Chivas USA vs. LA Galaxy | MLS Match Preview

CHIVAS USA vs LA GALAXY
STUBHUB CENTER, Carson, Calif.
Aug. 31, 2014 (WEEK 25, MLS Game #240)
5 p.m. PT (UDN; KDOC; TWCS-LA)

What is billed as the last SuperClásico kicks off Sunday afternoon at StubHub Center when Chivas USA entertain their in-house rivals, the LA Galaxy. Chivas USA are trying to put an end to long winless and goalless streaks against their fellow denizens, coming off a 1-0 loss at the New England Revolution. The Galaxy have put together a three-game winning streak for the first time this season to move into second place in the Western Conference, after their 4-1 win against East leaders D.C. United at midweek.

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REFEREE: Ismail Elfath. SAR (bench): Peter Balciunas; JAR (opposite): Marco Arruda; 4th: Tyler Ploeger
MLS Career: 35 games; FC/gm: 25.2; Y/gm: 3.1; R: 10; pens: 11

SUSPENDED: CHV: Tony Lochhead (caution accumulation; through Aug. 31)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CHV: Bobby Burling, Agustin Pelletieri, Erick Torres, Oswaldo Minda … LA: Dan Gargan, Landon Donovan
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CHV: Marky Delgado, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Donny Toia, Nathan Sturgis, Leandro Barrera, Nigel Reo-Coker … LA: A.J. DeLaGarza, Alan Gordon, Marcelo Sarvas
DISABLED LIST: CHV: Thomas McNamara
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (30 meetings): Chivas USA 4 wins, 22 goals … Galaxy 19 wins, 52 goals … Ties 7
AS CHIVAS HOME GAME (14 meetings): Chivas USA 2 wins, 9 goals … Galaxy 9 wins, 20 goals … Ties 3

2014 (MLS)
4/6: CHV 0, LA 3 (Keane 37; Ishizaki 41; Husidic 54) 6/8: LA 1, CHV 1 (Zardes 35 – Torres 20)

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. On June 8, the Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes and Chivas USA’s Erick Torres traded first-half goals as the teams reached a 1-1 draw. Robbie Keane, Stefan Ishizaki and Baggio Husidic all scored as the Galaxy rolled to a 3-0 win April 6.
  • The Galaxy now have a seven-game undefeated streak alive against their in-house rivals (5-0-2), and have won 11 of the last 14 league meetings, dating back to 2009.
  • Chivas USA won 1-0 on May 19, 2012, their first victory against the Galaxy since Aug. 23, 2007, snapping an 11-game winless run in SuperClásicos.
  • The 5-0 Galaxy win in the final meeting a year ago was the heaviest defeat for either team in the history of the series, and matched the highest goal output for a team in the series (4/26/2008, LA 5 – CHV 2)
  • Coaches record: Wilmer Cabrera vs. LA: P2 W0 L1 D1 … Bruce Arena v CHV: P17 W11 L3 D3

LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • Chivas USA took the lead in the 20th minute. Martin Rivero split two defenders with a pass from the right that found Erick Torres, and he cut back inside a defender and placed the ball inside the left post.
  • But the Galaxy pulled level a quarter-hour later. Marcelo Sarvas took a pass at the top of the box and gently arced the ball toward Gyasi Zardes near the 6-yard box, and between defenders he jumped to redirect the ball off goalkeeper Dan Kennedy's hand and into the net.
  • LA GALAXY (4-3-1-2): Jaime Penedo - Dan Gargan, Leonardo, A.J. DeLaGarza, Robbie Rogers - Stefan Ishizaki (Baggio Husidic 84), Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas (Chandler Hoffman 78) - Landon Donovan - Samuel (Rob Friend 69), Gyasi Zardes.
  • CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - Donny Toia, Bobby Burling, Carlos Bocanegra, Tony Lochhead – Mauro Rosales (Marky Delgado 75), Martin Rivero (Carlos Alvarez 82), Agustin Pelletieri, Eric Avila - Erick Torres, Leandro Barrera (Kris Tyrpak 69).

