MLS Regular Season
Chivas USA arrived in Columbus Monday evening on schedule for its match on Wednesday night against the Crew. Kickoff is set for 4:30 pm PT at Crew Stadium. The Goats held a light afternoon practice Tuesday at the Columbus Crew Training Center at Obetz, Ohio. The Goats lead the all-time series at 6-4-4 and are unbeaten in the last three matches against Columbus. The last two games between the Red-and-White and the Black-and-Gold resulted in ties, with the last meeting being played to an exciting 3-3 draw in Columbus. Current Goats Nick LaBrocca and Jorge Villafaña each had a goal in the contest.
ASSISTANT COACH – GREG VANNEY:
Thoughts on the game: “Up until the penalty call I thought we were pretty good controlling the game defensively, they weren’t very dangerous. We found a couple of opportunities, one in front of the goal with Miller’s [Bolaños] ball rolled in and Casey’s [Townsend] header that [Jon] Busch made a great save. I thought we were creating good chances and we were in control of them in our defensive final third, they weren’t finding great opportunities on our goal I don’t think Kennedy had made a save until that point.”
On the referee’s call: “The frustration there is obviously having seen the replay one of our players put us in a tough situation. The referees make a call of frustration and none of the officials actually involved in the game really saw it. It was the fourth official I think called it from midfield. I’m not really sure how that plays out or who has what responsibilities. I know the other two linesmen and center referee didn’t actually see the play. That’s frustration on both sides in terms of where the call came from and obviously our player putting us in that situation.”
MIDFIELDER – SHALRIE JOSEPH:
Thoughts on the game: “It’s frustrating, we didn’t do enough to come out tonight with points. Offensively we created a little bit of chances; we just weren’t able to score. The referee changed the game with a call like that [penalty], and after that we were in a hole and we were just trying to push numbers trying to create more opportunities and get a goal, but it didn’t come for us tonight. We need to hold our heads up and try for next week.”
On the penalty: “I don’t know what to say to be honest, I’m going to have to look at it again and I’m sure Coach [Fraser] is going to do the same. You don’t change a game like that; you don’t just make a call like that. The game was going fine until he [the referee] made a change like that. It was frustrating to have a penalty called with the ball not even close to the goal line. It’s frustrating, but the guys kept battling, the guys kept fighting and we weren’t able to pull it off tonight but we will be better next week.”
On Coach Fraser’s absence in the second half: “Robin has been there on and off the field, and Greg Vanney has done a great job being Assistant Coach. He can replace Robin like that, they work off each other. I understand why Robin had to do what he did, that’s just part of being a coach, sticking up for your players.”
On playoffs: “The good thing about it is that the possibility is still there, we just have to pick our heads up and keep working hard. We have a quick turn around next week in Columbus; we just have to pick our heads up and try to win the next one.”
MIDFIELDER – NICK LABROCCA:
Thoughts on the game: “I thought we played really good. The penalty changed the game a little bit. It changed how we need to come out, it opens us up a little more and we have to get that tying goal.”
On Coach Fraser’s absence in the second half: “At the end of the day it’s the players out on the field trying to do a job and get wins and we didn’t do that today.”
Chivas USA held a fast-paced, physical practice this morning at The Home Depot Center’s Field 6 – complete with an inter-squad workout. Left back Ante Jazic and midfielder Oswaldo Minda remained absent from practice as they return from completing their participation with their respective national teams. Starting center back, Danny Califf, was held out of practice for precautionary reasons and is listed as questionable because of a right hamstring.
QUESTIONABLE: Danny Califf (R HS); Tim Melia (Low Back)
PROBABLE: MF Ryan Smith (R HS); Peter Vagenas (R HS)
Just like last week, and the weeks before that, Chivas USA's Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy is nominated for MLS Save of the Week!
After opening the scoreboard in last Saturday's Chivas USA game at Seattle, midfielder Nick LaBrocca is nominated for MLS' Goal of the Week. The New Jersey native scored his second goal of the season in the eighth minute of that match off a pass by newcomer Shalrie Joseph (his first assist with the Goats). Aside from his nomination to the league-wide honor, LaBrocca was also selected CDChivasUSA.com's Man of the Match.
HEAD COACH – ROBIN FRASER:
On the game: “I thought we started off very well. We made it difficult for them to get attacking chances against us and we obviously created some pace for ourselves and scored an early goal – a good goal. It was a great start. And then slowly but surely, we got less and less confident on the ball, which led to more turnovers, which led to the rest of the game.”
On Chivas USA’s defense and on their missed offensive opportunities: “It was certainly an improvement over what we’ve seen the last few weeks. We certainly worked a lot at it over the last number of weeks and through this week. So to come out and be solid and not give up a ton of opportunities was definitely better and we felt better about that. But you have to be able to play on both sides, right? We defended fairly well. They’re really hard. I have to give them credit – they fought really hard. On the attacking side, we just weren’t good enough. When you keep giving good teams opportunities, they’re going to obviously create chances.”
DEFENDER - JAMES RILEY
On coming back and playing in Seattle: “Obviously kind of mixed emotions. It’s fantastic to come back and play in front of a crowd that I did for three years. I have a lot of good memories with this team and club and organization. But obviously, we were a bit hard done. I thought we could have gotten out of there with a point. Our backs are against the wall like a wounded animal, so we’re scrapping for anything right now. We’re scrapping for playing time, for wins, for jobs next year. I thought we came out and competed. Obviously good teams sometimes find a way to win consistently and they did that today with two great goals.”
Our Man of the Match honor in the game against Seattle goes to none other than Nick LaBrocca. In the eighth minute of the match, LaBrocca was able to open up the scoreboard as he received a pass from teammate Shalrie Joseph. LaBrocca was then able to turn around and strike the ball past Seattle Goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, giving Chivas USA the early lead.
Midfielder Nick LaBrocca gave Chivas USA the early lead as he scored the first goal of the match. Re-live the goal:
Just like we told you yesterday, Shalrie Joseph appeared in training with a brace on his right elbow. Today, he just had his elbow wrapped during practice and trained throughout the entire session. So, what was the cause of the brace? We spoke to Shalrie and he said it was caused by an awkward fall in last Sunday’s match at San Jose. Luckily, the Red-and-White midfielder says he is feeling a lot better and should be good to play this Saturday at Seattle.
It was a muggy and rainy training session for Chivas USA as they prepare for this Saturday’s match at Seattle Sounders at 1pm. Midfielder Ryan Smith returned to full action today as he participated in the team’s mini-scrimmage. We spotted Shalrie Joseph with a brace around his right elbow; staff informed us that he had minor pain on his elbow and that he will still be eligible for Saturday’s game.
Here’s a little taste of what went on in practice today: