Not a Bad Week for Chivas USAThe LA side loses 3-1 to FC Dallas midweek and defeats RedBull New York 3-2 on Sunday
by Omar Avalos | Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Chivas USA went from depressing to surprising within the span of a week.
First the Goats lost to FC Dallas midweek in what looked to be a sure win. Chivas, true to their recent form (Chivas has taken the lead in their last 11 matches), opened up the scoring but could not manage the game even with a numerical advantage. They squandered a 1-0 lead and allowed Dallas to score twice after the Hoops went down to 10 men.
In the end, Chivas allowed 3 unanswered goals. For the Goats it was a performance too eerily reminiscent of their inaugural season campaign back in 2005, or one of the numerous games thrown away to the Galaxy in the last minutes.
But Sunday’s performance against New York was an opportunity, as every game is, to correct, adjust, vindicate and win.
Guadalajara strike force makes the difference
During Sunday’s match against New York, Chivas de Guadalajara youth products Erick “Cubo” Torres and Mexican U-20 Men’s National Team member Julio Morales powered the offense, which has been non-existent for most of the season. Chivas USA hadn’t scored more than a goal in 16 games, and Cubo’s brace was the 1st that any Chivas USA player has had since Aug. 29, 2012, which is a span of 34 games.
For Julio Morales it was his 1st goal in MLS, which was a left-footed blast from distance in the 30th minute on an assist by rookie Carlos Álvarez.
The celebration was short-lived as New York got even just a minute later on a Tim Cahill header assisted by Thierry Henry.
Cubo Torres added to the scoreline in 1st half stoppage time after being shoulder tackled in the box by Red Bulls defender Ibrahim Sekagya. Torres got his brace in the 81st minute, after a good build-up sequence by the Chivas midfield, which produced a shot on goal and the ricochet that he was able to knock in.
Cubo now has scored 4 goals in 6 starts, and that’s twice as many as Juan Agudelo scored while at Chivas in the same amount of starts.
Chivas fans, while content to see their team with a comfortable 3-1 lead, knew not to get hopes up too high due to the problems that the team has had closing down games. And Sunday’s match almost became another blown lead. Dax McCarty got New York within 1 after his header in the 86th minute.
The Rebaño Angelino heroically weathered New York’s onslaught well in the dying minutes. Bobby Burling cleared what would have been the tying goal from the goal line. New York was given 5 extra time minutes, but the timer on UniMas’ screen showed 6. Chivas was suddenly up against the clock and the ref’s decision but grinded out the win after 96 minutes of play.
Real goes with experience
Manager José Luis Real made some key changes to the starting lineup, beginning with the inclusions of defender Burling and midfielder Oswaldo Minda. Burling started in place of regular starter Mario de Luna, who has struggled with adapting to MLS.
Oswaldo Minda finally got some playing time after weeks. Considering that Chivas has only won 5 games all season, his presence is vital as Chivas USA is 3-3-1 with Minda in play.
Eric Ávila and Josué Soto, 2 regular starters, also did not see minutes. Ávila made way for Minda and Marco Delgado played in Soto’s leftback role.
The win was their 2nd in 4 matches and one that coach Jose Luis Real called the best performance since his arrival.
“For me, this was the best game played by Chivas, against one of the best teams in MLS,” he said. “Henry is a good player in a very good team, but Chivas USA worked very hard as a team. We’re not a team with big players; we’re a team with very good players and if we play individually, we’re going to have very little chances of winning. But working as a team, like we did today, we’re going to match or be better than those big teams.”
NEXT UP: September 1 – Chivas USA vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, BC Place, Vancouver, BC. 7:00 PM EST, MLS Live, cdchivasusa.com (LA area only).