Chivas USA vs. Real Salt Lake | MLS Match Preview
CHIVAS USA vs REAL SALT LAKE
STUBHUB CENTER, Carson, Calif.
June 28, 2014 (WEEK 16, MLS Game #145) 7:30 p.m. PT (KTVA-ABC)
The expansion class of 2005 renew acquaintances yet again as Chivas USA play host to Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at StubHub Center. Chivas USA are looking to put an end to a four-game winless run, following their 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy in the SuperClásico before the World Cup break. Real enter the match with a four-game winless streak of their own, following a 3-1 home to the Portland Timbers in their last league contest.
REFEREE: Kevin Stott. AR1 (bench): Fabio Tovar; AR2 (opposite): Felisha Mariscal; 4th: Ismail Elfath
MLS Career: 250 games; FC/gm: 25.5; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 60; pens: 59
SUSPENDED: RSL: Tony Beltran (through June 29)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CHV: Carlos Alvarez
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CHV: Bobby Burling, Marky Delgado, Erick Torres … RSL: Nat Borchers, Alvaro Saborio, Chris Schuler, Tony Beltran, Luke Mulholland, Javier Morales
DISABLED LIST: CHV: Thomas McNamara
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: RSL: Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando (USA)
ALL-TIME (26 meetings): Chivas USA 10 wins, 32 goals … Real 12 wins, 36 goals … Ties 4
AT CHIVAS USA (14 meetings): Chivas USA 7 wins, 21 goals … Real 6 wins, 18 goals … Ties 1
FUTURE MATCHES: 10/5: Chivas USA vs. Real Salt Lake, 4 p.m. PT; 10/22: Real Salt Lake vs. Chivas USA, 7:30 p.m. MT
LAST YEAR (MLS):
4/20: RSL 1, CHV 0 (Morales 53)
5/19: CHV 1, RSL 4 (Villafana 55 – Grabavoy 4, 91+; Plata 48; Findley 78)
10/23: RSL 2, CHV 1 (Saborio 49; Plata 52 – Morales 77)
- Real Salt Lake have won the last five matches between the expansion class of 2005, including victories in all three encounters a season ago.
- Real Salt Lake have won five consecutive matches at StubHub Center vs. Chivas, including a 4-1 win last May 19.
- Coaches record: Wilmer Cabrera vs. RSL: first game … Jeff Cassar vs. CHV: first game
Chivas USA had their winless streak extended to four matches, despite coming back for a point in a SuperClásico in a 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy on June 8 at StubHub Center. Chivas USA sit in ninth place in the Western Conference with 11 points from 14 games.
- Chivas USA took the lead in the 20th minute. Martin Rivero split two defenders with a pass from the right that found Erick Torres, and he cut back inside a defender and placed the ball inside the left post.
- But the Galaxy pulled level a quarter-hour later. Marcelo Sarvas took a pass at the top of the box and gently arced the ball toward Gyasi Zardes near the 6-yard box, and between defenders he jumped to redirect the ball off goalkeeper Dan Kennedy's hand and into the net.
- Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera made four changes to the team that fell 3-0 to Philadelphia Union at StubHub Center. Bobby Burling, Carlos Bocanegra, Mauro Rosales and Agustin Pelletieri all came into the team, in place of Eriq Zavaleta, Oswaldo Minda, Carlos Alvarez and Marky Delgado.
- CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - Donny Toia, Bobby Burling, Carlos Bocanegra, Tony Lochhead - Mauro Rosales (Marky Delgado 75), Martin Rivero (Carlos Alvarez 82), Agustin Pelletieri, Eric Avila - Erick Torres, Leandro Barrera (Kris Tyrpak 69).
- Chivas USA saw their winless run in league play extended to four games in the draw with the LA Galaxy in the final match before the World Cup recess.
- Erick Torres scored his ninth goal of the season – his first since May 11 – and now sits third in the MLS Golden Boot standings, two goals before leaders Dom Dwyer (Sporting KC) and Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York).
- Days after the match, Torres had his loan agreement extended at least through the 2014 season, and perhaps beyond. “He's an immense talent who's aided by the fact that he's a good-looking young man and plays hard,” Chivas USA president Nelson Rodriguez said. “He has a great smile and he's been endearing to all fans. He's 21 years old and players of his quality are hard to find. We know keeping him will be a challenge. We expect suitors from all over the world in the future.”
- Martín Rivero collected his third assist of the season – all in the last five matches. Rivero has assisted on three of Chivas USA’s last five goals.
- “Martin is improving. I think for all of us it’s not a secret that he’s improving. He’s getting his shape and he’s helping us a lot,” said Cabrera. “He works hard. He is not a typical No. 10, because Martin is not a No.10, he is a two-box player who has a lot of dynamic, a lot of hard work, he has technique and he has good ideas going forward so that is important for us, and obviously for him to get his confidence and to get his rhythm back to play the whole season.”
- Mauro Rosales collected his second assist over the last four matches, his first assists since March 16, when he had three assists in the opening two games of the season.
- There was a major change along the Chivas USA backline. Tony Lochhead moved from central defense, where he played against Philadelphia, to left back. Donny Toia shifted from left back to right back and Eric Avila moved forward to a wide midfield role.
- “We wanted to give Eric Avila a little bit more freedom to attack. He’s an attacking player more than a defender. He’s been doing an excellent job as a right back but we are sacrificing him more than we are taking advantage of his skills and possibilities,” said Cabrera. “Donny [Toía] is doing very well, he is a young kid, a rookie, who is playing very well for us and he took the responsibility to play as a right back. Which, he did very well today and that gives freedom to Eric to go to the middle and be a little bit more of the Eric Avila that we know.”
- In addition, after starting each of the first 13 league games as a midfielder, Leandro Barrera partnered Torres in attack.
- “I think we went more a little bit attacking-wise. I think in the last couple of games we just had [Erick Torres] up [top] and we weren’t really helping him out as much as we would like to. I think we changed a little bit where we can take the tension a little bit away from [Torres] and have some runs on top,” Avila said. “But I think we kind of caught them off guard, I want to say, and we went and attacked.”
- Said goalkeeper Dan Kennedy: “[Eric Avila] has such great qualities that he can do some damage in midfield and he can get up the field and be a threat and be dangerous. I’m sure it was good for [Avila] to get back in midfield and [Donny Toia] did a great job, just dealt with it like a veteran. It’s his first year on this team, he did a great job tonight. [Leandro Barrera] is fast and that’s always dangerous when you get a couple of through-balls and Leandro can get in there and stir it up.”
- Chivas USA also announced the signing of Japanese international Akira Kaji, who was last with J-League Division 1 side Gamba Osaka.
- “Akira is a very experienced player who is going to help us solidify our back four,” Cabrera said. “He brings World Cup experience along with an impressive career in a league that is very strong, athletic, competitive and that has a very fast pace. He is a very technical and smart player capable of not only defending but also distributing and possessing the ball when going forward.”
- Following the league match, Chivas USA were dumped out of the U.S. Open Cup at the first asking, falling on penalty kicks to the NASL Carolina RailHawks following a 1-1 draw. Ryan Finley scored the lone Chivas goal.
- Here’s the Chivas USA team: Kennedy, Toia, Zavaleta, Burling, Lochhead, Delgado, Pelletieri, Alvarez (Rivero 91’), Avila, Barrera (Tyrpak 103’), Finley (Torres 77’)
REAL SALT LAKE
Real Salt Lake saw their winless streak extended to four matches, dropping a 3-1 decision to the Portland Timbers on June 7 at Rio Tinto Stadium. RSL are in second place in the Western Conference with 25 points from 15 matches.
- RSL took the lead in the 23rd minute. Defender Chris Schuler's header off a corner kick was deflected and the ball fell right to the feet of midfielder Luke Mulholland, who struck it hard inside the left post past Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
- But the Timbers equalized on a corner kick of their own in the 36th minute. Midfielder Diego Valeri put in a perfect service to the heart of the area where Fanendo Adi headed home inside the right-hand post of RSL goalkeeper Jeff Attinella.
- The visitors took the lead in the 45th minute. Racing away downfield on a counterattack following a cleared Real corner, the Timbers broke on a four-on-two break. Attinella made a spectacular save on Darlington Nagbe, but Adi was there to slam home the rebound.
- Real Salt Lake went a man down less than 10 minutes into the second half when referee Ismail Elfath pulled two yellow cards out of his pocket in the space of less than two minutes. RSL defender Beltran was first cautioned for grabbing Nagbe's jersey, and sent off after taking Nagbe down with a poorly timed tackle.
- The Timbers iced the game in the 73rd minute when Schuler's arm blocked a flicked cross from Nagbe as he slid in the box, and Elfath whistled for a penalty for Portland. Will Johnson stepped up and calmly put the resulting spot kick into the net.
- RSL head coach Jeff Cassar made five changes to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium. Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers and Chris Wingert came into the back four, and Luke Mulholland and Joao Plata also came into the team, in place of Rich Balchan, Carlos Salcedo, Abdoulie Mansally, John Stertzer and Cole Grossman.
- REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Jeff Attinella - Tony Beltran (ejected 54), Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert - Luis Gil (Devon Sandoval 77), Ned Grabavoy (Cole Grossman 63), Luke Mulholland - Javier Morales - Olmes Garcia, Joao Plata (Abdoulie Mansally 58).
- Real Salt Lake have seen their winless run reach four games – their longest since the 2012 season – after their 3-1 loss at Portland.
- The loss was the second in three matches for RSL after a record 12-game undefeated streak to open the MLS season.
- “I think we haven't gotten the points that we want,” Real head coach Jeff Cassar said. “You look back at all the games that we could've won and should've won. I think there could be a ton more positives from the season so far, and there are. If you'd said, 'Almost at the halfway [point of the season], you're in second place overall in the league, would you be happy?' I would say 'Yeah, of course,' ”
- After a two-match absence, Joao Plata returned to the first team, partnering Olmes Garcia in attack in a return to Real’s nominal 4-3-1-2 tactical scheme.
- There was an injury blow out of the Portland match, when midfielder Ned Grabavoy was forced off injured midway through the second half with a hip flexor injury. Grabavoy had started each of RSL’s first 14 league matches. Grabavoy is “doing really good in his rehab, but I think this weekend's not going to happen,” Cassar said.
- There could another selection concern for Cassar after Nat Borchers became a father for the first time in the days leading up to the Chivas match.
- “I'm going to put it out there,” Cassar said. “If he wants to be with his family, that's the most important thing. But if you can join us and make us better, that'd be great.”
- Luis Gil did make a second consecutive start following three substitute appearances, after missing five matches from April 12-May 11.
- “I'm still in the process” of recovery, Gil said. “I feel like I'm getting better as the season goes on. Obviously, it's not fun to have injuries but you've got to take care of it. It just lingers. These injuries do hold me back a little bit.”
- Real were dumped out of the U.S. Open Cup at the first hurdle, falling 2-1 to the NASL Atlanta Silverbacks on June 14. Robbie Findley scored the lone RSL goal, giving his side a 10th-minute lead.
- Here’s the RSL team: Jeff Attinella; Tony Beltran, Carlos Salcedo, Aaron Maund, Chris Wingert; Cole Grossman; Luke Mulholland, John Stertzer (Olmes Garcia, 78’); Luis Gil (Sebastian Velasquez, 63’); Robbie Findley, Devon Sandoval (Joao Plata, 63’)
- "Guys couldn't finish the game," Cassar said. "We started great. And then we went away from what we were doing. They gained control of the game. And they played with more energy. More passion, like they were fighting for their jobs.”