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Chivas USA vs. Sporting Kansas City | MLS Match Preview

CHIVAS USA vs. SPORTING KANSAS CITY
STUBHUB CENTER, Carson, Calif.
Sept. 12, 2014 (WEEK 27, MLS Game #263)
7:30 p.m. PT (TWCD; KMCI-38)

A pair of teams looking to put an end to long droughts meet when Chivas USA play host to Sporting Kansas City on Friday evening at StubHub Center. Chivas saw their winless streak extended to nine matches in their last game, a 3-0 loss at the Columbus Crew last Sunday afternoon. Sporting KC continue their long road swing coming off a fourth consecutive defeat – the club’s longest in five years – in a 2-1 loss at the New York Red Bulls last weekend.

REFEREE: Juan Guzman. AR1 (bench): Fabio Tovar; AR2 (opposite): Felisha Mariscal; 4th: Baldomero Toledo
Guzman MLS Career: 47 games; FC/gm: 25.3; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 16; pens: 12

SUSPENDED: CHV: Erick Torres (through Sept. 21)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CHV: Erick Torres … KC: Paulo Nagamura, Lawrence Olum, Igor Juliao, Seth Sinovic
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CHV: Marky Delgado, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Agustin Pelletieri, Donny Toia, Nathan Sturgis, Leandro Barrera, Nigel Reo-Coker … KC: Antonio Dovale, Eric Kronberg, Kevin Ellis
DISABLED LIST: CHV: Thomas McNamara … KC: Ike Opara, Chance Myers (season-ending injury)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (16 meetings): Chivas USA 4 wins, 19 goals … Sporting 8 wins, 27 goals … Ties 4
AT CHIVAS USA (8 meetings): Chivas USA 3 wins, 10 goals … Sporting 3 wins, 10 goals … Ties 2

LAST YEAR (MLS)
5/5: KC 4, CHV 0 (Bieler 41, 57; Zusi 65; Sapong 87)

  • This is the only meeting of the season between the two clubs.
  • Sporting have a five-game undefeated streak vs. Chivas USA, having not lost in the series since July 10, 2010, including a 4-0 victory last May 5 at Sporting Park in the only 2013 meeting between the teams.
  • Sporting have won on their last three trips to Carson to play Chivas USA, including a 1-0 victory in 2012 in their last visit.
  • Coaches' records: Peter Vermes vs. CHV: P7 W4 L2 T1 … Wilmer Cabrera vs. KC: first game

CHIVAS USA

Chivas USA had their winless streak extended to nine matches, falling 3-0 to the Columbus Crew on Sunday afternoon at Crew Stadium. Chivas USA sit in ninth place in the Western Conference with 24 points from 27 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The Crew were given a glorious opportunity in the 45th minute when forward Aaron Schoenfeld was tripped up by Eriq Zavaleta in the box on a corner kick. Referee Geoff Gamble awarded the penalty kick, but Federico Higuain slammed the shot into the bar for his third penalty miss of the season.
  • The Crew finally broke through seven minutes into the second half. Justin Meram collected the ball on the left side, just outside the box, cut inside onto his favored right foot and curled a feathery shot around a defender and past Chivas USA 'keeper Dan Kennedy.
  • Less than ten minutes later, Meram put the match away with another blast into the corner. He scooped up a loose ball in the middle of the field to go one-on-one with Kennedy and left no doubt, cooly slotting a right-footed shot into the corner of the Chivas USA goal.
  • The Crew added an insurance goal in the 80th minute, when substitute Hector Jimenez found another substitute in Bernardo Anor with a perfectly placed cross that Anor headed home.
  • Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera made three changes to the team that fell 4-2 to Seattle Sounders FC at StubHub Center. Eriq Zavaleta and Andrew Jean-Baptiste came back into central defense for Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Bobby Burling, and Agustin Pelletieri started in midfield for Oswaldo Minda.
  • CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - Akira Kaji, Eriq Zavaleta, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Tony Lochhead - Marky Delgado, Agustin Pelletieri (Nathan Sturgis 76), Nigel Reo-Coker, Eric Avila (Luis Bolanos 63) - Felix Borja, Ryan Finley (Marvin Chavez 53).

TEAM NEWS

  • The defeat in Columbus extended the Chivas USA winless streak to nine games, matching the longest in MLS this season, and Chivas USA’s longest since a 13-game without a victory last season. It is the fourth-longest winless run in club history.
  • “We knew that it was going to be a tough game for us after the third game in one week ... I think the guys, suffered in the second half. The first half as tough, we played even, we controlled the attacking from the Crew very well, but in the second half we had guys running around, we paid the price and we gave them too much of a threat,” said Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera. “We tried to take risks and when you try to take risks, you have to be able to deal with crisis in the back and we didn’t have very good answers in terms of attack.”
  • It was also Chivas USA’s seventh attacking shutout in the last eight games, and their 11th offensive shutout of the season. The MLS record is 17 shutouts in a year, set by D.C. United in 2010.
  • “I think in the first half we really had good shape and gave ourselves a real chance and we got on the ball and had some composure,” said goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. “Unfortunately, you know we gave up that first goal and then we were chasing the game. When you chase a game, you kind of leave yourselves a little exposed and we gave up another couple of goals. ... Unfortunately for us, if we could’ve just kept that first goal out you never know what could’ve happened.”
  • Chivas USA conceded three or more goals for a third consecutive match, with 10 goals allowed over that span. Chivas USA have allowed three or more goals on nine occasions this season; they have allowed the third-most goals in MLS this season (47, one less than Houston and Montréal entering the week).
  • “We have to be more consistent with our defending. We gave up two goals in the same way. In the second half, we lost the ball in transition; we lost the ball in the middle. For the two goals that came outside of the box, we have to step up better we have to do a better job in that aspect because that is something that cannot happen,” said Cabrera. “The same player scored the same type of goals in less than 10 minutes. Obviously, if we want to get a result at home, we have to be a threat. We have to have better ideas and have to have a better mentality. The possession has to happen for this.”
  • Ryan Finley started for a second consecutive match, alongside Felix Borja in the Chivas USA. Erick Torres will be suspended for both the Sporting KC match and the Toronto FC game on Sept. 21, serving his two-match suspension following his return from the Mexican national team.
  • “Hopefully, we can keep possession a little bit better [vs. Sporting KC] and be able to create some more opportunities,” said Ryan Finley. “I thought we were pretty solid at the back in the first half, it’s just kind of the mistakes of us losing the ball in bad spots and them taking advantage of it.”
  • Eriq Zavaleta returned to the Chivas USA backline for the first time since Aug. 9, playing the full 90 minutes in central defense.

