CARSON, Calif. – The jabs were subtle during the final SuperClasico at StubHub Center on Sunday afternoon.
Chivas USA fans standing behind the south end goal held up a banner, broken up into two lines, that read, “We support for passion, you support for fashion.” It was directed toward the LA Galaxy contingent, who were the majority of spectators that packed the venue that the clubs share.
Yet, after a resounding 3-0 victory by the powerful Galaxy, the exclamatory banner was all the beleaguered faithful had to point to.
Super and classical might not have been the best descriptors for the Rojiblancos, who lost to the Galaxy in 20 of the 31 all-time meetings. Chivas USA stayed in the last rendition until they couldn’t, allowing three goals in a 30-minute span and failing to score for the sixth consecutive match.
Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy did what he could, but the Goats needed far more.
“The Galaxy were very talented and we knew that,” head coach Wilmer Cabrera told reporters. “That made it even worse for us to fix our problems.”
Chivas USA showed some good buildup in the fifth minute when Erick “Cubo” Torres fed debutant Nigel Reo-Coker, whose shot was stopped by a diving Jaime Penedo. Torres then had a free-kick attempt later in the first half, but Penedo easily handled his curling shot.
That was it for the Goats’ attack, as they had only two on-target shots and saw their scoreless drought extend to 546 consecutive minutes – the worst streak in MLS this season.
They remained competitive because of their patchwork defense, which featured Agustín Pelletieri as the holding midfielder and newcomer Jhon Kennedy Hurtado at center back alongside Andrew Jean-Baptiste. Kennedy had a number of highlight-reel saves in the first half, including two stops on Alan Gordon headers and another on an ambitious, long-range attempt from Marcelo Sarvas.
That effort led to Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena telling reporters he was impressed with Chivas USA’s vigor.
“They were tough to break down in the first half,” Arena told reporters. “[Dan] Kennedy was very tough to beat. To get that goal before the half was big.”
Any slim chance the Rojiblancos had of staying in the game vanished when Torres was sent off in the 75th minute for a sliding tackle on Baggio Husidic.
“It’s a play where I got there late and with too much force,” Torres told reporters afterward. “The referee called that and I respect the decision.”
Cabrera said he thought his group began well, bringing energy and a fresh look with the integration of newcomers Nigel Reo-Coker and Hurtado.
Yet the Galaxy had too many weapons, too many tools and too much creativity for the slumping Goats.
“We could not keep up,” Cabrera said.