CARSON, Calif. — Another SuperClásico, another victory for the LA Galaxy.
A Chad Barrett goal was the difference as the Galaxy defeated Chivas USA 1-0 in the 21st regular-season edition of the SuperClasico in front of a capacity crowd of 27,000 at the Home Depot Center on Saturday night.
Barrett put the Galaxy on top in the 26th minute of play after a foul set up a David Beckham free kick. The striker was alone on the play and headed the ball past Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy for his third goal of the year. Beckham’s sixth assist put him level with Houston’s Brad Davis for the league lead.
Throughout the match, the stellar midfield combination of Beckham prevented Chivas’ own pair of Nick LaBrocca and Simon Elliott from connecting with Rojiblancos forwards Alejandro Moreno and Justin Braun. With Chivas USA unable to get anything going on the attack, Braun was removed in the 66th minute, just one week removed from his hat trick performance against the New York Red Bulls.
The Rojiblancos began to push forward late in the match searching for the second goal, but were unable to crack a steely Galaxy defense. Chivas USA’s best chance came in the 65th minute when Ben Zemanski fired a shot that bounced off the post.
As the match clicked down, Chivas USA struggled to generate attack as the Galaxy sat back and forced the Goats to come to them, a tactic that was ultimately successful. LA nearly doubled their lead in the 90th minute of play when second-half substitute Miguel López fired a shot that just missed the top corner of Kennedy’s net.
The normally intense SuperClásico saw countless hard challenges by both teams, but only two yellows by Chivas USA players Elliott and Zarek Valentin, respectfully. Chivas USA’s loss continued a near four-year winless streak against their in-stadium rivals; the Goats haven’t tasted victory in the rivalry since Sept. 13, 2007.
The two teams will meet again on Oct. 16 when the Galaxy will serve as hosts.
Chivas USA return to action on May 28 as the Rojiblancos travel to Columbus, while the Galaxy prepare for a midweek game on May 25 at the Home Depot Center against Houston.
LA -- Chad Barrett 3 (David Beckham 6) 26
CHV -- Simon Elliott (caution; Reckless Foul) 50
CHV -- Zarek Valentin (caution; Reckless Tackle) 73
LA Galaxy -- Donovan Ricketts, Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant, Landon Donovan, David Beckham (Michael Stephens 89), Juninho, Mike Magee (Chris Birchall 65), Juan Pablo Angel, Chad Barrett (Miguel Lopez 71).
Substitutes Not Used: Gregg Berhalter, Paolo Cardozo, Frankie Hejduk, Josh Saunders.
Chivas USA -- Dan Kennedy, Zarek Valentin, Andrew Boyens, Heath Pearce, Ante Jazic, Ben Zemanski, Simon Elliott, Nick LaBrocca, Jorge Flores (Francisco Mendoza 58), Justin Braun (Chris Cortez 66), Alejandro Moreno.
Substitutes Not Used: Victor Estupinan, Gerson Mayen, Mariano Trujillo, Michael Umana, Zach Thornton.
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Referee's Assistants: Chris Strickland; Frank Anderson
4th Official: Fotis Bazakos
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Clear and 64 degrees