It wasn’t pretty, but it’ll do for Chivas USA.
In their third match in a week and dealing with high temperatures and a hungry FC Dallas side looking for their win in 10 matches, the Rojiblancos weathered the storm and earned a valuable road point in a scoreless draw on Saturday night.
The result was hardly aesthetically pleasing, though, as Dallas controlled wide stretches of the game with Chivas earning just a single shot on frame – and two shots overall – but head coach Robin Fraser was pleased with the way his side dealt with the circumstances.
“You come to Dallas, your third game in a week, and it is 100 degrees out and you walk away with a point, then I think that’s a good thing,” Fraser told MLSsoccer.com by phone after the match. “I thought that the effort was fantastic, regardless of their record.
HIGHLIGHTS: DAL 0, CHV 0
“They have a lot of very explosive players, so to come in here on a tail end of a week of games and work that hard and get a point, the guys really earned it.”
Although Dallas controlled much of the match, it was Chivas who had the first chance of the night in the 12th minute when a scramble in the Dallas box fell to Alejandro Moreno. With the ball at his feet, the Chivas captain fired the shot into the post. But from there, FCD began their onslaught.
From the outset of the second half, spearheaded by Brek Shea, Dallas pushed forward and threatened to send Chivas home without anything to show for their efforts. However, once again, goalkeeper Dan Kennedy was the difference as he notched three saves on the night – two coming in the second half.
The match grew nervy in the end with Dallas demanding a penalty kick opportunity after Danny Califf collided with Fabián Castillo, but referee Elias Bazakos waved off the challenge, bringing the scoreless match to a close.
“I was very proud of the effort, certainly it could have gone worse, but I felt like we were really up for the battle,” said Fraser. “You talk about resolve, that’s exactly what it was. It was determination that we weren’t going to give anything up.”
The point was not the only plus that the Rojiblancos received in Frisco. The club also welcomed 2011 MLS All-Star Nick LaBrocca back to the fold after a hamstring injury. On the injury list since suffering a hamstring strain in the first half of the club’s game against the New York Red Bulls on May 23, LaBrocca went 27 minutes in the draw.
“Obviously, it’s a great thing for us. Nick has been an important part of the team for a while now,” Fraser said. “Getting him back is going to help us.”
With a point in hand from sweltering Frisco, Fraser believes the display against Dallas could be vital heading into next week’s US Open Cup Quarterfinal against the Charlotte Eagles.
“As a team, we’re committed to the belief that we can fight and we can battle,” said Fraser. “Certainly, going into Tuesday’s game, it’s a competition that we’re taking very seriously and we want to win.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.