CARSON, Calif. -- Last Saturday’s 3-2 loss to D.C. United was a double-whammy for Chivas USA. Not only did the team lose its fourth consecutive match, but starting goalkeeper Zach Thornton was red-carded in the 90th minute and will be forced to sit out the Goats’ upcoming game against New York on Saturday.
Relieving some of the stress for Chivas USA Head Coach Martín Vásquez, however, is backup netminder Dan Kennedy, who has returned to practice with the Red and White and looks a likely candidate to get the starting nod against the Red Bulls on Saturday.
Kennedy had been sidelined since the beginning of May with a small muscle strain in his hamstring, but has returned to the pitch just in time.
“The goal for the past couple of weeks has been to get me fit for New York,” Kennedy said Wednesday. “I’m trying to get as sharp as possible and be here for the team.”
Kennedy and the Chivas USA coaching staff had chosen Saturday’s match as a possible return date for the 27-year-old ‘keeper back in mid-May.
“We had set this game as a goal three weeks ago,” Kennedy said. “It’s funny how the timing just works out sometimes. Actually, the same thing happened in reverse two years ago. When I got the red card against Houston [on October 25th, 2008], that was Zach [Thornton’s] first game back after his own injury.”
Chivas USA will be in desperate need of points in Kennedy’s return. The team has now conceded the most goals in the Western Conference (17) and is in danger of losing its fifth consecutive match.
“It’s going to be a good test for us,” Kennedy said. “We have a break coming up and hopefully we can end on a good note. I’ll be ready to go on Saturday.”