MLS Regular Season
CHIVAS USA HEAD COACH - ROBIN FRASER
On the match: At the end of the day a point on the road is good. Certainly, we want to continue to improve the way we’re closing out games and that needs to continue to get better. But at the end of the day, it was a really hard fought point. The players dug in, it’s a tough situation; this is a good team. This is a good team and it’s their place; lots of very special players that can make plays.
On the fans’ tribute to Juan Pablo Angel: When I went out and I saw the huge ‘Thank You Juan Pablo’ sign, I thought ‘What an impact he has had on this city.’ And for him to come back here today and score the goal and really, I thought, played very well, it was fitting. It was a fitting day for him.
On the tough competition the team has faced this year: We’ve played a lot of first place teams this year. I think we played Kansas City when they were in first place, San Jose when they were in first place, the Galaxy is the Galaxy, and New York has been a very good team for a long while, regardless of where they stand. Obviously, being in first place, they’re in good form at the moment. We’ve had several very difficult tests and I think this will only make us better as the season goes on.
CHIVAS USA FORWARD - JUAN PABLO ANGEL
On his return to New York: You know that people remember you, it’s because they appreciate what you did for them, for the organization, and for the club. For me, it meant everything. I will always be grateful to these supporters, to this club, for giving me the opportunity to express myself for a few years. I feel great; the memoires will never go away. And the banner…I wasn’t expecting it. For me it was very emotional.
On his goal: At the end of the day, you get your head into the game and you forget about the rest of the stuff. We knew that we were gonna play against probably the best team in the league as of now. They’re coming from four or five wins in a row, and we needed to get a result somehow.
On playing the full 90: I felt good during the game and I think I played a decent game. In general, I think it was an entertaining game. They had their chances and for us it was important to get at least a point. We go back home, just looking forward to the game this weekend.
CHIVAS USA DEFENDER - DANNY CALIFF
On his transition to Chivas USA: I think it’s been a bit of a whirlwind so far. I’ve had two days before the game training and then two games. For me, I’m just taking each day as it comes. Putting one foot in front of the other and really trying to concentrate on doing the best I can in the matches. What really excites me about the team is I think there’s a ton of potential, we just have to believe we can win. I think the big problem so far is giving up late goals. The belief that we can actually play, compete and win games is the last piece to the puzzle.
On his return to Los Angeles: It felt great. Obviously, being that it’s the first game, there’s always that extra bit of buzz. To walk back in as a player through the tunnel at Home Depot, it felt really good, I felt really comfortable. They’ve made it really easy for me: the guys in the locker room and the coaching staff. It’s been a whirlwind, so there hasn’t been too much down time, but they’ve made me feel comfortable straight away.
NEW YORK RED BULLS HEAD COACH - HANS BACKE
On the match: I’m quite pleased. We should have won this game, but the way we dictate the game in the second half, I must say it looked much better than before. Of course we had our chances. Sometimes games end up with a tie when it’s not always logical in football, but I must say I’m pleased with the performance.
On Kenny Cooper: I think he’s up to 11 now. He deserves it. He’s a hard worker, every game, every training session. And of course he has some good guys around him who can feed him with precise passes. I still think he has a lot to learn and I think he can improve.
On if he thinks Cooper should have been called up by the U.S. National Team: I don’t really comment about other teams and national teams. He’s hot, he’s scoring a lot and you can say normally strikers are in then. But I don’t bother, I must say, it’s up to (Juergen) Klinsmann.
On the play of Dane Richards: I hope that Dane could stay consistent. Sometimes you feel, okay should you sub Dane or get another guy in? But, you know, you need pace in this league. That’s why we keep him on the pitch almost all the time because sometimes he’s just running in behind and having an assist or things like that. I just hope we can keep working with Dane and make him a little bit more consistent to create chances.
On Thierry Henry’s return: I would say a little bit positive surprise because he’s been out, by the weekend, about four weeks. And that’s without competitive games, and it’s not enough to just do some training sessions. He was very, very close three or four times to have a free runner and to finish the game off. So I’m happy with his performance.
On Dax McCarty: First of all Dax, I think he’s still staying on a quite high level. Sometimes you can see unforced errors, but overall his work rate is phenomenal, winning some 50-50s. He’s been playing, I must say the last five or six games on a quite high level.
On Juan Pablo Angel’s return to Red Bull Arena: It’s quite expected. I would have expected him to score the winner too in the last dying minutes. But that’s the way it is, it always happens like that. He’s a clinical finisher and if you have a team that will feed him around the 18-yard box, he will still score goals.
