Try as they might, Chivas USA failed to match an early-season formula for success against FC Dallas as the Red-and-White fell at home by 2-0.
FC Dallas jumped out to an early lead through Kenny Cooper but, unlike the season-opening draw between the two sides, Chivas USA could not counter with a late equalizer. Abe Thompson put the game out of reach with his goal 10 minutes from the end.
Chivas USA fielded a makeshift lineup as the club was hampered with injury and suspension. Not in uniform were Francisco Mendoza and Sacha Kljestan as each served a one-match suspension. Also missing was Raphael Wicky. Ante Razov did not start but played the final half hour.
The club welcomed back Claudio Suarez and Lawson Vaughn. Suarez made his season debut while Vaughn had missed the last two games with a hamstring injury.
FC Dallas found the back of the net just five minutes in. Dax McCarty crossed the ball from the right side of the field to the left side of the six-yard box. Ricardinho headed the ball to the front of the goal and Cooper got in behind Claudio Suarez and easily beat Chivas USA's Brad Guzan.
Braun and Galindo nearly connected on a combination near the top of the area in the seventh minute. Braun slipped a ball to Galindo but the Cuban's first touch failed him. The ball skipped away from Galindo and rolled harmlessly to FC Dallas 'keeper Dario Sala.
With several new pieces in play, Chivas USA had problems finding cohesion early on. Chiles held the ball too long on several occasions and was dispossessed by FC Dallas defenders while Braun and Galindo did not connect much aside from their seventh-minute attempt.
Chivas USA though maintained possession for stretches of time in the early going as FC Dallas seemed content to let the hosts dictate the pace of the game and wait for a counterattack.
Still, it was the Chivas forward pair that nearly drew the club even. Braun mistimed a header attempt from 15 yards out but the ball rolled to the right side of the area. Galindo scooped it up and sent the ball right back to the front of the net. Braun slid and tried to re-direct the ball into the back of the net but could not get his foot to the ball.
Braun was the victim of a rough challenge from Adrian Serioux, who flattened Chivas USA's first-year forward in the middle of the field. However, Serioux was not booked.
About midway through the first half, Chivas USA's youngsters seemed to find their rhythm. Chiles carried the ball down the left flank on one play.
Near the end of the first half, Chivas USA put consistent pressure on Sala and the FC Dallas backline. Galindo's speed helped create a scoring chance in the 38th minute. Galindo picked up a loose ball and ran straight at FC Dallas center back Duilio Davino. Galindo beat Davino inside the area but his attempt hit the outside of the net. Jonathan Bornstein then fed Galindo inside the area two minutes later but Galindo's side volley attempt sailed high over the net.
Chiles had a look on goal in the 44th minute. After his corner attempt bounced back to him, Chiles whipped the ball on goal and forced Sala to dive and push the ball over the crossbar.
Braun had the Red-and-White's first opportunity of the second half. Braun ran in on Sala and ripped a shot on goal but Sala did well to knock the ball over the end line.
Ante Razov came on for the final half-hour as he replaced Chiles on the hour. One of the league's deadliest forward combinations from a year ago, Razov and Galindo had played just 18 minutes together this season prior to Sunday's match. Razov played the first 73 minutes of the season opener but has not played since while Galindo played the final 35 minutes of the opening match and scored the equalizer in a 1-1 draw.
Chivas USA coach Preki made another substitution minutes later. Preki replaced Vaughn with Atiba Harris. With Harris on the field, the club had four forwards on the field. Harris, though, spent time in the midfield with Real Salt Lake before joining Chivas USA in the offseason.
Galindo picked up a yellow card in the 65th minute when he knocked down FC Dallas' Drew Moor from behind.
Thompson finished off the match when he ran on to a long ball from midfield by Arturo Alvarez. Thompson was able to run into the Chivas area before cutting to his left; when Shavar Thomas slipped to the turf while trying to cover, it allowed Thompson a clear look at goal and he rolled a shot inside the right-hand post.
Razov nearly pulled one back with a late scissors kick side-volley, but his vicious attempt rattled off the right post.
Luis Bueno is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.