we got three points against a very good KC team with four All-Stars, and for us to get a clean sheet, I tap the guys on the back. To get three points on two goals, it was a very big thing for us,” Mattocks said.
  • Pedro Morales recorded his ninth assist this season, after going three games without a helper. He is tied for second in MLS, along with Real Salt Lake’s Javier Morales, one behind New York’s Thierry Henry. His passing also played a part in the opening own goal.
  • “It was a fantastic pass, we talked about getting angled balls, and getting guys in the system we play. We play with two wide guys, and try to get them in when Pedro drops deep. It was a fantastic pass, and just a miscommunication between the fullback and goalkeeper, but we’ll take it, we did get lucky on the first goal,” said Robinson. “Take that out of it though, and I think we fully deserved the victory.”
  • In the days leading up to the Sporting match, Whitecaps FC announced the signing of Costa Rican international defender Kendall Waston.
  • “He’s got to do well in training, he really has. Those two [center backs Johnny Leveron and Andy O’Brien] were excellent. I left Carlyle out, and he’s been very good,” Robinson said. “Kendall must be sitting here watching the game today, excited to be part of it. So if I feel it’s right I’ll put him in, but the two guys were excellent today, and when I look at the game tonight, I’ll see what we do.”