CARSON, Calif. – When Rodolfo Espinoza first arrived at Chivas USA in mid-July, he quickly made a name for himself as a player that could provide assists.
The day after signing with Chivas USA, he notched his first against Mexican First Division side Puebla FC in the Goats’ opening game of the 2010 SuperLiga. Three days later, he found Jesus Padilla for assist No. 2 against the Houston Dynamo in the same tournament.
All in all, Espinoza has tallied four assists for the Red-and-White in just 15 appearances. But on Saturday night, the Mexico City native finally got a goal of his own – his first in MLS.
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“I’m happy for my first goal and I hope it’s not the last,” Espinoza said after the match. “It’s hard to overcome a three game losing streak, but today I think we were the better side. I’m happy about getting a goal, but what’s more important is that the team won.”
Espinoza’s tally came in the final minute of play – the final nail in the coffin for Chivas USA's 3-0 victory over Toronto FC.
“I was happy to get the goal in front of my wife and children, who were in the stadium,” Espinoza said. “I hope we can close the season well with three more victories.”
The 29-year-old has become a staple of the Chivas USA midfield, offering the team some offensive spark from the winger position. After scoring just three goals in league play in the month prior, it was offense badly needed.
“We worked for 90 minutes,” he said. “We were patient. In the past, sometimes we’ve allowed a goal and we’ve fallen apart. Today, we were organized and compounded. The 3-0 score line is a little flattering, but we definitely deserved the win.”
Chivas USA have just three matches left in the regular season, against Seattle, San Jose and Chicago. The Goats’ 2010 playoff dreams are dead, but that won’t keep them from fighting hard as they play out the schedule.
“There are three games left and we intend to win all three of them,” Espinoza said. “The responsibility is with us.”