THE HOME DEPOT CENTER, Carson, Calif.
April 20, 2008 | 5 p.m. PT (FSN-W; Ch. 52)
WEEK # 4 | GAME # 28
Chivas USA and FC Dallas meet for the second time in the young season when the two face off at The Home Depot Center. The teams battled to a 1-1 draw at Pizza Hut Park in the season opener, a late Chivas goal grabbing the share of the points. Chivas are coming off their first loss of the season in a wild contest in Columbus last weekend, while FC Dallas are coming off their first victory, defeating the New York Red Bulls at home.
REFEREE: Terry Vaughn. SAR (bench): Bill Dittmar; JAR (opposite): David Bragg; 4th: Ramon Hernandez MLS Career: 85 games; FC/gm: 30.4; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 27; pens: 28
INJURY REPORT: CHIVAS USA - OUT: FW Alecko Eskandarian (L groin strain), DF Alex Zotinca (R knee ACL surgery); QUESTIONABLE: FW Ante Razov (L calf strain), DF Lawson Vaughn (L hamstring strain), MF Raphaël Wicky (back spasms); PROBABLE: FW Maykel Galindo (R groin strain) ... FC DALLAS - OUT: GK Josh Lambo (jaw); MF David Wagenfuhr (concussion); MF Bobby Rhine (hip); QUESTIONABLE: FW Arturo Alvarez (L hamstring); MF Pablo Ricchetti (R groin); MF Juan Toja (R quadriceps)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: CHV: Francisco Mendoza (through April 20); Sacha Kljestan (through April 20)
ALL-TIME (12 meetings): Chivas USA 3 wins, 15 goals ... FC Dallas 5 wins, 18 goals ... Ties 4
AT CHIVAS USA (5 meetings): Chivas USA 2 wins, 9 goals ... FC Dallas 2 wins, 9 goals ... Ties 1
This is the second of two meetings between the teams this season, with both encounters coming in the opening month of the campaign. This is the only meeting set for The Home Depot Center.
The teams split their season series last year, each winning by a 2-0 scoreline at home before they finished their set with a scoreless draw in Frisco.
The FCD victory on July 4 of last year was their first against Chivas USA since June 11, 2006, a span of four matches (Chivas winning three).The first Chivas success in that run, a 3-0 win on July 1 in Carson, was the club's first-ever victory against FC Dallas, after the Hoops captured the first five meetings all-time.
Coaches record: Preki vs. DAL: P4 W1 L1 D2 ... Steve Morrow v CHV: P4 W1 L1 D2
3/30: DAL 1, CHV 1 (Toja 21 - Galindo 84)
Chivas USA came back to claim a draw on the road in the season opener, finishing at 1-1 with FC Dallas on March 30 at Pizza Hut Park.
The prematch festivities for the season opener for FC Dallas and Chivas USA were highlighted by the announcement of the Sueno MLS winner for each club, Briant Reyes for Chivas USA and Gabriel Funes for FC Dallas.
Juan Toja gave FC Dallas the lead in the 21th minute. A Bobby Rhine cross found Abe Thompson in the area, who slipped the ball quickly to the Colombian midfielder. Toja quickly turned back toward goal and lashed a shot past Chivas USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
But six minutes from the end Chivas got the tying goal. A long ball out of midfield from Chivas newcomer Raphael Wicky was misplayed by another high-profile addition, FC Dallas defender Duilio Davino, just outside the area. Maykel Galindo quickly pounced on the loose ball and sent a low shot from just outside the box through Dario Sala's legs and into the FCD goal.
