CARSON, Calif. – It only took one match for Argentine midfielder Marcos Mondaini to show that he has the tools to make a significant impact with Chivas USA.
In the club’s 3-2 loss to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, the Argentine (above, right), who was acquired on loan from Uruguayan club CA Fénix during the preseason, was a consistent threat for Chivas. The former youth product of Argentine giants Boca Juniors frequently caused difficulty for Sporting, creating a number of chances for the Rojiblancos with his play along the flanks.
After the match, head coach Robin Fraser admitted that it was a shining MLS debut for Mondaini.
"He's been getting better from the first day that he got here, to be honest,” said Fraser. “He's an intelligent, crafty, quick player who has been in a number of big games, and I thought for his first MLS game he was completely unfazed.”
In Fraser’s 4-1-4-1 formation Mondaini was frequently working in tandem with midfielder Nick LaBrocca, the two combining with attackers Justin Braun and Alejandro Moreno to create chances for the Goats.
Not solely limited to creating, Mondaini had a chance of his own in 12th minute of play when LaBrocca sent him in on goal. Mondiani fired a shot that forced a toe-save from Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.
For a team that had struggled to score goals in the preseason, Mondaini’s liveliness along the left side left many encouraged that Chivas USA can create many more chances in the coming matches. However, for the man himself, the success was bittersweet.
While encouraged by his ability to perform in his first match, he admitted that there was still much work to be done for Chivas with a match against the defending champion Colorado Rapids on the horizon.
“It’s a little bit weird because I’m happy to play my first game for Chivas, but I’m sad about the result,” said Mondaini. “We need to keep our heads up and keep working. It was an open game especially for us, but unfortunately we allowed some unfortunate goals, so we have to fix our mistakes.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @adamserrano