CHIVAS USA
Chivas USA had their their winless and goalless streaks continued, falling 1-0 to the New England Revolution on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. Chivas USA sit in ninth place in the Western Conference with 24 points from 24 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's lone goal came in the 56th minute. Kelyn Rowe and Daigo Kobayashi worked a textbook one-two on the right side, with Rowe charging towards the goal to make a touch pass to Nguyen atop the box where he fired with his right foot, bending his shot high left into the back of the net.
  • Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth wasn't greatly troubled in making four saves for the clean sheet, stopping Chivas USA newcomer Felix Borja once in each half on the best chances of the game for the visitors.
  • Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera made one change to the team that played to a scoreless draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC at StubHub Center. Oswaldo Minda came into the side in place of Marky Delgado.
  • CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - Akira Kaji, Tony Lochhead, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Donny Toia - Nathan Sturgis, Agustin Pelletieri (Marky Delgado 68), Oswaldo Minda, Eric Avila (Leandro Barrera 62) - Felix Borja (Ryan Finley 86), Erick Torres.

TEAM NEWS

  • Chivas USA saw their shutout streak extended to 456 minutes in a fifth consecutive blanking with the loss at New England. It’s the second-longest goalless drought in club history (601 minutes in 2012), the second longest in the league this season (Houston, 480 minutes from May 17-July 4) and the 11th-longest such streak in league history.
  • “We had a real good stretch in July and through that stretch, we were staying compact and netting goals, which is what we were focused on doing,” said goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. “With 10 games left, we need to make sure every game is close and we’re in it and have that opportunity to win. If we played like we did tonight, we’ll have those opportunities.”
  • Said defender Tony Lochhead: “I thought we had a couple good looks, as well. It would have been nice if we could have put something away. It would have been nice to come away with some points from this trip. I thought we played well enough to do that but again not quite good enough and we got punished for letting them get that chance.”
  • It was also a fourth consecutive loss away from home for Chivas USA, since a 3-1 win at Vancouver on July 12. The club record is 10 consecutive away losses, set in its inaugural season of 2005.
  • “I would say, in a lot of ways, we matched them just in the tactical aspect,” assistant coach Paul Caffrey said. “Defensively, we were very good for most of the game. In the end, it was just separated by that little bit of quality. … We had maybe three, four very good chances. We lacked, at that point, the little bit of quality. That was the difference.”
  • Neither of Chivas USA’s newest acquisitions – midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker and defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado – featured in the match. They were picked up from Vancouver and Chicago respectively in the days leading up to the New England game.
  • “Anytime you make these types of changes, you make them to improve the team. They are two quality players that are going to help us tremendously going forward, Caffrey said. “Hopefully, they will improve other players around them, as well. Not only will these players improve our play, but they will also make the team better altogether.”
  • For a second consecutive match, Felix Borja was in the starting lineup, playing 86 minutes, partnered with Erick Torres in attack.
  • “It worked for the four games that we won in a row, and it hasn’t worked since. (Erick) Torres scored 14 goals at the beginning of the season, and none after. We can’t just rely on one player to score, and we need other players to step up and score some goals as well,” said Caffrey. “Other players had chances, but couldn’t finish. In the future, if we continue to have chances such as the ones we had tonight, we can put some of them away. This could also help Torres because it will lift some of the pressure off his back and could play more relaxed.”

LA GALAXY
The LA Galaxy made it three wins a row in impressive fashion, rolling to a 4-1 win against Eastern Conference leaders D.C. United on Wednesday evening at StubHub Center. The Galaxy sit in second place in the Western Conference with 43 points from 24 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The Galaxy were ahead by the second minute. As they poured forward on the attack, United defender Taylor Kemp tackled the ball away from Marcelo Sarvas, but it caromed off a teammate and bounced straight to Alan Gordon, who slid into the ball and finished into an open net.
  • The score was 2-0 when Omar Gonzalez scored in the 25th minute, reaching around a United defender to volley home a Landon Donovan corner kick near the penalty spot.
  • The Galaxy netted the third in first-half stoppage time, finishing a brilliant 26-pass sequence. Donovan played a one-two with Gordon just above United’s box, then played the ball to the right for A.J. DeLaGarza, who sent the ball into the goalmouth. Baggio Husidic got in a touch, putting it off goalkeeper Bill Hamid and into the net.
  • United pulled a goal back in the 58th minute. Alex Caskey tracked down a half-cleared cross and sent the ball back into the goalmouth. Eddie Johnson and Galaxy defender Leonardo arrived just as the ball was getting to goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, with the center back getting a touch on the ball to divert it into his own goal.
  • The scoreline was complete with a quarter-hour to play. From a corner kick, Gonzalez got his head to the ball but went down under what referee Kevin Stott adjudged to be a hold from United defender Steven Birnbaum. Donovan converted the penalty kick for his 141st career league goal.
  • Galaxy coach Bruce Arena made two changes to the team that defeated Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-0 at StubHub Center. Todd Dunivant came in at fullback for Dan Gargan, and Alan Gordon started up top in place of Robbie Keane.
  • LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Jaime Penedo - A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez (Chandler Hoffman 80), Leonardo, Todd Dunivant - Baggio Husidic, Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho, Landon Donovan (Jose Villarreal 86) - Gyasi Zardes, Alan Gordon (Robbie Rogers 63).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Galaxy have strung together three consecutive victories for the first time this season, the last two coming in a stretch of four consecutive games at StubHub Center.
  • “We’re moving well and we are passing well and we are creating opportunities, but I think the biggest catalyst is when we defend well it puts us in good position to score, so ironically they focused more on our defending and we end up scoring more goals,” said Landon Donovan. “I think when you’re tuned in that way defensively; it also makes you sharper offensively. It’s been great, things are going our way, bounces are going our way and it’s a lot of fun to score goals.”
  • Alan Gordon made his first start since coming to the Galaxy in a trade with the San Jose Earthquakes, and scored his second goal with the club (over the last three games).
  • “He is an improved player from the last time we saw him at the Los Angeles Galaxy, his experiences in San Jose were good, he is a good player,” said Arena. “I thought he and [Gyasi] Zardes worked very well together tonight, for the first time, they had never played with each other, I think that was a real positive. I think Alan has two goals in the last three games, that is all good stuff.”
  • Robbie Keane missed just his second league game of the season, sidelined with an injury. Keane’s only other absence came June 8, the second meeting with Chivas USA, because of international duty.
  • “You don't want to lose a player of Robbie's quality, but I think the players are confident that we can play when we lose some players. That has been the case a number of times this year, and I think their response tonight was outstanding,” Arena said. “Robbie is day-to-day now, he might be available on Sunday, it was from the last game, so hopefully he will be ready to go.”
  • Donovan scored his seventh goal of the season, the 141st of his MLS league career and the 29th from the penalty spot. He has scored in three consecutive games and has three goals and three assists over that stretch.
  • “The guys around me have made it very easy on me lately. Juninho and Marcelo [Sarvas] have been excellent, Stefan [Ishizaki] and Baggio [Husidic], whoever has played there have been excellent Gyasi [Zardes], even though he hasn’t scored now in a few games, just the way he plays makes it so easy and he really occupies people and makes it difficult,” said Donovan. “I’m trying to put myself in good spots and make good plays and the guys are helping me out a lot.”
  • Donovan also assisted on a pair of goals, the third time this season he’s had two assists in a game, and now has 10 for the season, second in MLS behind New York’s Thierry Henry and teammate Robbie Keane. He has 127 for his league career, just eight behind all-time record holder Steve Ralston. It was the 27th time in Donovan’s career he had multiple assists in a game; he is already the MLS all-time leader with 31 multiple-goal games.
  • “Landon is obviously committed to completing his career in the right manor, his leadership and quality tonight was terrific, what more can you say,” said Arena. “He has been a great one, his attitude has been terrific over the last two or three weeks after his announcement. We are really happy for him, and certainly he has been an important part of our success over the last couple months.”
  • Said Gordon: “He was unbelievable. He was good. I’ve played with Landon a long time, and he’s real motivated right now. And a motivated Landon is very dangerous.”
  • Omar Gonzalez scored his third goal of the season, all three goals this year coming in the last five matches. The three goals are a new single-season career-high for Gonzalez, in his sixth MLS season.
  • “We tweaked the lineup a little bit, we gave [Dan] Gargan a rest tonight, but our line has played well all year, it has been a really good year to date for them,” said Arena. “Omar is playing well, I think this was Todd [Dunivant’s] first 90-minute game, since, maybe, March, so it has been a long time, it is good to get him back in. It was a combination of these things, but our entire group of players have been involved in the back line, and our midfield effort we are getting out of Juninho and Marcelo defensively has been outstanding job there, so it is a collective effort by our guys.”
  • Baggio Husidic scored his second goal of the season, his first coming on April 6. Husidic scored five goals in the 2010 season with the Chicago Fire.