Here's Morrow's team (3-4-1-2): Dario Sala - Aaron Pitchkolan, Duilio Davino, Adrian Serioux - Bobby Rhine, Andre Rocha, Marcelo Saragosa (Pablo Ricchetti 62), Blake Wagner - Juan Toja (Dax McCarty 73) - Kenny Cooper, Abe Thompson (Dominic Oduro 80). Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Daniels, Josh Lambo, Brek Shea, Anthony Wallace
Here's Preki's team (4-4-2): Brad Guzan - Lawson Vaughn (Raphael Wicky 71), Shavar Thomas, Jim Curtin, Jonathan Bornstein - Sacha Kljestan, Jesse Marsch, Paulo Nagamura, Francisco Mendoza - Atiba Harris (Maykel Galindo 55), Ante Razov (Justin Braun 73). Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Burling, Eric Ebert, Lance Parker, Keith Savage
Chivas USA went down to defeat for the first time in 2008, fighting back from a two-goal deficit before going down 4-3 to the Columbus Crew in the wildest game thus far in the young season, Saturday night at Crew Stadium. Chivas USA have four points from three matches, tied for third place with Real Salt Lake, two points off the pace of Western Conference-leading Colorado Rapids.
The home-standing Crew were back home after losing for the first time on the season, at New York, while Chivas USA followed a season-opening draw with a win in their first home game.
The Crew took the lead in the 26th minute when Guillermo Barros Schelotto converted from the penalty spot after Jim Curtin collided with Alejandro Moreno in the Chivas penalty area.
Sacha Kljestan pulled Chivas USA level in the 33rd minute with a stunning goal, a wonderful curling effort from outside the area that sailed inside Crew 'keeper Will Hesmer's left-hand post. But Columbus took a lead into the break when Moreno scored two minutes later, sidefooting home a Schelotto pass as the two broke in alone on goal on the counter.
Robbie Rogers made it 3-1 in the 71st minute, sent in behind the Chivas defense on the left by Schelotto and slotting home inside the near post.
But Chivas got back to level terms with two goals inside seven minutes. Slipped through all alone behind a pulled-up Crew backline, Jesse Marsch raced in alone on goal before driving a low shot past Hesmer (72), then Paulo Nagamura took a square pass straight out from goal and curled a long-range shot that Hesmer could only tip on its way to the back of net.
Yet just four minutes later the Crew hit for the winner. A long ball from the right from Danny O'Rourke sailed over a defender and was brought down by Rogers, who hammered a wicked low drive from outside the box that knuckled on its way to goal, sailing through Brad Guzan's hands in the Chivas goal for the winner.
Chivas finished the game with nine men after Francisco Mendoza received a second caution and Kljestan saw a straight red in the final minutes.
Chivas USA head coach Preki made one change to the team that defeated Real Salt Lake 3-1 the weekend before. With Maykel Galindo still hampered by an injury, Keith Savage made his first MLS start in his place.
Here's Preki's team (4-4-1-1): Brad Guzan - Chris Pozniak (Eric Ebert 64), Jim Curtin, Shavar Thomas, Jonathan Bornstein - Keith Savage (Maykel Galindo 46), Jesse Marsch, Paulo Nagamura, Francisco Mendoza - Sacha Kljestan - Atiba Harris (Justin Braun 60). Substitutes Not Used: Anthony Hamilton, Daniel Paladini, Lance Parker, Claudio Suarez
"We came out and played pretty decent in the first 25 minutes. We had a couple opportunities to score our first goal, didn't score, and next thing you know we gave up a bad goal. After that, I thought we picked it up and scored a really good goal," Preki said. "And then, in the midst of all that, we manage to make a second mistake in the half, we got punished, and went into halftime losing 2-1. Three times we were down and we managed to fight back, only to give up a bad goal on a couple of mistakes."
While the game-winning goal from Robbie Rogers came from some distance, opposing goalkeeper Will Hesmer had pointed out that the ball moves in flight and could have caught out Chivas goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
"I put the blame on my shoulders," said Guzan. "I let the team down tonight. I couldn't come up with a save when we needed it. I let the guys down, but at the same time, I think we still need to get better as a whole. We were given chances to tie the game, to win the game and when we needed a save, I couldn't make it."
Said Preki: "Guzan was good for us last year. Everybody makes a mistake or two, and tonight was the result. We need to come out with a good mentality next week. It is only one game and it is still early in the season."
Chivas was not even close to full strength for the contest, with three regulars not starting the match, including Maykel Galindo and Ante Razov, who along with Alecko Eskandarian did not even make the trip to Ohio. Eskandarian will travel to Germany this week to be evaluated by Dr. Ulrike Muschaweck, a leading expert in sports hernia injuries.
