Chivas USA defender Joaquín Velázquez was in the news plenty this week following his controversial red card that tarnished the SuperClasico. He captured the headline for a different reason Sunday, scoring the game-winning goal in a 4-1 victory against the Chicago Fire.
His red card was rescinded by the league following review, but in a sense, justice was served on the pitch, too.
Velázquez's first MLS goal did more than just give Chivas USA their second victory in four matches — it was a shining moment for a player coach José Luis Sánchez Solá so vehemently defended after the 1-1 draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
"I'm happy," Velázquez told MLSsoccer.com. "After seeing the replay [of the red card] last week, it was a flop. It wasn't the right call and I'm glad things were resolved."
Velázquez helped resolve them this time through, giving his side a 2-1 lead after they’d squandered their initial 1-0 advantage.
The go-ahead score came on a set play, with Velázquez being the intended target. He flicked a header across goal and just inside the back post, quickly backpedaling to playfully escape his excited teammates in celebration.
"I'm elated," Velázquez said. "We finished a set play we've been practicing. It was important for us to come out here and perform as a team."
The chilly conditions were unlike anything the squad had experienced in California recently, but as Chivas have done so far this year, they met the challenge head on.
"I don't know if we're surprising other teams, but what I do know is we're fighting," Velázquez said. "We're battling and getting better. It's a very long season, so we've got to keep this going."