NEW YORK RED BULLS GOALKEEPER - RYAN MEARA
On the backline today versus earlier this year: We’ve been defending more since the DC game when they scored 4 goals on us. We basically felt embarrassed about it, especially against one of our rivals. We came together as a team and we’re sick of giving up goals like that. The back line has been great, but it’s a lot more- it’s the whole team defending and everyone chipping in.
On Henry’s return: Definitely [an emotional lift to the team]. He’s our captain, he’s a huge presence in our locker room. And not only that, on the field, he’s probably the best player in the league. So you always want him on the field when you can. I think we were a little unlucky to not get that second goal, but that’s just how it works sometimes.
On Pearce’s presence and addition to the back line: I think it’s been huge. He’s been around; he’s played in Germany and other places in Europe, as well as the MLS. Even during the Montréal game, we just met him the day before, but he fit right in. When someone is that good, it’s easy to play with. He’s been great and I’m looking forward to playing with him.
On Henry’s presence on the pitch: He’s such a big presence on the field, when our backs or midfielders are in our trouble, they know they can clip it up to him and put it near him, and he’ll try his best and more often that not he’ll come out with the ball. It’s huge for us.
On Juan Pablo Angel returning to the Red Bulls Arena and facing him: It was definitely cool. He’s been a great player; he was great for this franchise. And you can see how much it meant to the fans, the big signs they had. That’s why our fans are so great. Because I don’t think too many fans in this league would go to that extent to thank him for his time here.
NEW YORK RED BULLS DEFENDER - HEATH PEARCE
On playing against Chivas so quickly after being traded: It’s a quick turnaround obviously, but I’d prefer that compared to waiting a while, [to play] having it set in, and kind of get thrown into the fire. But, I enjoyed it I thought we could have gotten three points, but nonetheless it was good to get out there and play a home game with the guys.
On settling into his role on the Red Bulls: Today I felt a lot more settled in. Obviously the conditions in Montreal weren’t the greatest: the pitch isn’t the greatest, we played down a man there a little bit. So, I thought this game was a lot more comfortable for me, hopefully it gets better with time as well.
On Dax McCarty’s performance: Dax is a solid two way player and he makes a lot of late runs for us, that stretches their defense for us. He also takes a lot of pressure off us when were trying to go side to side. So, Dax had a great game he’s a great player.
On whether or not the mood of the Red Bulls locker room was if the team felt like it dropped points: I don’t know if that was the mood, but I think everyone is on the same page that we felt like we should have won that one. We dictated the play most of the time and we had our chances, so of course we’re a bit disappointed but I think it was a decent showing overall.
On Chivas’ style of play: They’re a possession orientated team as well, they’re a technical team, they like to keep the ball, they like to control the tempo. But, I thought we did a good job of implementing our style of play on them and controlling the flow of the play.
NEW YORK RED BULLS MIDFIELDER - DANE RICHARDS
On the feeling in the locker room: Well we’re disappointed. We created a bunch of chances and we could have won the game, but we didn’t. But, the point is better than a loss.
On playing with his former teammate Juan Pablo Angel: Before the game he said, “Dane no sprinting today and I’m like no scoring today Juan Pablo.” But I sprinted, he scored. So, we didn’t listen to each other.
On the roles of Henry and Marquez winning back possession for the team: Definitely with having Rafa in the midfield, we know we are going to keep the ball more. So that was no surprise today. And we know that Chivas is a very technical team, so we tried to keep the ball too.
Chivas USA midfielder Blair Gavin surprised many, including the fourth official, as he went into the SuperClásico last Saturday rocking his new mustache. Galaxy midfielder David Beckham was also spotted with a mustache/beard. Who wore it best? You decide! (P.S- You can follow Blair’s moustache on Twitter: @GavinsMustache)
— Gavin's Mustache (@GavinsMustache) May 22, 2012
— Ben Zemanski (@zmnsk21) May 21, 2012
CHIVAS USA HEAD COACH – ROBIN FRASER:
Thoughts on match: “I was really pleased with the way we started the game, I thought we came out very aggressively. We were able to make ourselves pretty dangerous, pretty early and for most of the time, we were on the verge of being quite dangerous. When things didn’t go our way, we didn’t fold, we didn’t crumble, we didn’t back down, we just re-grouped and came again. It was a very satisfying win for the team in a number of ways. It was a very strong, very committed and determined performance. I think our group was extremely solid, extremely committed to getting out of this thing with a shutout.”