Keith Savage, the team's only SuperDraft pick in 2008, made the start on the right side of midfield with Sacha Kljestan playing underneath Atiba Harris, who was the only true striker for Preki's team. Savage made his debut one to remember, getting on the scoresheet by assisting on Chivas' first goal.
"It wasn't the best assist I've ever had but I'll take it, being my first game and all," said Savage. "Now I can just hope for a good week of practice and to do it again next week. It made it all the more special because it is my mom's birthday back home and the whole family was watching."
FC Dallas won for the first time in the new year, defeating the New York Red Bulls 2-0 on Saturday evening at Pizza Hut Park. The Hoops have five points from their three games thus far, one behind the Western Conference-leading Colorado Rapids and one ahead of Chivas USA.
FC Dallas were coming into the match looking for a first win on the year after conceding late goals in two successive draws, while the Red Bulls opened the season the week before with a home win against Columbus.
It took the Hoops just 51 seconds to open the scoring. Andre Rocha swung in a cross from the right flank and Arturo Alvarez got on the end of it, flashing in front of a defender to head home for his second goal on the campaign. It was the second-quickest goal in FCD club history.
Kenny Cooper salted the game away with his third goal of the season in the 66th minute, pulling him into a tie with Landon Donovan for early Golden Boot honors. A long ball from Adrian Serioux from inside his own half found Cooper racing in alone behind the New York defense and he raced in on goal before slotting inside the right post.
FC Dallas head coach Steve Morrow made no changes to the team that played to a 3-3 draw with the Houston Dynamo the Sunday before at Robertson Stadium.
Here's Morrow's team (3-4-1-2): Dario Sala - Drew Moor, Duilio Davino, Adrian Serioux - Dax McCarty, Andre Rocha (Marcelo Saragosa 72), Pablo Ricchetti, Blake Wagner - Juan Toja (Aaron Pitchkolan 77) - Arturo Alvarez (Ricardinho 84), Kenny Cooper. Substitutes Not Used: Ray Burse, Dominic Oduro, Abe Thompson, Anthony Wallace
"I think we looked dangerous up top throughout the game," FCD head coach Steve Morrow said. "We created some chances in the first half and could have been a couple of more goals up. I think the forwards are looking dangerous at the moment. We're very pleased overall. It's a 2-0 win at home, it's a clean sheet at home, which is good. We created lots of chances. At times, we moved the ball very well but we've also got high standards for this team and I still think we can do better and play better."
With Alvarez and Cooper combined for the goals, they now have five of FCD's six on the season. "I think both guys have done well so far with five goals in the last two games," Morrow said. "They're looking dangerous and have also have had chances for more. It's very positive so far. We're doing a lot of work on the practice field with them as well. All credit to them, it's up to them to keep it going. They've got a big responsibility to score goals and so far, they've looked very good."
Morrow was most pleased with the possession his side maintained over the course of the match, not allowing New York any real chances until late in the game.
"I think we're starting to move the ball a bit better," Morrow said. "We see what these guys are capable of in training and at times, they move the ball very well. We haven't quite translated that into the game over 90 minutes yet but I think tonight, we saw a lot of good passing and a lot of good movement. I still think there is better to come."
Saturday's clean sheet came in FCD's third game of the season. In 2007, the Hoops didn't get their first shutout until a June 14 win at Real Salt Lake, which was their 13th match of the year.
"It feels really good, especially at home," Alvarez said. "We should have two wins by now but unfortunately, we let those six points get away. But I think tonight was a very important win for us. We needed it. We played well and deserved it. We've just got to get the most points possible and look to the future."
FCD now have a rare chance to return a favor after only the fourth week of the season, paying the visit to Chivas who snatched a late draw in Frisco in the season opener.
"We definitely felt that we should have gotten wins out of the first two games but unfortunately, we had some costly mistakes at the end," Adrian Serioux said. "We've got one win under our belt and hopefully, we'll carry this momentum into next weekend."