New weapons not enough for Chivas USA

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Despite newcomers Francisco Palencia, Juan Pablo "Loquito" Garcia and Sergio "Matute" Garcia making their Home Depot Center debuts Saturday, Chivas USA reverted to their early-season form and were smashed by the Columbus Crew 3-0.

Palencia and "Loquito" Garcia were non-factors in the match as the Crew's defense held firm. Meanwhile, "Matute" Garcia was the victim of sloppy defending and timely Crew counterattacks.

Chivas USA coach Hans Westerhof made several changes to the starting lineup. Forward Matt Taylor recovered fully from surgery he had on a sports hernia last month and replaced Arturo Torres. Also, defender Armando Begines did not start for the first time in 10 games.

The biggest move in the starting 11 came in goal as "Matute" Garcia started in place of Brad Guzan.

Five minutes in, Palencia had his first shot, a 15-yarder he fired while Mark Schulte was draped on him. Palencia sent the shot well wide of the net.

Chivas had their first dangerous opportunity of the match in the 12th minute. Antonio Martinez sent a long pass across to the penalty area. Taylor chipped the ball to the front of the goal and although Crew 'keeper Jonny Walker came off his line in a failed attempt to stop the ball, no red-and-white shirts were there to clean up the loose ball.

"Matute" Garcia came up with a big save in the 19th minute. Cornell Glen found space and one-timed a cross right on goal but Garcia stood firm and got enough of the ball to knock it out of bounds.

Glen got the better of Garcia eventually. A quarter-hour later, Glen snapped up a bad pass-back by a Chivas player and slipped a shot under a charging Garcia.

Martinez darted around Simon Elliot on the left side but Crew 'keeper Walker snared the ball in mid-air in the 37th minute. Less than 60 seconds later, Palencia fired a low-rolling shot from the top of the penalty area but the ball rolled harmlessly out of bounds.

Chivas clamored for a penalty kick after Francisco Mendoza took a spill inside the area in the 54th minute. He did make contact with a Crew defender, but the referee told Mendoza to stand up instead of pointing to the penalty spot.

John Wolyniec doubled the Crew's lead in the 61st minute after a well-executed counterattack. Glen jumped on a ball on Columbus' side of the field and carried it about 40 yards. The Trinidadian slotted the ball to the top of the area and the former MetroStars striker hammered a
19-yard shot into the back of the net.

Wolyniec put the game out of reach in the 70th minute. Glen again proved his worth to the Crew and created havoc on the right side of Chivas' defense. With Chivas pushing forward, Glen found a loose ball outside of the area. He and Garcia got to the ball at almost the same time but Garcia could only feebly knock the ball away. Wolyniec powered a 17-yard bomb into an open net.

Palencia had his best scoring chance in the 77th minute when he struck a 25-yard bomb that Walker dived and pushed into touch.

MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Cornell Glen, Columbus Crew

Luis Bueno is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.


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