Importance of winning the SuperClasico: “It’s big. I think I underestimated the level of rivalry between these two teams when I first got here. I was surprised by the nature of comments after our first game last year and it was very evident that there was very little respect for this club. The only way to get respect is to go out and earn it, and I thought that they did a good job of that tonight.”
On Califf’s performance: “I’ve known Danny for a long time. I’ve seen him play in some big arenas and his decision making has gotten to be very good with the experience that he’s had. It was great to see him step in and look extremely comfortable as you’d like to see an experience center back come in.”
On Agudelo’s Debut: “I think Juan had a good debut. He’s a player who wants to be on the ball. He’s a very attack-minded player, he’s got very solid feet. You could see there were times when he wanted the ball, he wants to make things happen. I thought his impact was immediate and we’re extremely excited to have him.”
Thought’s on team’s defensive performance: “I thought it was very resolute. I thought they did a very good job of adapting as the night went on. I thought as a group, not just the defenders, but the entire team did a good job of reading things that were dangerous. I’m really proud of their defensive performance.”
On Correa’s performance: “For a kid who’s 19 years old, he’s not afraid of contact, he’s not afraid to go up against big, strong center backs and put his body in harm’s way. He’s energetic, he’s enthusiastic and just three weeks into his MLS career, he’s certainly showing well.”
CHIVAS USA FORWARD – JOSE CORREA
Thoughts on second game and second goal: “I feel great and very happy about starting in this league just how I wanted. As a forward to score goals is the most important thing and I hope to continue playing like this for the team and the organization.”
On the play before the penalty when you receive the ball: “I kicked the ball and struck it well. The Galaxy defender was standing right on the goal line and he stopped it with his hand. The important thing I said is to score and to add points to the standings.”
CHIVAS FORWARD – JUAN AGUDELO
On first match with Chivas USA: “It was great especially to get a win against a team like the Galaxy. I just loved being a part of it. I just try to focus on the things that are on the field and what I do in the game. I was very grateful that I got the playing time that I got and got some chemistry with the players.”
LA GALAXY HEAD COACH - BRUCE ARENA
On what was the difference in the game: “I think the difference in the game is we did poorly with the chances we created. And in a game like that someone has to take advantage of it. Goal scoring opportunities, we had a couple of real good ones, certainly in the second half, and did poorly with them. The referee did an outstanding job, and I’m not sure I can ever say that in an MLS game but that was an appropriate penalty and send off.”
On the play of Sarvas and Juninho in central midfield: “I thought they did a good job tonight. They both had good games. It was a good game. It was a pretty even game for sure.”
On the attacking duo of Noonan and Donovan: “Pat did alright. Pat hasn’t played a whole lot for us but we thought he’d be a good combination with Landon. I don’t think that Landon was comfortable playing up top tonight, I don’t think he did well in terms of holding the ball in situations where needed it held. I thought he did better in the midfield in the second half. I thought Pat was solid. I thought Magee did alright. He got some pretty good chances, what more can you say. We have to stick one of those.”
On if this game was indicative of the season: “Yeah, I would say that. I think on the season our record is probably not real precise in terms of how we’ve played. I think we’ve played a little bit better than our record indicates. But tonight the difference in the game was taking a chance. We didn’t do it and give them credit. I think the referee did well on the call. I think perhaps he might have called a foul against our keeper on the play. When Perk went up their striker put his back into him a little bit, but fair enough.”
LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER - LANDON DONOVAN
Overall thought on the loss: “It’s kind of been the same old story. First half was not great for either side. They had the one chance off the post, but not a lot of chances. I thought we played really well in the beginning of the second half, and had some chances to score and didn’t. And then one kind of weird play and that determined the game and that’s kind of how’s it’s been all year.”
On the fairness of the red card and penalty kick call: “From what I hear it was a hand ball. So if you put a hand ball off the line he has to give him a red card. It’s kind of harsh because it’s hard for David to react, it just kind of hits him, but that’s the way it goes and it’s unfortunate.”
On the play of Chivas USA: “They are kind of what we expected. Juan obviously gives them a different element and Danny, we know Danny well, he’s a good leader and does a good job back there. But, we had chances to score and unfortunately we keep giving up the first goal and it’s making it real tough. Can’t fault the effort, the effort was great just for whatever reason it’s not going our way and we have to keep going.”
LA GALAXY DEFENDER DAVID - JUNIOR LOPES
On what happened on the play that led to the penalty kick and red card: “What happened? Everyone saw it. There was a loose ball following a block, their forward shoots it and I was in front of the goal line and didn’t have time to react to get my hand out of the way. The ball went straight to my hand, it came at me very fast. That’s what happened. The fault was mine. It was my hand. I was the one who got a red card. I very sad about what happened.”
On if the infraction was fair: “It’s complicated. I don’t want to say yes or no, but it was a very fast ball and straight to my hand. I wasn’t trying to put my hand on the ball, it just went straight to my hand. It’s complicated. I would say yes, it’s fair, if I were going out of my way to stop the ball, but probably no when it just hits you in the hand, which is what happened, so it’s very complicated.”
LA GALAXY GOALKEEPER - BRIAN PERK
On the loss: “It’s tough. It hurts. Thought we played well, created a lot of chances, didn’t give up to many chances and one blunder by me cost us the game pretty much.”
On the penalty kick: “I went down the middle because I thought he saw me move the one before so I figured I would leave early and go down the middle. He took it well. He didn’t put it next to me.”
On what Chivas did well to get the win: “They kept the ball well and created a few chances and it’s just real unfortunate. I thought we deserved at least a point, probably three, so that’s hard right now.”
On the quick turnaround and playing San Jose on Wednesday: “That’s probably the beauty of it. We have another game on Wednesday and another chance to get three points so we can look forward to that and put this one behind us.”
Highlights from Chivas USA's 1-0 SuperClásico win
In the six year history of the grand LA rivalry, both teams have notched a total of 52 goals, making it an average of 2.36 goals per match. The top goalscorers for Chivas USA against the Galaxy are Ante Razov with five goals, followed by Maykel Galindo (3), and Francisco ‘Panchito’ Mendoza (2).
Chivas USA foward Alan Gordon scored the 50th goal of the SuperClásico on October 3, 2010. The Red-and-White fell 2-1 in this match.
After maintaining the team among the top five teams in the Western Conference, Chivas USA earned a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs after defeating then Kansas City Wizards 2-0 on October 10, 2009. Opponent for the Red-and-White? None other than archrivals LA Galaxy. The first leg of the Conference semifinal was hosted by Chivas USA where more than 25,000 fans saw a dramatic match that included goals from Maicon Santos and Maykel Galindo for the final 2-2 score (see Top SuperClásico Moment #4).
Chivas USA took a 1-0 lead in the 4th minute of the SuperClásico Playoff Edition after Brazilian forward Maicon Santos took a diagonal 19-yard shot inside the right post to score the first goal of the match. The Red-and-White will end the first half going down 2-1, but Maykel Galindo put the Goats back in the game as he scored the equalizer as he took advantage of a soft back pass by Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez, dribbling around goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and putting the ball into the empty net. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. Relive the match:
With goals from Ante Razov, Francisco Mendoza and Laurent Merlin, Chivas USA clinched its first ever SuperClásico title with a 3-0 victory over the LA Galaxy. Over 23,000 fans were in attendance, Razov scored the first goal for Chivas USA in the 23rd minute of the match off a pass from Lawson Vaughn. Razov’s goal marked his ninth of the season, 107th of his league career.
After much speculation, Chivas USA has announced today the acquisition of central defender Danny Califf in a trade with Philadelphia Union. The Modesto, Calif. native returns to his hometown after six years of playing out-of-state.
Pending Chivas USA Coach Robin Fraser’s starting line-up decision, Califf might play against the team he started his professional career and won the 2002 MLS Cup this weekend in the SuperClásico. Califf will also be reuniting with former Galaxy teammate and current Chivas USA forward/captain Alejandro Moreno.
Califf started his youth career in Canyon Hills Soccer Association team Canyon Classics, before going off to play with the University of Maryland. In his first year in Maryland, Califf started all 24 games, and was named to Soccer America’s All-American Freshman Team. As a sophomore, Califf was selected by the LA Galaxy in the 2000 MLS SuperDraft as the sixth overall pick, and helped the team win the 2002 MLS Cup.
Califf struggled with injuries in 2004 which led him to be traded to San Jose in 2005, where he played 20 games and scored two goals with the Earthquakes, earning him his very first MLS Best XI.
Before joining Philadelphia Union, Califf went overseas to play for Aalborg BK of the Danish Superliga where he served as team captain, helping the team earn a bronze medal in the 2006-2007 and later earned the gold in 2007-2008 season before joining FC Midtjylland.
In his 12-year career, Califf has played a total of 188 games (180 starts), notching eight goals and adding five assists in Major League Soccer. Aside from his pro club experience, Califf has been called up 23 times to the United States National Team, including the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Watch this video where Califf talks ink: