Preview: Chivas USA, RSL put unbeaten runs on the line
CHIVAS USA vs REAL SALT LAKE
THE HOME DEPOT CENTER, Carson, Calif.
June 16, 2012 (WEEK 15, MLS Game #129)
7:30 p.m. PT (PT/KWHY; KTVX-ABC4)
Chivas USA put their four-game MLS undefeated streak on the line when they meet Real Salt Lake for the second time this season, Saturday night at The Home Depot Center. Chivas USA are coming off a 1-1 home with Seattle, and have also advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup. Real Salt Lake are also riding a long unbeaten run, now at six games in league play after a 3-2 win vs. FC Dallas in their last MLS contest.
REFEREE: Yader Reyes. SAR (bench): Peter Manikowski; JAR (opposite): Jeff Hosking; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 17 games; FC/gm: 26.7; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 6; pens: 3
- CHIVAS USA - OUT: MF Marvin Iraheta (L knee ACL); MF Nick Labrocca (L hamstring strain); DOUBTFUL: FW Tristen Bowen (R ankle)
- REAL SALT LAKE - OUT: DF Chris Schuler (L foot bone stress response); MF Luis Gil (R knee strain); DF Leone Cruz (L hamstring strain); PROBABLE: MF Javier Morales (R quadriceps strain); MF Jonny Steele (R ankle contusion); DF Jamison Olave (R calf strain); FW Fabian Espindola (L calf strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: RSL: Kyle Beckerman
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CHV: Oswaldo Minda ... RSL: Javier Morales, Jamison Olave, Alvaro Saborio
ALL-TIME (21 meetings): Chivas USA 10 wins, 30 goals ... Real 7 wins, 22 goals ... Ties 4
AT CARSON (9 meetings): Chivas USA 7 wins, 20 goals ... Real 3 wins, 7 goals ... Ties 1
FUTURE MATCH: 9/29: Chivas USA vs. Real Salt Lake, 7:30 p.m. PT
- The teams are meeting for the second time this season. A goal from rookie Casey Townsend gave Chivas a 1-0 win at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 24.
- The game ended a five-game Real Salt Lake unbeaten streak vs. Chivas USA. After a 1-0 Chivas victory in Carson on May 9, 2009, RSL had four of five meetings, with one draw.
- It was also Chivas USA's first win ever at Rio Tinto Stadium in five all-time trips. Chivas USA had won on their final two trips to Rice-Eccles Stadium - and came away with points from their last four.
- Coaches record: Robin Fraser vs. RSL: P3 W1 L2 D0 ... Jason Kreis vs. CHV: P12 W5 L6 D1
LAST MEETING (MLS):
3/24: RSL 0, CHV 1 (Townsend 72)
- The game's lone goal came in the 72nd minute. Chivas USA fullback Ante Jazic floated a cross from the left, and as Nick Rimando went to claim it, Casey Townsend challenged and the ball slipped from the RSL goalkeeper's grasp. The rookie striker reacted quickly to get a foot to the ball and hit it into the back of the net.
- REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Nick Rimando - Tony Beltran, Chris Schuler, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert - Ned Grabavoy, Kyle Beckerman, Sebastian Velasquez (Javier Morales 46) - Luis Gil (Jonny Steele 71) - Paulo Junior (Alvaro Saborio 46), Fabian Espindola.
- CHIVAS USA (4-2-3-1): Dan Kennedy - James Riley, Heath Pearce, Rauwshan McKenzie, Ante Jazic - Oswaldo Minda, Peter Vagenas (Ben Zemanski 67) - Ryan Smith (Scott Gordon 74), Nick LaBrocca, Laurent Courtois (Cesar Romero 81) - Casey Townsend.
Chivas USA return to league action riding a four-game undefeated streak, their last match a 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC on May 26 at The Home Depot Center. Chivas USA are in sixth place in the Western Conference with 15 points from 13 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Goats, Sounders finish level
- Chivas USA took the lead in the 57th minute. Fullback James Riley whipped in a cross and Juan Agudelo leapt over Seattle defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado to head home his first goal for the club.
- But Seattle equalized just four minutes later. Alex Caskey fired a bounding ball down the left flank that caused center back John Valencia to whiff, leaving David Estrada all the time in the world to beat goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
- Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser made six changes to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Only goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, defenders James Riley, Danny Califf and Ante Jazic, and striker Jose Correa kept their place.
- CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - James Riley, John Valencia (Rauwshan McKenzie 66), Danny Califf, Ante Jazic - Laurent Courtois, Peter Vagenas, Alejandro Moreno, Ryan Smith (Cesar Romero 88) - Jose Correa (Blair Gavin 76), Juan Agudelo.
- Chivas USA extended their unbeaten streak to four games (1-0-3) with the draw against Seattle. They have a win and a draw in their last two games at The Home Depot Center, after losing their first five of the season at home.
- "We're on a four-game unbeaten run now and that's something we can build upon and hold our hat on," said defender Danny Califf. "It's nice to have that run and then go into a break. It's not like we're entering the break on a real big downer or anything like that."
- Juan Agudelo scored his first goal for Chivas since his trade from New York, making his second start in three games (having missed the game against his former club while on international duty).
- "It was good to get the goal personally, but I don't like to think of the personal stuff, I just thought that my goal helped the team and was able to take pressure off the defense," Agudelo said. "I definitely feel that every single day in training and in the games I am getting more comfortable. I'm getting an understanding of how my teammates like to play."
- Just four minutes after the equalizing goal from Sounders FC, Colombian center back John Valencia was taken off in favor of Rauwshan McKenzie.
- "Everyone makes mistakes," said Califf. "He's got to try and put it past him and move beyond. It's not an issue with us. Obviously were all disappointed in the result but you can't fault someone who did his best and just made a mistake at the wrong time. It happens to everybody."
- Days after the Seattle match, Chivas USA won their third-round U.S. Open Cup match, defeating Ventura County Fusion 1-0.
- Here's the Chivas team: Timothy Melia; Jorge VillafaÒa, John Valencia (Danny Califf 83), Rauwshan McKenzie, Scott Gordon; Ryan Smith (Laurent Courtois 46), Blair Gavin, Peter Vagenas, Cesar Romero (Moreno 46); Juan Agudelo, Juan Pablo Angel
- After making his first appearance since April 14 in the league match days earlier, striker Cesar Romero started the Open Cup match against Ventura County, scoring his first competitive goal for the club, the 13th-minute winner.
- "I've been knocking on the door [of the first team] and every day is a new day for me, and every day I train and work hard for the main goal, which is to start on the first team," said Romero. "It's going to be my goal every game and every training session."
- Then on June 5, Chivas advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-1 win against the NASL Carolina RailHawks. Juan Agudelo opened the scoring in the 31st minute before Juan Pablo Angel converted a penalty kick in stoppage time for the game-winner.
- Here's the Chivas team: Timothy Melia; James Riley, Danny Califf , Rauwshan McKenzie, Scott Gordon; Peter Vagenas, Laurent Courtois (Ben Zemanski 63), Blair Gavin (Ryan Smith 83), Alejandro Moreno, Jose Correa (Juan Pablo Angel 70) Juan Agudelo.
- Chivas had a welcome returnee for the match against Carolina, as Ben Zemanski made his first appearance since April 14 after suffering a sprained MCL in his knee. "He was a burst of energy and certainly he gave us a lift in terms of pressuring the ball," Chivas head coach Robin Fraser said. "His work rate is always greatly appreciated."
Anatomy of a Goal: Agudelo vs. Seattle
REAL SALT LAKE
Real Salt Lake play for just the second time in just more than a month, extending their league unbeaten streak to six games last time out in a 3-2 win against FC Dallas on May 26 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Real lead the Western Conference with 29 points from 14 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: RSL snatch a late win against Dallas
- The game opened up in the 59th minute when substitute right back Terukazu Tanaka delivered a cross into the area that found Alvaro Saborio ghosting across the six-yard box, and he was able to head it past FCD goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.
- The visitors drew even in the 75th minute. Rookie defender Matt Hedges crept into the area on a restart and was in perfect position to pounce on a loose ball when RSL failed to clear a Zach Loyd chip, his blast just clearing the line before 'keeper Kyle Reynish could parry it away.
- RSL regained the lead a minute later as Saborio got his second goal of the match. The Costa Rican beat the Dallas defense in the right channel after some neat build-up from Grabavoy and substitue Jonny Steele, his 15-yard blast deflecting off Hedges and beating Hartman to the near post.
- But Dallas pulled level again in the 85th minute. This time it was Blas PÈrez, who despite being well marked at the top of the area, contrived space to turn and blast directly at Reynish, who saw the ball slip through his fingers and into the net.
- The dramatic finish came three minutes into stoppage time. With RSL pushing almost everyone forward, defender Nat Borchers found himself unmarked eight yards from goal after Loyd failed to clear, and he curled a right-footed shot into the side netting.
- RSL head coach Jason Kreis made three changes to the team that recorded a 1-0 win against Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field. Kyle Reynish came in between the posts in place of Nick Rimando, Yordany Alvarez replaced Kyle Beckerman in midfield, and Terakazu Tanaka started at fullback in place of Chris Wingert.
- REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Kyle Reynish - Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Terakazu Tanaka - Ned Grabavoy, Yordany Alvarez, Will Johnson - Luis Gil (Jonny Steele 70) - Fabian Espindola (Sebastian Velasquez 90), Alvaro Saborio.
- Real Salt Lake are undefeated in their last six league games, winning for the second game in a row in a 3-2 victory against FC Dallas on May 26 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
- "I am very pleased to get the three points against what I think is a very difficult opponent. When you're missing guys like Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando, Javi Morales and Wingert - four very strong leaders - to be without them and have the guys react how they did is a very good sign," said RSL head coach Jason Kreis.
- Alvaro Saborio hit for his second two-goal game in the last four, scoring twice in the win vs. Dallas. Saborio has seven two-goal games in his MLS career.
- "I'm really pleased with Sabo. I know it's been a difficult stretch that he hasn't been scoring with the way that he would like, or the fans would like, but he's been putting in the work, so I'm appreciative that he continues to work hard and take those chances," Kreis said.
- With Kyle Beckerman with the U.S. national team, Yordany Alvarez made his first start of the season in the holding midfield role. His four league appearances had totaled all of 19 minutes.
- "We feel very good having him because when he joined us last year, it was the first time I ever felt we had a legitimate replacement for Kyle if he wasn't available," said Kreis. "We were always kind of piecing together that spot, and now I feel confident in putting him out there."
- With Nick Rimando also away with the U.S. national team, Kyle Reynish started for the second time in three games against FC Dallas.
- "We still feel Kyle is very capable back there," said Kreis. "He had a couple of games where he made some mistakes, but he needs to realize that is the nature of the position. The great goalkeepers have a very short memory - they can quickly put things behind them and not let it affect their play."
- Coming out of the break, there could be a couple of injury concerns. Both right back Chris Wingert and reserve defender Chris Schuler have picked up injuries that will almost certainly limit their participation for the Chivas match.
- "I wouldn't rule it out, but I'm hesitant right now," GM Garth Lagerwey said. "You've got one league game in the space of a month and so does it make sense to risk it in that one game, and I don't know that it does."
- After moving the tie to Rio Tinto Stadium, Real Salt Lake were stunningly dumped out of the U.S. Open Cup in the third round, in a 3-1 loss to the NASL Minnesota Stars FC.
- Here's the RSL team: Kyle Reynish, Terakazu Tanaka (Tony Beltran 46), Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert, Ned Grabavoy, Yordany Alvarez (Sebastian Velasquez 53), Luis Gil, Jonny Steele, Paulo Junior (Cody Arnoux 67), Emiliano Bonfigli.
- "They just wanted to win more than we did, which is embarrassing. I think we owe a debt of gratitude and apology first and foremost to our ownership and to the management for pulling strings and working extremely hard to get the match here, and we owe an apology to our fans. That was a terrific crowd tonight for an Open Cup match, and we brought them down miserably," said Kreis.
Taking the Lead: Kyle Beckerman, RSL