SPORTING KANSAS CITY

Sporting Kansas City had their losing slide extended to four matches, completing an Eastern road swing with a 2-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena. Sporting are in second place in the Eastern Conference with 42 points from 27 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The Red Bulls took an early lead, after Sporting center back Matt Besler clipped Bradley Wright-Phillips with a sliding tackle, and referee Hilario Grajeda pointed to the spot. Wright-Phillips scored his league-leading 21st goal, firing an unstoppable shot to the left past goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum for an 11th-minute lead.
  • The Red Bulls doubled the margin seven minutes into the second half. Taking a pass just outside the area on the left, Henry took advantage of some space at the top of the penalty area and thundered a shot into the far top corner past the full-stretch dive of Gruenebaum.
  • Sporting pulled a goal two minutes later when Seth Sinovic whipped a ball in from the right flank that found Graham Zusi, who headed the ball across goal for Dwyer to scissor-kick home with an impressive side volley.
  • Sporting manager Peter Vermes made five changes to the team that suffered a 3-1 loss to the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Aurelien Collin came back into central defense, Paulo Nagamura and Benny Feilhaber started in midfield, and Antonio Dovale and Dom Dwyer came in up top, with Jorge Claros, Mikey Lopez, C.J. Sapong, Soony Saad and Claudio Bieler all out of the team.
  • SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-1-2-3): Andy Gruenebaum - Igor Juliao, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic - Lawrence Olum (Jorge Claros 70) - Paulo Nagamura (C.J. Sapong 85), Benny Feilhaber - Antonio Dovale (Sal Zizzo 58), Dom Dwyer, Graham Zusi.

TEAM NEWS

  • Sporting Kansas City lost their fourth consecutive game in the defeat at New York – their longest losing streak since Aug. 1-29, 2009. It was also a third consecutive defeat away from home.
  • “You’ve got to understand that the whole season we’ve been in first or second place, the whole entire season with massive amounts of injuries, guys away on international duty, we’ve kept ourselves in the mix. In this league, you always run into a rough patch somewhere,” said SKC manager Peter Vermes. “The question is when do you come out of it and when you do, how is your upswing? I have all the confidence in the world [with] where we’re at. I really do.”
  • Sporting allowed multiple goals in a game for the fourth consecutive contest. They had allowed more than one goal in a game just once in the previous 12 league matches, dating back to May 23.
  • “We've always taken pride in defending,” Vermes said. “It's not just one guy. It's every guy on every roll of the ball. From that perspective, that's always going to be high on our priority list every time we step inside the white lines. [Saturday], it wasn't really pride – it was more of a situation where we got back to playing the way we do.”
  • Dom Dwyer equaled the Kansas City club record with his 18th goal of the season, his second in the last three games. He matched the mark set by Preki 19 years ago, in the club’s inaugural season of 1996 when they were known as the Kansas City Wiz.
  • Graham Zusi recorded his second assist in the last five matches, now with six assists on the year. He has two goals and two assists since his return from the FIFA World Cup.
  • “We actually made a good step in the right direction. We played real well. We played more like us than we have in the past. We’ve had a couple performances prior to this that weren’t good at all and there [was] a lot of things that weren’t good about it but tonight we played more like us,” Vermes said. “I think we drove the game. We outshot them, 17-5, and every category we [had] more, except the two goals. We created [a lot] of chances. From that perspective, it was very good.”
  • After being dropped from the team for the New England match, Aurelien Collin returned to central defense alongside Matt Besler, who played despite having a broken bone in his right hand suffered in the New England match.
  • Paulo Nagamura made his first appearance since July 6, having missed the last 10 league matches through injury. Nagamura played 85 minutes in his usual midfield role.
  • Antonio Dovale made his first start since Aug. 1, coming into a wide attacking role and playing 58 minutes. He had made one substitute appearance, totaling 11 minutes, over the previous five matches.
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Current Form

Chivas USA
Sporting KC

Season Stats

CD Chivas USASporting Kansas City
27Games Played28
6Wins12
15Losses10
6Draws6
23Goals39
47Goals Conceded34
199Shots292
83Shots on Target135
382Fouls committed419
291Fouls suffered393
39Offside60
103Corners158

Goals Scored

01234+TotalAvg
CHV1112130230.9
SKC611722391.4
01234+Avg
CHV651100.8
SKC273021.5
01234+Avg
CHV570200.9
SKC444201.3

Goals Conceded

01234+TotalAvg
CHV410472471.7
SKC711730341.2
01234+Avg
CHV323321.9
SKC462201.1
01234+Avg
CHV181401.6
SKC355101.3
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