MLS Regular Season
Upon their return from Vancouver Thursday afternoon, Chivas USA returned to practice this morning ahead of this Sunday’s match against FC Dallas in The Home Depot Center.
The starting eleven in last Wednesday’s match at Vancouver reported directly to the facility’s gym at 10 a.m. sharp. Strength and Conditioning Coach Jim Liston led a set of exercises that included stretching and weight training.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team reported to Field 6 for training with Head Coach Robin Fraser and Assistant Coach Greg Vanney. Three players that did not join practice were Tim Melia, Casey Townsend and Ryan Smith, who are all listed as injured. Melia is currently recovering from low back pain. As reported, rookie Townsend suffered a calf strain on Tuesday and was not able to make the trip to up to Vancouver. Last but not least, Smith is recovering from a concussion he suffered in the team’s last home game against Real Salt Lake.
Team returns to training tomorrow morning to make the final adjustments for this Sunday’s match. Click here to check out a few shots from both trainings this morning.
Chivas USA arrived early this morning at The Home Depot Center’s Field 6 for a final training session before flying to Vancouver. With training at 7:40 a.m., the team began warming up and then proceeded to one-touch passing.
Forward Casey Townsend picked up an injury during a scrimmage but continued training with team staff in separate exercises. Goalkeeper Patrick McLain continues filling in for an injured Tim Melia.
The team will arrive in Vancouver this afternoon ahead of tomorrow’s match against Whitecaps FC at BC Place in the third and final match of the season between the two clubs. The first two games were played at The Home Depot Center; the first encounter was a 1-0 victory for the Whitecaps on March 17. Vancouver returned to Carson on July 7 and played to a scoreless draw with Chivas. The Goats have an overall record of 0-1-3 (W-L-T) against the Whitecaps.
The nominees for MLS Save of the Week are up, and surprisingly, Dan Kennedy is not the Goat among the nominees, but rather, defender John Valencia!
Valencia’s save in the 56th minute of the match proved that saves are not just for goalkeepers. If you missed last Saturday’s game and didn’t watch the highlights, Valencia made a sliding save to keep RSL’s Javier Morales’ shot from passing the goal line and taking the ball out for a corner kick. After the save, Valencia received praise not only from the fans but Dan Kennedy himself.
Check out the nominees below and don’t forget to cast your vote for John Valencia for MLS Save of the Week by clicking here.
After having Sunday off, Chivas USA returned to training this morning ahead of tomorrow’s flight to Vancouver. Upon their arrival in Vancouver, the Goats will not be able to train; therefore, all final preparations for Wednesday’s 7 pm match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC had to be set today. All players reported to today’s training with the exception of Ryan Smith who was attending Chivas USA’s first career panel of the year.
Training continued as usual, starting off with light warm-ups followed by short scrimmages. Players that went the full 90 minutes in last Saturday’s match against Real Salt Lake had light training and were sidelined thereafter while the remaining group resumed training.
Goalkeeper Tim Melia was seen in full uniform, but did not train with the team. Melia has been out of training since mid-September for low back pain. Cdchivasusa.com asked Melia how his recovery was going and he responded, “I’ve been feeling good. There are days when I’m fine but then the next day, it’s not. I’m just taking it day-by-day.”
On another note, haircuts seem to be the trend in the Red-and-White locker room. Last week, it was defender Rauwshan McKenzie and Miller Bolaños, and now this week, Jorge Villafaña. Check out the photo:
We know, we know. Like every other week, Kennedy’s heroics haven’t gone unnoticed and are nominated for MLS Save of the Week. With two games played last week and seven saves, which one Kennedy’s heroics was nominated for MLS Save of the Week? The save that received the nomination was from last Sunday’s match at D.C. United in the 13th minute, when NickDeLeon struck a shot from outside the 18-yard box. Luckily for the Goats, Kennedy’s cat-like reflexes were able to reach for the ball and take it out for a corner kick, avoiding D.C. to take an early lead.
So now that you know the details, what are you waiting for? Cast your vote now by clicking here.
Check out all the nominees:
Chivas USA returned to George Mason University for its second practice this morning ahead of tomorrow's match against D.C. United at RFK Stadium to conclude their week-long road trip. With a record of 7-14-7 and 28 points, the Red-and-White's opportunities to gain points are running out. After Sunday's match there are five games remaining in the season, including a Wednesday, Oct. 3, match at Vancouver, which Chivas USA trails by nine points for the fifth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Chivas USA arrived in D.C. Thursday afternoon and held a morning practice today on the campus of George Mason University in preparation to face D.C. United, Sunday, at RFK Stadium. The Goats trail D.C. in the all-time series at 4-7-3, but in the last six meetings have a 4-2-2 record against United. The last time the two clubs met in September of 2011, the Goats rallied from two goals down thanks to two second half goals by Juan Pablo Angel.
In 14 head-to-head matches, the clubs have combined to average a little over three goals per match. The series, however, has not been just offensive, as seven clean-sheets have been recorded - four by D.C. and three by Chivas USA. Current D.C. forward Maicon Santos played with Chivas USA in 2009 and part of 2010, appearing in 19 games for the Red-and-White. No current player on Chivas USA's roster has played for United.
HEAD COACH – ROBIN FRASER:
On conceding the late goal: Really, in the first half I thought we were very much in control of the game. We created some very good opportunities. In the second half, we didn’t control the game as well. We didn’t take care of the ball well enough in the second half like we did in the first half. Inevitably, that’s going to lead to you being under pressure more. Then obviously, the goal --the way it came and the time it came-- it was devastating.
On coaching from the stands: It was difficult. Even on the bench, you feel like you don’t have a ton of control anyway once the game starts. That’s the great thing about soccer; it’s a game of improvisation. Sitting up in the stands, it was difficult. I guess I really didn’t appreciate how difficult it was going to be. Certainly from that high, you get a very good view and you can see little things that we stopped doing that we did very well in the first half that we didn’t do as well in the second half. As a result, we put ourselves under a lot of pressure.
MIDFIELDER - NICK LABROCCA
On pushing for a win to move out of last place in the Western Conference: It’s all about momentum and building it. We could have gotten a win or a tie. That would’ve helped us get a little more confidence. Obviously, this isn’t going to help that, but it’s a better performance from us I think. We just need to get after on Sunday against D.C.
CHIVAS USA DEFENDER - DANNY CALIFF
On Chivas USA’s current direction: We’ve been going through a really rough stretch and I thought we played quite well throughout most of the game. I think we certainly dominated the first half and parts of the second half. This one hurt quite a bit.
As you might’ve already noticed, we really push our fans to vote for our very own Dan Kennedy for MLS Save of the Week. And the upcoming week (we hope) will be no different. So, we’re just giving you a head’s up. Tonight’s result was difficult; yet another last minute goal that sinked the team to yet another loss. But as always, it could’ve been worse if it weren’t for Kennedy’s heroics.
How about this save that Kennedy had in the 42nd minute of the match when the Crew’s Arrieta headed a cross by Gaven? Kennedy was in the right place at the right time to make that save.
So if Dan’s save would be nominated for MLS Save of the Week, would you vote for it? Or do you have another candidate?
If you haven’t seen it, take a look:
Another heart breaking last minute goal in today’s 1-0 loss to Columbus Crew that takes Chivas USA to their fourth consecutive loss. Many might think that there aren’t any positives to take from the match, but how about Miller Bolaños performance tonight? Although our usual candidate Dan Kennedy had a great game, tonight’s CDChivasUSA.com’s Man of the Match is Miller Bolaños. Since the start of the match, he was quite dangerous on the attack, taking shots on goal and making passes. In the second half, Bolaños headed back to collect balls and look for the winner.
Take a look at one of Miller’s shots on goal that you’ll probably spot later next week nominated for MLS Save of the Week: