Sat, Oct 20
10:30 PM ET

Preview: Chivas defend HDC against banged-up Rapids

October 20, 2012 (WEEK 32, MLS Game #310)
7:30 p.m. PT (PT/KWHY; Altitude)

Chivas USA conclude their home campaign for 2012 when they meet the Colorado Rapids for the third time this season, Saturday evening at The Home Depot Center. Chivas put an end to their long goalless drought and ended a seven-game losing run in their last match, a 1-1 draw with FC Dallas. The Rapids are coming off a 4-1 home loss to the San Jose Earthquakes in their last match before the international break.


REFEREE: Yader Reyes. AR1 (bench): Mike Rottersman; AR2 (opposite): Baboucarr Jallow; 4th: Ramon Hernandez
MLS Career: 21 games; FC/gm: 26.9; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 7; pens: 3


CHIVAS USA – DOUBTFUL: MF Miller Bolaños (R ankle sprain); PROBABLE: MF Ryan Smith (concussion); GK Tim Melia (lower back); MF Ben Zemanski (L quad strain); FW Casey Townsend (L soleus strain); DF Marvin Iraheta (R calf contusion); GK Dan Kennedy (R knee effusion) …

COLORADO RAPIDS – OUT: DF Anthony Wallace (L Achilles tear); MF Pablo Mastroeni (headaches); FW Edu (R foot contusion); GK Matt Pickens (R adductor strain); DOUBTFUL: MF Brian Mullan (L knee pain); PROBABLE: FW Omar Cummings (R ankle soreness); FW Tony Cascio (L ankle sprain); MF Jeff Larentowicz (L groin tightness); FW Conor Casey (R knee soreness)


SUSPENDED: CHV: Miller Bolaños (caution accumulation; through Oct. 21)

SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CHV: Oswaldo Minda, John Valencia … COL: Jeff Larentowicz, Tyson Wahl
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CHV: Ryan Smith, Nick LaBrocca, Casey Townsend … COL: Jaime Castrillon, Hunter Freeman, Tyrone Marshall, Drew Moor, Martin Rivero

ALL-TIME (21 meetings): Chivas USA 5 wins, 25 goals … Rapids 10 wins, 37 goals … Ties 6
AT CARSON (10 meetings): Chivas USA 4 wins, 13 goals … Rapids 6 wins, 14 goals … Ties 0

2012 (MLS) -  4/28: COL 4, CHV 0 (Cascio 50; Hill 82, 93+; Larentowicz 84); 8/18: COL 1, CHV 1 (Mullan 19 – Angel 26)
•    The teams are meeting for a third time this season. Two goals from Kamani Hill, plus tallies from Jeff Larentowicz and rookie Tony Cascio, gave the Rapids a 4-0 win April 28 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, then the teams played to a 1-1 draw in Commerce City on Aug. 18.
•    The Rapids now have a seven-game unbeaten streak alive vs. Chivas USA. Chivas last defeated Colorado in 2009 at The Home Depot Center.
•    Coaches record: Oscar Pareja vs. CHV: P2 W1 L0 D1 … Robin Fraser vs. COL: P4 W0 L2 D2

•    The Rapids opened the scoring in the 19th minute off a mistake by the visitors. Brian Mullan picked Shalrie Joseph’s pocket inside the area and unleashed a rocket past Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy for the early lead.
•    Seven minutes from time, Chivas USA made the hosts pay. Second-half substitute Tristan Bowen crossed into the path of Colorado goalkeeper Pickens, but the veteran ‘keeper could only get an outstretched hand on the ball, and it deflected directly into the path of Juan Pablo Ángel for an easy tap-in.
•    COLORADO RAPIDS (4-2-3-1): Matt Pickens - Hunter Freeman, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Luis Zapata - Joseph Nane (Wells Thompson 75), Jeff Larentowicz - Brian Mullan, Martin Rivero, Tony Cascio (Jamie Smith 82) - Omar Cummings (Conor Casey 61).
•    CHIVAS USA (4-2-3-1): Dan Kennedy - James Riley, John Valencia, Danny Califf, Jorge Villafana - Shalrie Joseph, Oswaldo Minda - Casey Townsend, Ben Zemanski (Laurent Courtois 76), Juan Agudelo (Juan Pablo Angel 72) - Alejandro Moreno (Tristan Bowen 61).

Chivas USA put an end to their losing skid after seven games, coming back for a 1-1 draw with FC Dallas on Oct. 7 at The Home Depot Center. Chivas USA are in ninth place in the Western Conference with 29 points from 32 games.

•    FC Dallas opened the scoring just eight minutes in. Left back Jair Benítez sent a long ball to the top of Chivas’ penalty area where David Ferreira controlled it, had space and fired a shot on goal. Dan Kennedy dove to make the save, but left the rebound for Blas Pérez, who easily knocked it into an empty net.

WATCH: Goats settle for draw against FCD

•    But Chivas drew level in the 69th minute, scoring their first goal in more than 10 hours of play. Nick LaBrocca played the ball out wide right to Miller Bolaños, who then sent a ball across the goal area that goalkeeper Kevin Hartman appeared to get a piece of but not enough to stop its momentum. Unmarked, Jorge Villafaña knocked the ball into the back of the net.
•    Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser made four changes to the team that suffered a 4-0 defeat to Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place. Bobby Burling, Nick LaBrocca, Jose Correa and Jorge Villafana came into the team, in place of John Valencia, Ben Zemanski, Laurent Courtois and Alejandro Moreno.
•    CHIVAS USA (4-2-3-1): Dan Kennedy - James Riley, Shalrie Joseph, Bobby Burling, Ante Jazic - Peter Vagenas, Nick LaBrocca (Alejandro Moreno 84) - Miller Bolanos (Laurent Courtois 80), Jose Correa (Juan Pablo Angel 46), Jorge Villafana - Juan Agudelo.

•    While Chivas USA were able to put an end to their seven-game losing streak – the longest in the club’s eight-year history – they saw their winless skid extended to a club-record 12 games. Chivas USA had gone 11 games without a win from May 14-July 2 in the club’s inaugural season of 2005.
•    “When you lose games, it wears on your belief,” Chivas coach Robin Fraser said. “If a game like this occurs early in the season and we finish it off and we win, who knows, maybe we're having a different discussion now.”
•    Jorge Villafaña’s goal was the club’s first since Sept. 8, ending a 601-minute goalless drought that was the second-longest in MLS history (behind Toronto FC’s 824 minutes without a goal in 2007).
•    “It meant a lot to score today, we haven’t scored in a lot of games and this goal gave us motivation to keep going forward,” said Villafaña. “We showed heart and we did it for the team, we did it for this club. I’m proud to wear this jersey and I’m glad that I scored the goal.”
•    Said Fraser: “Is there some relief? It’s nice to finally score a goal. It’s nice to finally play well at home. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the second one and really make it a good day for us.”
•    Villafaña was making his first appearance since the Sept. 23 match vs. D.C. United. “At the end of the day you want to field your best team regardless of whether you're in the playoffs, whether you're out of the playoffs. Every game is a game to be won,” Fraser said. “We want to be at our best, and that's how we'll approach these next couple of games.”
•    After missing the Vancouver entirely following his start vs. Real Salt Lake, his first in more than a month, Juan Pablo Ángel came on as a halftime substitute vs. Dallas.
•    “We talked about potential spaces that are available and certain things to look for,” Fraser said. “Certainly, Juan [Pablo Angel] came in and was very, very good in his first couple of touches. He had gotten himself and Miller [Bolaños] into very dangerous scoring chances and he was extremely sharp.”
•    Bobby Burling made his second start since returning to Chivas USA at midseason, his first since a 6-2 loss to Seattle on Aug. 25.
•    “That’s really how that game went. They were clinical with them,” he said. “I was really glad Bobby got in there and showed what he can do and what influence he can have.”
•    Burling partnered Shalrie Joseph in central defense, the second consecutive start for Joseph in the back four.
•    “I thought the partnership was quite good,” Fraser said. “I thought they had a little miscommunication or error in judgment that led to the first goal, but aside from that I felt like they had a good understanding between themselves, good ability to cover each other, played with a lot of confidence in each other, which was good to see.”

The Colorado Rapids saw their winless run reach four games, falling 4-1 to the San Jose Earthquakes on Oct. 6 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids are in seventh place in the Western Conference with 31 points from 32 games.

•    The Quakes were in front before the game was two minutes old. From a Sam Cronin free kick, Rapids defender Marvell Wynne bounced a clearance off Chris Wondolowski that deflected out to Marvin Chávez, and he whipped in a hard strike from 18 yards out.

WATCH: Rapids hammered by Quakes

•    San Jose doubled their advantage on the counter-attack less than 10 minutes later. Rafael Baca sprinted upfield along the left wing and centered for Wondolowski, who chested home for a 2-0 Earthquakes lead.
•    Wondolowski then put the game out of reach with a 51st-minute finish, gathering the ball at the top of the box after a failed clearance from Wynne and unleashing a shot that deflected off Rapids defender Drew Moor and into the net.
•    In the 84th minute, Wondolowski capped his scoring with a clean finish just inside the penalty area, his 25th of the season, and just two goals shy of Roy Lassiter’s all-time MLS-best 27 goals in 1996.
•    In stoppage time, San Jose’s Jason Hernandez received a straight red card for a challenge from behind, and Andre Akpan scored from the resulting penalty kick.
•    Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja made two changes to the side that reached a 1-1 tie with the LA Galaxy at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Brian Mullan came into the midfield for Jaime Castrillon, and Andre Akpan started up top in place of Conor Casey.
•    COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-2): Matt Pickens (Steward Ceus 69) - Hunter Freeman (Kamani Hill 46), Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Luis Zapata - Brian Mullan, Hendry Thomas, Jeff Larentowicz (Tony Cascio 46), Martin Rivero - Omar Cummings, Andre Akpan.

•    After being eliminated from playoff contention at midweek, the Rapids conceded a season-high four goals for a third time this season – but for the second time in as many matches vs. San Jose (also Aug. 25).
•    “I would say that this group has shown me all the time their heart and hard work in spite of the frustration, but today we didn’t find that. … Today was different and that’s kind of what frustrated me the most,” said Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja. “But as I say, sometimes the players try to do it and it’s a difficult stage for them, you know being out of the playoffs and out of the race sometimes it takes a lot out of you. We played against a good team as well. But that heart, I didn’t see it today.”
•    Making his third start over the last five matches, André Akpan scored his second goal of the season and his third in his three-year MLS career.
•    “Things are a little bit different now, and [Pareja] said publicly he wants to get guys who didn’t get a ton of minutes this year to get some more time these last few games,” Akpan said. “I’d love to keep getting minutes and hopefully keep scoring goals.” Said Pareja: “[Akpan] for sure is one of the players that will be involved. He could come from the bench, but for sure it’s a good opportunity, in the case of Andre, to keep rewarding his effort and his commitment.”
•    When Matt Pickens suffered a groin injury that forced him from the field in the 69th minute, Steward Ceus came on for his MLS debut. It ended Pickens’s streak of consecutive MLS regular-season minutes played at 6,729, dating back to 2010.
•    “It’s good that I’ve been healthy and thank God for that, but I had to come out tonight,” Pickens said. “But honestly, it’s good for Stew to get some minutes. He needs to get some minutes in. Of course I want to play every game, but you can only go as far as your body wants you to.”
•    Ceus has been with the Rapids since being selected by the Rapids in the third round of the 2009 SuperDraft, but has played only in U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League matches.
•    “It’s been a long time,” Ceus said. “It’s an exciting thing to get into any professional game and the fact that I had the opportunity to do it [after] I’ve been working hard for four years, I feel like the hard work has paid off.”
•    With two games remaining in the season, Pareja said a number of youngsters will see minutes. Pickens will not play again this season, or striker Conor Casey.
•    “For me, this is great timing to see the guys that I need to see, like a [defender] Chris Klute, see a [defender] Tyson [Wahl], see how the other guys are developing,” Pareja said. “It has been a good week to accomplish a lot of things.”
•    Pareja also said midfielders Brian Mullan (knee) and Jeff Larentowicz could join the list. “He had a long season. For Jeff, it’s been a lot of minutes, a lot of games,” Pareja said of Larentowicz. “The thing as well is in training he’s always pushing. So with Jeff, it’s just waiting for him to recover. There is no need to rush him.”
•    Another who could make his MLS debut is Davy Armstrong, the Rapids’ first-ever Homegrown Player signing. “Davy is pushing, and I’d say over the young group, it may be the guy who is growing fastest. That’s good. I can see a lot of good things on Davy.”

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